Crusaders Fall To #19/18 Butler
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Valparaiso struggled with shooting the ball Wednesday night and fell to its second ranked opponent in three nights, dropping a 60-47 decision to #19/18 Butler at the ARC.

The Crusaders hit just 28% of their shots in the first half and ended the game hitting at a 39.1% clip. After hitting 8-of-10 3-pointers in the second half Monday against Marquette, they couldn't find their touch from behind the arc, shooting a meager 17.6% from downtown.

The Bulldogs jumped on top early, holding an 11-4 lead at the first media timeout. But the Crusaders went on an 8-3 spurt to close within two, and were still within two with 9:25 left in the half after a Jarryd Loyd (Lincolnwood, Ill./Niles West) layup at 16-14.

The rest of the first half went Butler's way, as the Bulldogs got nine points from Mike Green in the midst of a 16-3 run to close the first half with a 32-17 advantage. Green led all scorers in the first half with 11 points and ended the game with 16. Samuel Haanpaa (Kerava, Finland/Cornerstone [Texas] Christian) led Valpo in the first half with six points.

Valparaiso cut the lead to as little as 11 points after a layup by Urule Igbavboa (Oakdale, Minn./Tartan) with 11:49 to play, but Butler (8-0) responded with a 15-6 run to open up to its largest lead of the game at 53-33. The Crusaders again rallied, knocking the lead down to 11 with 1:11 to play, but could not get the deficit back into single digits.

Brandon McPherson (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) led the Crusaders with 14 points, 10 in the second half, while Loyd was the only other Valpo player in double-figures, with 10. Shawn Huff (Helsinki, Finland/Makelanrinne) led all players with seven rebounds, while Jake Diebler (Upper Sandusky, Ohio/Upper Sandusky) dished out four assists and had four steals.

Valparaiso (3-3) will take on the top-ranked team in the nation for the third consecutive season, as the Crusaders travel to Columbus, Ohio to take on #3/1 Ohio State Saturday. Tip is set for 3 p.m. Central time, and all the action can be heard live on the Valpo Sports Radio Network and online at Saturday's game will also be broadcast live locally on Lakeshore Public Television.