Valpo Falls To UMKC In Overtime; Crusaders' 20-game Homecourt Win Streak Snapped
Saturday, February 01, 2003
Valparaiso, Ind. - UMKC made four free throws in the final 22 seconds of overtime and survived a last-second 3-point miss to defeat Valpo 71-68. The loss ended the Crusaders' school-record homecourt win streak at 20. Valpo (11-8, 6-1 Mid-Con) was led by Raitis Grafs with 24 points and eight rebounds. Stalin Ortiz recorded a double-double with 14 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. Michael Watson scored a team-high 24 for the Kangaroos, including 11 in the second half and eight in overtime.

In overtime, UMKC (4-16, 3-4 Mid-Con) led 67-66 before Randall Atchison's two free throws with 22 seconds left gave the Kangaroos a 69-66 lead. Ali Berdiel trimmed Valpo's deficit to 69-68 with a driving jumper with 15 seconds remaining.

The Crusaders then fouled Watson, who made both free throws with 13 seconds left to give UMKC a three-point advantage (71-68). After a couple of timeouts, Greg Tonagel's 3-point shot with two seconds remaining bounced off the rim and time expired.

The contest went into overtime tied at 60-60 after Watson missed a 3-point shot from just left of the top of the key with three seconds left. The Kangaroos had tied the game with 46 seconds remaining on Carlton Aaron's layup. Valpo had earned a 60-58 lead at the 1:20 mark on Tonagel's 3-point basket from the left corner off an assist from Berdiel. The Crusaders made three of seven free throw attempts in the second half and finished 14 of 23 (61 percent) at the charity stripe.

In the first half, the Crusaders scored the first five points before UMKC added a bucket of its own. The half was close throughout, but with 9:49 left, Valpo began a 9-0 run to take a 21-15 lead with just under seven minutes remaining.

The Kangaroos then outscored the Crusaders 15-12 to trail at halftime by three (33-30). Grafs scored 11 points in the half, while Ortiz grabbed nine rebounds and added six points. Marc Stricker scored 12 of his 15 points in the first half for UMKC.

In the second half, Valpo and UMKC traded baskets as the gap never reached more than five points between the two teams.

UMKC finished with 38 rebounds (13 offensive) to Valpo's 33 total boards. Brandon Lipsey had nine rebounds for the Kangaroos. The Kangaroos shot 9 of 29 (31 percent) from beyond the arc and 41 percent (26-64) overall. UMKC also shot 83 percent (10 of 12) from the free throw line. Valpo finished shooting 50 percent (26 of 52) overall, including 13 percent (2 of 15) from 3-point territory.

Berdiel finished the game with eight of Valpo's 19 assists and added 11 points. Tonagel had nine points and four assists. Kikas Gomes had seven boards for the Crusaders. Stricker and Watson each dished out five assists for UMKC.

The Crusaders will be in action again on Tuesday as they host Charlotte at 7:05 p.m.