Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Drops Season Opener at Ball State
Brandon McPherson scored 11 points and registered a game-high six assists Friday. (Ray Acevedo)
Brandon McPherson scored 11 points and registered a game-high six assists Friday. (Ray Acevedo)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Newcomers Cory Johnson (Duluth, Minn./Duluth East [Iowa State]) and Brandon Wood (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo [Highland C.C./Southern Illinois]) each surpassed 20 points Friday evening in Valparaiso’s season opener, but it was not enough, as Ball State led start-to-finish in an 88-78 victory over the Crusaders in Muncie, Ind.

Wood knocked down nine shots from the field, including three triples, and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the foul line en route to his game-high 25 points.  Johnson was very efficient with his field goal attempts, connecting on 9-for-14 from the floor for 21 points of his own.

“I thought you definitely saw our youth at times tonight,” said Crusader head coach Homer Drew.  “I was really pleased with our offense and thought Cory did a really good job battling inside.  The turning point, though, was allowing Ball State to shoot 57%.  Our defense has to get better, especially on the interior.”

Ball State jumped out to a very quick start, going ahead 14-3 just 4:46 into the contest and getting eight early points from Brawley Chisholm.  The Cardinals extended their lead to as many as 14 points at 21-7 8:05 into the game, at which point all seven of Valpo’s points were courtesy of Johnson.

Ryan Broekhoff (Frankston, Victoria, Australia/Australian Institute of Sport) then connected on a 3-pointer, however, to start the Crusaders’ crawl back into the game.  Valpo would out-score Ball State in the final 11:55 of the first half by a 31-21 margin, thanks in large part to 17 points from Wood, who went 6-for-8 from the field during that stretch.  The Crusaders closed the half with a big 7-2 spurt on a triple by Wood and two layups by Michael Rogers (Kingston, Jamaica/Redemption [N.Y.] Christian) to cut the deficit to 42-38 at the break.

Ball State scored the first four points of the second half, but Valpo immediately responded with a pair of layups from Johnson which sandwiched a 3-pointer by Howard Little (Chicago, Ill./Stoneridge [Calif.] School) to cut the lead down to 46-45 with 16:39 to play.  The deficit remained at two possessions or less for the better part of the next eight minutes, but Valpo could never forge a tie or gain the lead.

Still trailing just 62-57 with under nine minutes to play, the Crusaders gave up a 11-2 run over the next four minutes to Ball State, as the Cardinals pulled out to a 14-point advantage.  Valpo scored the next five points to stop the BSU run and get the deficit back to single digits, but the Crusaders would get no closer than eight points the remainder of the game.

Brandon McPherson (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) and Little joined Wood and Johnson in double figures in the scoring column, registering 11 and ten points, respectively.  McPherson also handed out a game-high six assists, while freshman Tommy Kurth (Osceola, Ind./Penn) dished out five helpers as Valpo owned 18 assists and just nine turnovers on the evening.  Johnson tied for game-high honors with nine rebounds.

Ball State (1-0) placed six players in double figures in scoring and shot at a 57.8% clip from the field on the evening.  Jarrod Jones led the Cardinals with 19 points, while Malik Perry added 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting.  Ball State also held a 39-29 advantage in the rebounding column over the Crusaders.

Valparaiso (0-1) returns to action Sunday when the Crusaders travel to take on defending national champion #6/4 North Carolina.  The game can be seen live at 3 p.m. CST on Fox Sports South (DirecTV channel 646) and will be carried live on the Valpo Sports Radio Network (WEFM [95.9 FM, Michigan City] and WAKE [1500 AM, Valparaiso]).  Live audio can also be found online at www.valpoathletics.com, which will also have a link for live stats.

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. 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