Thursday, February 05, 2004
Shreveport, La. ? Dan Oppland scored 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds, but Valpo lost to Centenary 78-73. The Crusaders (10-10, 7-4 Mid-Con), who had a six-game win streak snapped, are one-half game behind first-place IUPUI (7-3) in the Mid-Continent Conference. Kikas Gomes tallied 19 points and snagged eight rebounds, Ali Berdiel netted 18 points and Roberto Nieves added 10 for Valpo.
Michael Gale led four Centenary players in double figures with 19 points. Andrew Wisniewski scored 17 points and Chad Maclies had 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
After trailing by 11 (53-42) at the 11:35 mark of the second half, Valpo outscored Centenary 27-16 to tie the game at 69-69 with 2:29 remaining. Oppland, who tied the game with two free throws, scored 10 points during the run, while Berdiel added eight.
Centenary (12-8, 6-3) and Valpo traded two-point possessions twice before Wisniewski broke a 73-73 tie by converting two free throws with 41 seconds left. Gomes missed a jumper and Rickey Evans split a pair of free throws before Berdiel's 3-point attempt missed with 18 seconds remaining. Wisniewski sank one of two free throws and Evans drained one of two charity tosses for the final outcome.
In the first half, Valpo built a six-point lead (17-11) at the 11:42 mark before the Gents went on a 13-0 run to take a 24-17 lead with eight minutes left before intermission. Centenary built a 10-point lead until the Crusaders trimmed their deficit to five (36-31) at halftime.
Valpo made 25 of 39 free throws in a foul-plagued game, while the Gents converted 18 of 25 (72 percent) from the charity stripe. The Crusaders shot 43 percent (23-53) overall, including 2 of 14 from 3-point range. Centenary made 52 percent of its field goal attempts (27-52), including 6 of 16 from beyond the arc.
Valpo plays at Chicago State on Saturday at 4 p.m.