(Saint Louis, Mo./Whitfield) had a decisive late basket, game-clinching steal, and scored 26 points to lead Valpo to a 74-68 win over IPFW Wednesday night at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Ind.
With the score 65-64 Valpo with three minutes to go, Oppland put back a Mohamed Kone
(Lyon, France/Jean Paul Saltre) miss in the lane and finished the three-point play to put the Crusaders up four. They were still up four with 48 seconds left when DeWitt Scott scored his 26th points of the game to pull the Mastodons within two at 70-68, setting up Oppland's decisive bucket with 28 seconds left. His steal on the next Mastodon possession was his third of the night, a career-high. Kone, playing his first collegiate game, recorded his first double-double, finishing with 15 points and 11 rebounds, five on the offensive end.
Valpo finished the night shooting 43.5% from the floor, but made only 3-of-15 shots from three-point range. The Crusaders were out-rebounded by the Mastodons 45-44, and gave up 17 offensive boards. Valpo also committed 17 turnovers, but forced 19 giveaways from IPFW, and turned them into 27 points.
Oppland got the Crusaders started fast, scoring 13 of Valpo's first 17 points as the Brown and Gold opened up a 17-5 lead five minutes in. The lead remained in double-figures much of the half, until a 12-2 Mastodon run to close the stanza had IPFW within three at 39-36. Oppland finished the first half with 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting. Scott led the Mastodons with 15 first half points.
IPFW took the lead early in the second half, scoring the first four points and jumping in front for the first time all night on a Kyle Savely jumper. The two teams stayed close through the first eight minutes of the half until an 11-1 IPFW run put the Mastodons up 57-52 with nine minutes left. The Crusaders would quickly take the lead back, however, when sophomore guard Jarryd Loyd
(Lincolnwood, Ill./Niles West) book-ended a 10-0 Valpo spurt with a pair of three-pointers. Loyd finished with 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting.
(Helsinki, Finland/Makelanrinne) had four points and eight rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench for the Brown and Gold and Ron Howard
(Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young) chipped in nine points and three steals. IPFW (1-2) was led by Scott's big night, but also got a double-double from Brad Pompey, who had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Valpo (1-0) returns to action Monday at the Athletics-Recreation Center when they take on Indiana-South Bend at 7:05 p.m. That game will be carried live on the Valpo Sports Radio Network and can be heard online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.