Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Cruise to Victory over North Park
Howard Little scored a career-high 16 points to pace the Crusaders in their win Tuesday.
Howard Little scored a career-high 16 points to pace the Crusaders in their win Tuesday.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Valparaiso snapped its five-game losing streak in emphatic fashion Tuesday evening at the Athletics-Recreation Center, handling Division III opponent North Park easily on its way to a 78-47 victory.

“I really felt like we improved again today, and it feels great to get back in the win column,” said Crusader head coach Homer Drew.  “Offensively, we did a great job moving the basketball and finding the open man, and on defense, we had a lot of good ball pressure to force turnovers which allowed us to get out and run.”

The Crusaders never trailed, taking a quick 10-2 lead into the first media timeout on five baskets in the paint, including three layups by Howard Little (Chicago, Ill./Stoneridge [Calif.] School).  The Vikings got a 3-pointer from Issa Avery out of the stoppage, but Erik Buggs (Memphis, Tenn./Mitchell) answered with a trifecta of his own to keep the pressure on.

Both teams would go four minutes without scoring until the Crusaders got a tip-in from Benjamin Fumey (Bremen, Germany/Freie Hansestadt) with 9:20 to go in the half to get them going again.  Valpo went on to score each of its next three possessions, getting points in the paint from Cameron Witt (Launceston, Tasmania, Australia/Launceston), De’Andre Haskins (Long Beach, Calif./La Lumiere [Ind.] School) and Brandon McPherson (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) to take a 21-5 advantage with 7:30 remaining in the opening stanza.

The Vikings would respond with a run into Valpo, however, scoring nine of the next 11 points over a four-minute span to cut the Crusader advantage to 23-14.  Urule Igbavboa (Oakdale, Minn./Tartan) ended the run with a layup to push the lead back to double figures, sparking a 6-2 spurt to close the half as Valpo went into the break with a 29-16 lead.

Coming out of the locker room, it was all Crusaders, as Valpo put together a 10-0 run on its first four possessions of the second half.  Buggs beat the shot clock with a 3-pointer to open the scoring, and the next time down the floor it was Little knocking down the trifecta from the corner. 

On the Crusaders’ next defensive possession, Michael Rogers (Kingston, Jamaica/Redemption [N.Y.] Christian) came up with a steal and started the fast break, one which Igbavboa finished on an alley-oop from Little.  A Viking foul on the floor during the shot gave possession to Valpo out of bounds following the dunk, and the Crusaders took advantage, as Rogers fed Igbavboa for a layup to push the lead to 41-16.  North Park would get no closer than 19 points the rest of the way.

Four Valpo players finished in double figures, led by a career-best 16 points by Little, who also paced the Crusaders with six rebounds and three steals.  Igbavboa connected for 15 points, while Buggs and Witt added ten points apiece.  Buggs also dished out a game-high five assists.

North Park (8-3) was led by 12 points and nine rebounds from Phil Schniedermeier.  The Vikings also received 11 points from Clayton Cahill.

Valpo connected on 53.2% (33-of-62) of its shots compared to 45.0% (18-of-40) for North Park.  The Crusader defense forced 26 Viking turnovers, which they converted into 36 points on the offensive end.  Valpo also dominated the scoring in the paint, 48-18.

“We still have room for improvement, especially with a very good Butler team coming in here on Saturday,” said Drew.  “We are excited though to put our first season, the pre-conference schedule, behind us and now start with the second season, the league slate.”

Valparaiso (4-9) will start the 2009 calendar year with a familiar foe when #25/RV Butler comes to town on Saturday.  The Crusaders’ most-common opponent, Butler and Valpo squared off in a classic tussle at the ARC last season.  The Bulldogs moved into the AP top-25 on Monday, making this the third consecutive year that they have been nationally ranked when visiting Valpo.

Game time on Saturday is set for 7:05 p.m., and as always, all the action can be heard live on 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.  The game is also the first of seven Crusader men’s games being broadcast live this season on Lakeshore Public Television.  Live video and statistics will also be available at www.valpoathletics.com.
W Golf IPFW Spring Invitational Fort Wayne, Ind. (Chestnut Hills G.C.)
Apr 6 4th/12 (311)
W Tennis Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 6 Milwaukee 7
Softball Detroit 0 VU Softball Field
Apr 6 Valpo 8
Baseball Wright State 4 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 6 Valpo 2
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