Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Drop 62-50 Decision at Miami
Michael Rogers tied for team-high honors with ten points.
Michael Rogers tied for team-high honors with ten points.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Valparaiso was within one point of Miami for a five-minute stretch of the second half and cut the RedHawks’ lead to three points with 7:49 remaining, but the Crusaders could not take the advantage, as Miami held off all of Valpo’s advances for a 62-50 victory Saturday afternoon in Oxford, Ohio.

“I thought today was definitely an improvement from Wednesday’s game,” said Crusader head coach Homer Drew.  “We played hard the entire game and made a number of plays that helped keep us within reach.  You have to give credit to Miami, they’re a well-coached team with six seniors and they’re a team that has played a number of ranked teams extremely tough already this year.”

The game, a return matchup from last year’s epic ESPNU BracketBusters battle at the ARC, started out as a quick-paced back-and-forth affair, as both squads scored on each of their first two possessions just 76 seconds into the game.  Miami locked down Valpo defensively over the next 5:30, going on a 9-1 spurt over the span with five points from Eric Pollitz and four from Michael Bramos.  After the teams traded baskets, the Crusaders put themselves right back in the game with five quick points on a fast-break layup by Urule Igbavboa (Oakdale, Minn./Tartan) and a slam-dunk 3-point play from Cameron Witt (Launceston, Tasmania, Australia/Launceston).  

The stretch was indicative of the way the first half would be played, as every time the RedHawks seemed poised to extend their lead, Valpo answered with points of its own.  De’Andre Haskins (Long Beach, Calif./La Lumiere [Ind.] School) knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers at one point, while Michael Rogers (Kingston, Jamaica/Redemption [N.Y.] Christian) and Benjamin Fumey (Bremen, Germany/Freie Hansestadt) cut the Miami lead to two with consecutive baskets late in the frame.  Miami eventually went into the half with a 29-26 lead after Howard Little (Chicago, Ill./Stoneridge [Calif.] School) found himself loose on the baseline for a layup in the final minute.

Rogers had Valpo’s first four points of the second half, with his second basket of the stanza cutting Miami’s lead to 31-30 with 17:25 to play.  It was at that point that both teams started having trouble handling the ball, as over the next three and a half minutes, the sides combined for nine turnovers and zero points.  The RedHawks’ Tyler Dierkers finally ended the scoring drought with a jumper to push Miami’s advantage to three with 13:52 remaining.

Miami increased its lead up to nine points at 44-35 at the 10:32 mark thanks to eight quick points from Bramos and a trio of free throws by Dierkers, but the Crusaders did not fold.  Jake Diebler (Upper Sandusky, Ohio/Upper Sandusky) knocked down a jumper in the paint, and after a basket by Pollitz, freed himself for a triple on Valpo’s next possession to make it a six-point game.

Fumey hit a 15-foot jumper the next time down the court to cut the deficit to four points, and after Bramos split a pair from the charity stripe, Igbavboa made a nice move in the paint to bring Valpo back to within 47-44 with 7:49 to play.  But again Bramos stepped up for the RedHawks, knocking down a second-chance 3-pointer on their next possession that hit every part of the rim before falling in.  Bramos’ triple sparked a 13-3 Miami run over the next four-plus minutes to put the game away.

“I thought that Bramos three really was the turning point,” said Drew.  “Up to that point, we were staying within reach, but his three seemed to give Miami momentum.  They got a couple of defensive stops after that and converted on the offensive end.”

Diebler and Rogers tied for Crusader team-high scoring honors with ten points apiece.  Valpo connected on 51.3% of its field goal attempts (20-of-39), just the second time this season it has been better than 50% from the floor.  Igbavboa led Valpo with six rebounds, while Little handed out a team-best four assists.

Bramos connected on 6-of-9 from behind the arc on his way to a game-high 28 points for the RedHawks.  Pollitz added 11 points for Miami (6-3), while Dierkers led all players with eight rebounds.

Valparaiso (3-6) returns to the court on Saturday, December 20 at the United Center in Chicago, Ill., hosting the nation’s unanimous top-ranked team in North Carolina in the Windy City Hoops Classic at 1 p.m.  This is the fifth consecutive season that Valpo has taken on the nation’s top-ranked team, and the third time in seven years that the Crusaders have hosted a top-ten foe at the United Center.

Tickets are still available for the game by visiting www.ticketmaster.com or by contacting the Valpo ticket office at 219-464-5233.  Those unable to make it to the game can watch live on ESPNU or, as always, tune in to the Valpo Sports Radio Network (WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso; WAKE, 1500 AM, Valparaiso; WEFM, 95.9 FM, Michigan City; WWLO, 89.1 FM, Lowell) and online at www.valpoathletics.com.

W Golf IPFW Spring Invitational Fort Wayne, Ind. (Chestnut Hills G.C.)
Apr 7 9th/12 (642)
Softball Northern Illinois 6 VU Softball Field
Apr 8 Valpo 8
Baseball Valpo 5 Evanston, Ill.
Apr 8 Northwestern 12
Softball Northern Illinois 3 8 inn.
Apr 8 Valpo 4
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
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
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
M Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 11:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
W Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 5:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26 Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M 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
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W 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