Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Edges Western Illinois In Overtime To Vault Into First Place In Mid-Con

Saturday, January 31, 2004

Macomb, Ill. ? Dan Oppland scored eight of his 22 points in overtime as Valpo defeated Western Illinois 81-79. The Crusaders (10-9, 7-3 Mid-Con) moved into first place in the Mid-Continent Conference by a half game over Oral Roberts (6-3) and IUPUI (6-3). The victory was the sixth straight for Valpo.

Oppland, who grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds to record a double-double, converted 12 of 14 free throw attempts. Ali Berdiel tallied 13 points and five assists, Kikas Gomes netted 12 points and Roberto Nieves added 11. Will Lewis led Western Illinois (3-18, 1-8) with a career-high 24 points, including 20 in the second half and overtime. Bobby Carter added 19 for the Leathernecks.

Western Illinois, which overcame a 13-point deficit in the final 5:24 of regulation, tied the game at 69-69 on T.J. Gray's 3-pointer with one second left. Greg Tonagel's two free throws with five seconds left had given Valpo a 69-66 lead.

In overtime, Western Illinois took a 71-69 lead on Keith Archie's two free throws before Berdiel made a baseline jumper to tie the score at 71-71. Valpo then passed the ball inside to Oppland, who responded with two free throws as the Crusaders regained a 73-71 advantage with 2:48 remaining. After two missed Leatherneck free throws, Oppland made a layup to extend the lead to four (75-71). Lewis turned in a conventional three-point play before Oppland dropped in another layup for a 77-74 lead. Carter drained a 3-pointer to tie the game at 77-77 with 1:12 left and Oppland put Valpo ahead for good with two more charity tosses at the 36-second mark.

Tonagel, who was playing his second game of the season, forced a travel by WIU's Barry Welsh with seven seconds left. A senior, Tonagel sank one of two free throws with six seconds left, but Gray made two free throws with five seconds remaining to pull the Leathernecks within one (80-79). Berdiel split a pair of free tosses with four seconds left before Doyle Cole missed a 10-foot running jumper at the buzzer.

Foul trouble became a challenge for Valpo as Gomes fouled out with 1:31 remaining in regulation and Nieves fouled out 19 seconds into overtime. Berdiel played the last 23 minutes with four fouls and Moussa Mbaye and Kenny Harris also had four fouls.

Valpo, which led most of the game, went on a 6-0 run to break a 16-16 tie and took a 34-28 halftime lead. Oppland and Nieves scored seven points each in the first 20 minutes.

The Crusaders' bench outscored the Western Illinois reserves 23-16. Tonagel finished with eight points and five assists, Mike Oppland added six points and Mbaye scored five.

Valpo shot 50 percent overall (28-56) and made 24 of 34 free throws (71 percent). Western Illinois, which made 39 percent (21-54) of its field goal attempts, came back as a result of outstanding free throw shooting (29-35, 83 percent). WIU made 8 of 24, 3-point shots, while Valpo made 1 of 12 from beyond the arc.

The Crusaders outrebounded WIU 39-33 and each team committed 17 turnovers.

Valpo improved its all-time record in overtime games against Western Illinois to 5-1, including a 5-0 mark under head coach Homer Drew.

Valpo continues a three-game road stretch at Centenary on Thursday beginning at 7:05 p.m.


M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25 Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo