Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Drops Legends Classic Opener at #2/2 Michigan State
Howard Little corrals one of his team-high six rebounds on Sunday. (Andy Keilen)
Howard Little corrals one of his team-high six rebounds on Sunday. (Andy Keilen)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A game-high 24 points from Brandon Wood (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo [Highland C.C./Southern Illinois]) were not enough Sunday afternoon, as Valparaiso fell to #2/2 Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich. 90-60 in the Crusaders’ Legends Classic opener.

“You have to give credit to Michigan State,” said Crusader head coach Homer Drew.  “You can see why they’re ranked #2 in the nation.  They’ve got one of the best sets of guards in the nation, and they also have a number of big, strong post players who are very difficult to rebound against.”

Michigan State scored the first five points of the game, but Wood responded immediately with a long jumper followed by a 3-pointer to tie things up at five.  The Spartans then commenced to hold Valpo to just one field goal over the next 9:45, going on a 24-6 run over the stretch to extend their advantage out to 29-11.

MSU would continue to push its lead all the way up to 24 points in the first half, reaching a 46-22 edge with 2:05 to play in the opening stanza.  The Crusaders went into the break on a mini-run, however, as Cory Johnson (Duluth, Minn./Duluth East [Iowa State]) converted a three-point play and Wood knocked down three free throws as Valpo scored the final six points of the half to go into the locker room down 46-28.

Out of halftime, the Spartans struck first with a putback basket, but Valpo got layups by Johnson and Wood and a free throw from Brandon McPherson (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) to cut the deficit to 15 points with 16:29 to play.  A 9-2 spurt by MSU extended its lead back up to 22, and while the Crusaders were able to get back to within 19 points twice, the second of which came at 66-47 with 8:52 remaining, the Spartans put together one more big run, outscoring Valpo 13-3 over the next three-plus minutes to put the game away.

Wood converted on 7-of-18 shooting from the field and stepped up at the foul line, making 9-of-10 free throw attempts, for his game-high scoring total of 24 points.  Johnson was the only other Crusader to reach double figures, going for 16 points.  Howard Little (Chicago, Ill./Stoneridge [Calif.] School) led Valpo in the rebounding category, pulling down six rebounds, including five on the offensive end.  The Crusaders connected on just 21-of-64 (32.8%) field goal attempts and hit just 4-of-23 (17.4%) from behind the arc, but did commit just nine turnovers.

Chris Allen led four Michigan State (4-0) players in double figures with 22 points on 7-of-10 shooting.  Kalin Lucas added 15 points, while Delvon Roe and Durrell Summers each scored ten points.  Roe also came up with 17 rebounds and four blocked shots, while Korie Lucious handed out nine assists off the bench.

Valparaiso (1-3) continues Legends Classic play in Statesboro, Ga. this coming weekend.  The first of the Crusaders’ three games in three days will be against host Georgia Southern at 6:30 p.m. CST.  As always, all the action can be heard live on the Valpo Sports Radio Network (WEFM [95.9 FM, Michigan City] and WAKE [1500 AM, Valparaiso]), with links for live audio and live statistics available at www.valpoathletics.com.

W Golf IPFW Spring Invitational Fort Wayne, Ind. (Chestnut Hills G.C.)
Apr 6 4th/12 (311)
W Tennis Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 6 Milwaukee 7
Softball Detroit 0 VU Softball Field
Apr 6 Valpo 8
Baseball Wright State 4 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 6 Valpo 2
W Golf IPFW Spring Invitational Fort Wayne, Ind. (Chestnut Hills G.C.)
Apr 7 9th/12 (642)
Softball Northern Illinois 6 VU Softball Field
Apr 8 Valpo 8
Baseball Valpo 5 Evanston, Ill.
Apr 8 Northwestern 12
Softball Northern Illinois 3 8 inn.
Apr 8 Valpo 4
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
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
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
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
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
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
M Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 11:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
W Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
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 Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 5:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
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
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26 Horizon League Tournament
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