Rochester, Mich. - Dan Oppland scored 23 points and Ron Howard added 18 as Valpo defeated Oakland 87-78. Seth Colclasure had a double-double with 10 points and a career-high 10 assists for the Crusaders.
Jarryd Loyd added 10 points and five assists for Valpo. Rawle Marshall led Oakland with 30 points and Cortney Scott netted 24.
Valpo (6-9, 2-1 Mid-Con) scorched the nets, draining 60 percent (30-50) of its shots. Led by Jimmie Miles' three, 3-point baskets, the Crusaders made 6 of 11 from 3-point territory in the first half to take a 40-30 halftime lead. Oppland led Valpo with 13 first-half points as the Crusaders shot 56 percent from the field.
Although Oakland (3-10, 1-2) pulled within 48-47 with 14:01 remaining, the Crusaders went on a 7-0 run that included a 3-pointer by Colclasure to push the lead to 55-47 with 12:40 left.
After the hot-shooting first half, the Crusaders actually improved their marksmanship in the second half, making 65 percent (15-23). Valpo featured balance as Howard, Colclasure, Loyd and Oppland scored 10 points each after intermission. Valpo led by as many as 11 and by as few as five the rest of the way.
The Golden Grizzlies were limited to 40 percent shooting, including 6 for 23 from 3-point land. Oakland made 81 percent (26-32) of its free throws, while Valpo converted 19 of 25 (76 percent). Marshall was 14 of 17 from the charity stripe for Oakland.
Valpo outrebounded Oakland 34-26 as Oppland had seven and Moussa Mbaye grabbed six.
The Crusaders, who had 22 assists on 30 baskets, remained undefeated against Oakland, improving their all-time mark in the series to 14-0.
Valpo hosts first-place UMKC (3-0 Mid-Con) Thursday at 7:05 p.m.