Shreveport, La. ? Dan Oppland and Ron Howard scored 20 points each and Kenny Harris scored 14 of his career-high 18 in the second half as Valpo defeated Centenary 61-51. The Crusaders (13-12, 9-4) outscored the Gents 37-26 in the second half.
Oppland (11 rebounds) and Howard (10 rebounds) each recorded double-doubles. Harris also added seven boards. The Crusaders dominated the glass, outrebounding Centenary 49-30. Valpo was red-hot from the floor in the second half, shooting 59 percent (17 for 29). Chad Maclies led Centenary (3-21, 1-12) with 16 points and eight rebounds.
Valpo began the second half with an 8-2 run as Harris made two straight layups to extend the Crusaders' lead to 32-27 with 14:25 left. After the Crusaders built a six-point lead (38-32) with 12:06 remaining, the Gents orchestrated a 12-5 scoring stretch to take a 44-43 advantage at the 7:32 mark.
With Valpo leading 49-48 with 5:30 left, Oppland keyed a 12-0 run with seven points to put the Crusaders in control 61-48 with 1:07 left.
In the first half, Valpo struggled shooting from the field, making 22 percent overall (6 for 27). The Crusaders rescued themselves from the free throw line, sinking 9 of 11. Howard, who led Valpo with 12 first-half points, and Oppland converted 4-of-4 from the charity stripe in the first 20 minutes.
Centenary, which led for nearly the entire half, shot 42 percent in the first half. Maclies netted 12 points to lead the Gents before intermission.
After the Crusaders took a 6-5 lead on Howard's 3-pointer at the 16:46 mark, Centenary went on a 6-0 run as Maclies made two straight jumpers to key the stretch. Two free throws by Oppland and another 3-pointer by Howard tied the game at 11-11 with 12:27 remaining. Centenary held a 25-24 lead at halftime.
Valpo finished shooting 41 percent overall (23 for 56), while Centenary shot 33 percent (18 for 55). Oppland finished with three blocked shots, while Jarryd Loyd and Seth Colclasure dished out four assists each.
Valpo improved its record in Mid-Con road games to 5-1.
Valpo hosts Southern Utah on Thursday beginning at 7:05 p.m.