Kansas City, Mo. - Brandon Temple made a 3-point shot with seven seconds remaining to give UMKC an 80-79 victory over Valpo (15-15, 10-6) in the regular season finale. Dan Oppland led the Crusaders with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Valpo (15-15, 10-6), which earned the third seed in the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament, will oppose sixth seed Chicago State on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Oppland's successful tip of Shawn Huff's missed shot was disallowed after the officials ruled that television replays revealed that the ball was touching Oppland's hand after time expired.
Free throw shooting was a difference in the game as UMKC made 22-of-28 (79 percent) to Valpo's 5-of-11 (46 percent).
The Crusaders, which led from the 10:12 mark until Temple's trifecta, held a 79-77 lead after Jarryd Loyd split a pair of free throws with 13 seconds left. Temple grabbed the rebound following Loyd's miss, raced down the court and swished a 3-pointer from the right wing with seven seconds remaining.
Valpo's Jimmie Miles took the inbounds pass and dribbled the length of the court before passing the ball to Huff in the lane. Huff's short jumper was contested by a UMKC defender and Oppland's tip came one-tenth of a second after time expired and the red lights on the backboard appeared.
With 1:05 left, Valpo held a five-point lead (78-73) on Ron Howard's driving layup. UMKC's Quinton Day was fouled driving to the basket and drained both free throws with 56 seconds remaining to pull the Kangaroos within three. Following a Valpo turnover with 25 seconds left, Day made a driving layup at the 18-second mark to cut the Crusaders' lead to 78-77.
Since UMKC (16-11, 12-4) had only committed three team fouls in the half, the Kangaroos were forced to use four straight fouls, the last sending Loyd to the free throw line with 13 seconds left.
Valpo had built a 72-65 advantage with 5:28 remaining on a driving layup by Seth Colclasure. UMKC's Carlton Aaron, who scored 19 points, made a layup to trim the Valpo lead to three (72-69) with 3:11 left.
The Crusaders rode their hot 3-point shooting to a 12-point lead with 5:17 left in the first half. Oppland's layup and three consecutive treys by Howard, Oppland and Loyd comprised an 11-2 run, giving Valpo a 12-point lead - its largest of the game. Valpo made 7-of-10 3-pointers in the first half.
After UMKC's Tim Blackwell and Valpo's Kenny Harris exchanged layups, Valpo maintained a 12-point advantage with 3:40 left. UMKC responded with a crucial 15-6 run to close out the half as the Crusaders led 42-39 at the intermission. Blackwell drained two, 3-pointers and Mike English netted four free throws during the stretch.
Howard led Valpo with 10 first-half points, while Oppland added nine. Aaron and English, who scored 15 points overall, topped the Kangaroos with nine points in the first 20 minutes.
UMKC tied the game at 50-50 on Aaron's layup with 16:55 left and took a short-lived 59-57 lead with 11:34 remaining before Valpo regained a 61-59 advantage with 10:12 left.
Colclasure went 3-for-3 from 3-point range and scored 13 points, while Howard finished with 12. Harris added nine points and grabbed six rebounds.
Temple led UMKC with 20 points, while Day netted 16 to join Aaron and English in double figures.
Valpo finished shooting 52 percent overall (33-64), including 8-for-12 (67 percent) from 3-point range. UMKC shot 44 percent overall (26-for-59), including 6-of-15 from beyond the arc. The Crusaders outrebounded the Kangaroos 39-28. Valpo dished out 20 assists, led by Miles and Huff with four each. UMKC held a 17-4 advantage in points off turnovers. Valpo committed 12 turnovers, while UMKC committed seven miscues.
Oral Roberts defeated IUPUI on Monday, winning its first outright Mid-Con regular season title and earning the top seed in the Mid-Con Tournament. The Golden Eagles will play #8-seed Southern Utah on Saturday at 6 p.m.
UMKC, the #2 seed, will oppose #7 seed Oakland on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. Sunday's Valpo-Chicago State winner will face the UMKC-Oakland winner in the semifinals on Monday at 8:30 p.m.
IUPUI, the #4 seed, plays #5 seed Western Illinois on Sunday at 6 p.m. The winner will play the ORU-Southern Utah winner on Monday at 6 p.m.
The semifinals will be televised live on the Mid-Con Television Network and Tuesday's championship will be televised live on ESPN2 beginning at 6 p.m.