Valpo Drops Heartbreaker At UMKC; Dan Oppland Scores 22
Thursday, January 8, 2004
Kansas City, Mo. - Valpo's last-second shot missed at the buzzer as the Crusaders lost to UMKC 60-59 in a Mid-Continent Conference game. Dan Oppland led Valpo (4-8, 1-2) with 22 points and Kikas Gomes added 10 points and 12 rebounds.

With 15 seconds left in the contest, Oumar Sylla stole a pass, but Michael Watson blocked Sylla's 10-foot jumper out of bounds with four seconds remaining. Following a timeout, Ali Berdiel took the inbounds pass and missed a running jumper in the lane at the buzzer.

Watson led three Kangaroos in double figures with 18 points. Mike English added 14 and Carlton Aaron had 11 for UMKC (6-7, 2-1).

Both teams struggled from the floor as Valpo shot 30 percent (18-60) and UMKC finished shooting 35 percent (19-55). Free throw shooting and rebounding kept the Crusaders in the game as Valpo converted 18 of 21 charity tosses (86 percent) and outrebounded the Kangaroos 50-35.

The game was close throughout as there were 15 lead changes and seven ties. Valpo committed 16 turnovers to 10 for UMKC. The Crusaders led 27-24 at halftime as Oppland had 14 points.

Valpo's final lead was 39-38 with 11:59 left. UMKC scored five straight points on Brandon Lipsey's 3-pointer and a Watson jumper to take a 43-39 advantage with 10:07 remaining. The Crusaders came within one point on several occasions before the final outcome.

Sylla, who made three steals, helped limit Watson to 5-for-20 shooting.

Valpo travels to play at Oral Roberts on Saturday beginning at 7:05 p.m.