Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Depleted Crusaders Fall at Loyola
Michael Rogers paced Valpo with 16 points.
Michael Rogers paced Valpo with 16 points.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Playing with just six scholarship players Saturday afternoon at Loyola, Valparaiso showed determination in fighting back to within five points with under six minutes remaining, but that was as close as the Crusaders would get, as the Ramblers closed out a 71-56 victory.

“I am really proud of the effort and determination out of our guys today,” said Crusader head coach Homer Drew.  “Knowing we were coming in short-handed, every one of our guys played hard right up to the final whistle and kept the game a lot closer than the final score indicated.”

The Crusaders utilized their balance early on, as five of their six players scored in the first ten minutes of the game.  Cameron Witt (Launceston, Tasmania, Australia/Launceston College) and De’Andre Haskins (Long Beach, Calif./La Lumiere [Ind.] School) each hit early jumpers, while Howard Little (Chicago, Ill./Stoneridge [Calif.] School) knocked down a 3-pointer.  Trailing 8-7, Witt found Michael Rogers (Kingston, Jamaica/Redemption [N.Y.] Christian) for a layup, and Logan Jones (Madison, Ind./Madison) followed with a coast-to-coast layup off a Little block to make it 11-8 Valpo with 10:15 remaining in the first half.

Loyola would respond with 13 of the next 15 points over a 3:30 span, however, to take an eight-point lead.  Justin Cerasoli, who closed the first half with 18 points, keyed the run with a pair of triples, and a 3-point play by Walt Gibler gave the Ramblers a 21-13 lead with 7:16 to play in the half.  They extended the lead to as many as 11 points on a fast-break jumper by J.R. Blount before Valpo put together one last spurt to close the half.

Jones started the run with a triple with 3:22 remaining in the opening stanza off a pass from Jake Diebler (Upper Sandusky, Ohio/Upper Sandusky) to cut the deficit to eight.  Aric Van Weelden split a pair of free throw attempts for the Ramblers, answered by a split at the stripe from Witt.  On Loyola’s next possession, it had five attempts at a basket, but missed four shots and the Crusaders forced a turnover, which Haskins converted into three points on the other end.  Rogers would hit one of two free throws to end the scoring in the half, as Valpo found itself within 30-26 at the break.

Loyola scored the first six points out of halftime to push its lead back to double figures and maintained a lead at or near the double-digit mark for most of the second half.  A 3-pointer by Rogers off a feed from Diebler with just under 14 minutes remaining cut the Rambler advantage to 40-34, but Loyola found its way inside for three straight layups to push the lead back up to 12 points.

The lead extended to as many as 13 with 8:48 to play and was still 54-42 with seven minutes remaining before the Crusaders pushed one last time.  Rogers got to the line and hit both ends of a one-and-one, and after a Diebler steal, the sophomore from Jamaica knocked down a triple to cut the Loyola edge to seven.  Diebler came up with another steal on the defensive end that was converted into a Little fast-break layup to make it 54-49 with 5:52 to play and forcing a Loyola timeout.  But out of the stoppage, the Ramblers hit shots on each of their next three possessions to cement the game.

Rogers led the Crusaders with 16 points to lead three Crusaders in double figures.  Little connected on 5-of-7 attempts from the floor for 12 points, while Witt scored ten points for the second straight contest.  The freshman also posted team highs of seven rebounds and four assists.

Cerasoli paced Loyola (11-8, 3-4 Horizon) with 28 points on 11-of-19 shooting, while Blount was the only other Rambler to finish in double figures, connecting for 15 points.  Van Weelden led all players on the boards with 11 rebounds.

“I thought there were two main keys to Loyola’s victory,” said Drew.  “The first is their rebounding (42-23 advantage, including 20-8 offensively) allowing them to get 20 second-chance points.  The second was our 16 turnovers.  We needed to keep that number closer to eight or ten today.”

Valparaiso (5-14, 2-6 Horizon) returns home to the Athletics-Recreation Center on Thursday evening for a Horizon League contest against Milwaukee at 7:05 p.m.  As always, all the action can be heard live on the Valpo Sports Radio Network (WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso; WAKE, 1500 AM, Valparaiso; WEFM, 95.9 FM, Michigan City) and online at www.valpoathletics.com.  Live video and statistics will also be available through the official Crusader website.  The game will also be televised live throughout Chicagoland on Lakeshore Public Television and is also accessible on ESPN Full Court.

M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana