Valparaiso, Ind. - Valpo opened with a 10-0 run on its way to an 81-56 victory over Indiana State. Raitis Grafs led all scorers with 25 points, including 20 in the first half. Joaquim Gomes added 14 points, while Ali Berdiel scored 12 points.
Indiana State guard Matt Broermann scored a team-high 18 points, draining 6 of 12 shots from behind the arc.
After exploding to a 14-1 lead early in the first half, Valpo never looked back. Broerman tried to make things close for Indiana State, helping the Sycamores pull within seven points with six minutes to go in the first half.
It was then that Valpo again turned up the heat on Indiana State, pulling away to a 38-24 lead at the half after shooting a terrific 51.5 percent from the field.
At the start of the second half, Valpo quickly found themselves up by 20 points with 17 minutes left to play.
While Indiana State was able to limit Grafs to five points in the second half, Valpo was able to shutdown Broermann, who was able to make only one more three-pointer.
With four minutes to play in the game, Gomes put the finishing touches on Valpo's victory after receiving a perfect pass from Seth Colclasure, which led to an awesome two-handed slam. The basket increased Valpo's lead to 26 points, ending Indiana State's hopes of a comeback.
Valpo finished the game shooting 48.4 percent from the field, including 41.2 percent from beyond the arc (50 percent on four of eight shooting in the second half). Valpo played unselfish basketball with 24 assists on 31 made field goals. Greg Tonagel and Colclasure led the Crusaders with five assists each, while Berdiel made three of Valpo's 10 steals. The Crusaders owned the boards, outrebounding ISU 42-32. Grafs and Dan Oppland topped Valpo with seven rebounds each.
Valpo improved its season record to 1-1, while Indiana State fell to 1-1. Valpo's next game is Saturday at 7:05 p.m. in the ARC against Northern Illinois.