Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Fall in One-Point Game to Detroit
Michael Rogers led Valpo with 12 points.
Michael Rogers led Valpo with 12 points.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Detroit’s Woody Payne split a pair of free throws with 2.3 seconds to play Saturday afternoon in Detroit, Mich., accounting for the final margin as Valparaiso fell to the Titans, 56-55.

“I was very disappointed with the way we played today,” said Crusader head coach Homer Drew.  “We took a couple steps forward the last few games, but today was a giant step backwards.  We especially shot very poorly from the free throw line (10-22, 45.5%), which is not something we can have if we want to win games.”

Valpo took its first lead of the second half nearly 15 minutes into the stanza, as Howard Little (Chicago, Ill./Stoneridge [Calif.] School) knocked down a 3-pointer and then on the Crusaders’ next trip found Michael Rogers (Kingston, Jamaica/Redemption [N.Y.] Christian) for another triple to give Valpo a 49-47 edge with 5:14 to play.  Detroit’s Chris Hayes quickly responded with back-to-back baskets, however, to put the Titans ahead 51-49 with 3:47 left.

The teams began trading baskets, as Urule Igbavboa (Oakdale, Minn./Tartan) tied it up with a layup out of a timeout with 3:17 to play, but the Titans’ Michael Harrington converted an old-fashioned 3-point play around the media timeout to give Detroit the lead back.  Erik Buggs (Memphis, Tenn./Mitchell) got a second-chance layup on Valpo’s next trip to cut the deficit to 54-53.

The Crusaders made a pair of stands on the defensive end to get the ball back with a chance to take the lead, and after missing a pair of shots, Little was fouled in the scramble for a rebound and sent to the free throw line for a one-and-one.  The sophomore stepped up and calmly drilled both to give Valpo a 55-54 advantage.  But he was then called for a foul while attempting to take a charge on the defensive end, sending Eulis Stephens to the line for two shots with 17 seconds to play.

Stephens hit the first, but missed the second, and Igbavboa pulled down the rebound as the Crusaders would seemingly be able to hold for the last shot.  But Buggs slipped and lost control on the offensive end, and Payne swooped in for a steal with an open court ahead of him before getting fouled with 2.3 seconds to play.  He missed the first shot, but nailed the second, and Valpo’s long inbounds attempt sailed out of bounds.

The early going looked like it would be Valpo’s day, as after giving up the first four points, the Crusaders put together a 16-5 run to go ahead 16-9 just over ten minutes in, led by six points during the stretch from Rogers.  But poor free throw shooting curtailed Valpo’s attempt to extend the lead any further, and the Titans took advantage, going on a 14-1 run of their own to take a six-point lead.  The halftime lead was 29-26 for Detroit, which save for one brief tie early in the second half, held a slim lead until Little and Rogers’ back-to-back triples late in the stanza.

“The missed free throws in the first half really cost us,” said Drew.  “We had a shot to go ahead by even more than seven points and couldn’t take advantage, and instead of demoralizing Detroit, that gave them confidence to came back and take the lead from us.”

Rogers led the Crusaders with 12 points, reaching double figures for the first time in the last five games, while Little scored 11, his sixth time hitting double figures in the last seven outings.  Buggs added nine points and a game-high five assists, while Igbavboa scored eight points, moving into a tie for 20th all-time in Valpo history in the category, and grabbed six rebounds, tying for eighth all-time in that category.

Hayes, who did not play in the first meeting between the two schools, led all scorers with 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting and also led all players with nine rebounds.  Harrington and Stephens each chipped in ten points apiece for Detroit (7-16, 2-11 Horizon).

Valparaiso (6-18, 3-10 Horizon) returns home next weekend to continue league play in a rare Friday evening game at the ARC.  The Crusaders will host Loyola at 7 p.m. on the 13th, 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) and online at www.valpoathletics.com.  Live video and statistics will also be available through the official Crusader website.
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Baseball Valpo 5 Evanston, Ill.
Apr 8 Northwestern 12
Softball Northern Illinois 3 8 inn.
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M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
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W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
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Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
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Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
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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
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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 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
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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
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Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
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Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
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Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
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Apr 25
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Apr 25
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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
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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
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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