Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Edges Western Illinois In Overtime To Vault Into First Place In Mid-Con

Saturday, January 31, 2004

Macomb, Ill. ? Dan Oppland scored eight of his 22 points in overtime as Valpo defeated Western Illinois 81-79. The Crusaders (10-9, 7-3 Mid-Con) moved into first place in the Mid-Continent Conference by a half game over Oral Roberts (6-3) and IUPUI (6-3). The victory was the sixth straight for Valpo.

Oppland, who grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds to record a double-double, converted 12 of 14 free throw attempts. Ali Berdiel tallied 13 points and five assists, Kikas Gomes netted 12 points and Roberto Nieves added 11. Will Lewis led Western Illinois (3-18, 1-8) with a career-high 24 points, including 20 in the second half and overtime. Bobby Carter added 19 for the Leathernecks.

Western Illinois, which overcame a 13-point deficit in the final 5:24 of regulation, tied the game at 69-69 on T.J. Gray's 3-pointer with one second left. Greg Tonagel's two free throws with five seconds left had given Valpo a 69-66 lead.

In overtime, Western Illinois took a 71-69 lead on Keith Archie's two free throws before Berdiel made a baseline jumper to tie the score at 71-71. Valpo then passed the ball inside to Oppland, who responded with two free throws as the Crusaders regained a 73-71 advantage with 2:48 remaining. After two missed Leatherneck free throws, Oppland made a layup to extend the lead to four (75-71). Lewis turned in a conventional three-point play before Oppland dropped in another layup for a 77-74 lead. Carter drained a 3-pointer to tie the game at 77-77 with 1:12 left and Oppland put Valpo ahead for good with two more charity tosses at the 36-second mark.

Tonagel, who was playing his second game of the season, forced a travel by WIU's Barry Welsh with seven seconds left. A senior, Tonagel sank one of two free throws with six seconds left, but Gray made two free throws with five seconds remaining to pull the Leathernecks within one (80-79). Berdiel split a pair of free tosses with four seconds left before Doyle Cole missed a 10-foot running jumper at the buzzer.

Foul trouble became a challenge for Valpo as Gomes fouled out with 1:31 remaining in regulation and Nieves fouled out 19 seconds into overtime. Berdiel played the last 23 minutes with four fouls and Moussa Mbaye and Kenny Harris also had four fouls.

Valpo, which led most of the game, went on a 6-0 run to break a 16-16 tie and took a 34-28 halftime lead. Oppland and Nieves scored seven points each in the first 20 minutes.

The Crusaders' bench outscored the Western Illinois reserves 23-16. Tonagel finished with eight points and five assists, Mike Oppland added six points and Mbaye scored five.

Valpo shot 50 percent overall (28-56) and made 24 of 34 free throws (71 percent). Western Illinois, which made 39 percent (21-54) of its field goal attempts, came back as a result of outstanding free throw shooting (29-35, 83 percent). WIU made 8 of 24, 3-point shots, while Valpo made 1 of 12 from beyond the arc.

The Crusaders outrebounded WIU 39-33 and each team committed 17 turnovers.

Valpo improved its all-time record in overtime games against Western Illinois to 5-1, including a 5-0 mark under head coach Homer Drew.

Valpo continues a three-game road stretch at Centenary on Thursday beginning at 7:05 p.m.


W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. #21/21 Notre Dame
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay