The Valparaiso Crusaders made 13-of-22 three-pointers, dished out 23 assists on 29 baskets and placed five players in double figures on their way to a 95-64 win over Oakland Monday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
The Crusaders broke the game open for good midway through the first half, using a 20-4 run to build a 37-17 lead. The score at the break was 47-28 Valpo, with the Brown and Gold hitting on 8-of-13 threes and racking up 14 assists against only four turnovers.
Sophomore Jarryd Loyd
(Lincolnwood, Ill./Niles West) had a monster night in the first 20 minutes alone, equaling a career-high with 14 points by connecting on 4-of-4 three-pointers in just 11 minutes. The four first half triples equaled Loyd's total on the season entering Monday's game, and he was not the only sophomore feeling it. Shawn Huff
(Helsinki, Finland/Makelanrinne) made all four of his shots, three from long range, and had 11 points off the bench in the opening period.
The second half was more of the same, when the Crusaders shook off a slow start to race to a 77-52 lead on the strength of a 12-1 run. The numbers from three were down slightly in the second stanza, but the 13 three-point makes on the night eclipsed the previous season high of 12. Valpo out-rebounded Oakland 41-36, and forced 16 Golden Grizzly turnovers. On the night, the Crusaders shot 50% from the floor and 75% from the free throw line. Oakland made just 38.3% of their shots and connected on 4-of-19 three-pointers.
Huff led all scorers with a career-high 18 points, missing only one shot all evening. The sophomore finished 5-of-6 from the floor, 4-of-4 from three, and 4-of-4 from the foul line in 20 minutes of action. Dan Oppland
(Saint Louis, Mo./Whitfield) had a workman-like 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and kept alive his streak of now 18 straight games reaching double figures.
Loyd finished with 14, not attempting a shot in five second half minutes, and was joined by Ali Berdiel
(Ponce, Puerto Rico) and Mohamed Kone
(Lyon, France/Jean Paul Sartre) in double-digits. Berdiel had 11 on 8-of-10 free throws to go along with six assists and one turnover, while Kone notched his third double-double of the year with 11 points and 11 boards. Ron Howard
(Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young), who came into the game averaging 14.4 points/game, was held scoreless for the first time in his Crusader career, but did have five assists and two steals in 17 minutes.
The 31-point win is Valpo's biggest over a Mid-Con opponent since January 18, 2003, when they defeated Chicago State 80-48 under the direction of Head Coach Scott Drew. The win was also the Crusaders' 16th in 16 all-time games against the Oakland
Calvin Wooten, the Mid-Con's leading scorer, led Grizzlies (5-8, 0-1 Mid-Con) with 17 points while Shawn Hopes added 16 and seven rebounds. Oakland did win the battle inside, outscoring Valpo 28-20 in the paint.
Valpo (7-4, 2-1 Mid-Con) has now won consecutive games for the first time since opening the season 3-0, and will look to equal that streak Saturday night at home against Longwood. That game is scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m. with pregame coverage on the Valpo Sports Radio Network and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics set for 6:50 p.m.