Thursday, December 30, 2004
Las Vegas, Nev. - Northern Iowa outscored Valpo by 12 in the second half and went on to defeat the Crusaders 67-49 in the Las Vegas Holiday Classic. Dan Oppland and Seth Colclasure led Valpo (3-8) with 10 points each.
The Panthers displayed a balanced attack, placing one player - Grant Stout (10 points) - in double figures. UNI (8-2) was red hot from 3-point range, draining 9 of 21 from beyond the arc. Brooks McKowen and John Little made two treys each for the Panthers, who shot 46 percent overall.
The game was close in the first half as Valpo trailed 32-26 at halftime. The Crusaders shot 47 percent in the first 20 minutes.
Three consecutive 3-point baskets by Little, McKowen and Little again extended a 38-31 UNI lead to 47-31 with 13 minutes remaining. The Panthers pushed their advantage to as many as 27 points (67-40) with 3:23 left.
Oppland, who has scored in double-figures in 10 of the 11 games, was 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Valpo outrebounded UNI 27-26. Turnovers hurt the Crusaders who committed 19 miscues to nine for UNI.
Valpo will conclude a stretch of four-games-in-four-days with a 1 p.m. CT contest against Longwood in the final game of the Las Vegas Holiday Classic.