Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Dedicates Homer Drew Court; Wins Exhibition Decisively
Homer Drew addresses the crowd after Homer Drew Court was officially dedicated Saturday evening. (Ray Acevedo)
Homer Drew addresses the crowd after Homer Drew Court was officially dedicated Saturday evening. (Ray Acevedo)
Ryan Broekhoff had 18 points, seven rebounds, seven blocked shots and five steals Saturday. (Ray Acevedo)
Ryan Broekhoff had 18 points, seven rebounds, seven blocked shots and five steals Saturday. (Ray Acevedo)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Valparaiso men’s basketball head coach Homer Drew looked on as the new court in the arena of the Athletics-Recreation Center was officially dedicated as Homer Drew Court Saturday night, and then guided the Crusaders to a comfortable 93-58 victory in their exhibition opener against Olivet Nazarene.

The ceremony to dedicate the court occurred prior to the game, featuring a blessing of the new surface by university pastor James Wetzstein and a proclamation delivered by Horizon League commissioner Jon LeCrone declaring October 30, 2010 as “Homer Drew Day” throughout the league.  Valparaiso University president Mark Heckler then stepped to the podium and made the official announcement of the dedication, as former and current Crusader players stepped away to reveal Homer Drew Court in script in front of the Valpo bench.  Drew then spoke to the crowd for about 10 minutes to close the dedication ceremony.

Once the game started, both teams were connecting from deep early on.  Sophomore Ryan Broekhoff (Frankston, Victoria, Australia/Australian Institute of Sport) and junior Brandon Wood (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo [Highland C.C./Southern Illinois]) both connected on early 3-pointers for the Crusaders, but Olivet Nazarene also hit a pair of early triples. 

A free throw by Chuck Rideout just under four minutes into the game kept the Tigers within one point at 8-7, but the Crusaders quickly extended the lead by leaps and bounds.  An 8-0 spurt, featuring a fast-break dunk by senior Cory Johnson (Duluth, Minn./Duluth East [Iowa State]), pushed the Valpo advantage to 16-7 with 12:53 to play in the opening half.

Then the Crusaders started nailing 3-pointers from all over the court.  Over the next three and a half minutes, Valpo attempted six triples and connected on five of them.  Senior Michael Rogers (Kingston, Jamaica/Redemption [N.Y.] Christian) started the deluge from downtown, and out of a media timeout Broekhoff knocked down his second 3-pointer of the game.  Senior Howard Little (Chicago, Ill./Stoneridge [Calif.] School) added a triple of his own, and two possessions later Broekhoff hit yet another from behind the arc.

Freshman Jay Harris (Aurora, Ill./Oswego East) got in the act as well, capping the run of 3-pointers before picking up three points the unconventional way, hitting all three free throws after getting fouled while shooting from beyond the arc.  Harris’ freebies capped a 26-7 Valpo run that put the Crusaders ahead 34-14 with 8:53 to play in the opening half.

With the lead still 20 points later in the half, Wood scored seven and Broekhoff hit yet another trifecta and a pair of free throws during a12-2 run that made the lead 51-21 with 2:33 to play in the opening stanza.  But ONU closed the half with nine straight points of its own to cut the Crusader advantage to 51-30 at halftime.

The Crusaders maintained a lead right around 20 points over the Tigers for the first six minutes of the second half before doing the exact opposite of their first-half run for a second-half spurt, exploiting the area around the basket.  The run started with a fast-break layup by Wood off a steal by Rogers, and Johnson followed with a close-range bucket.

Another fast-break layup, this time by Rogers from Wood, and a free throw by Broekhoff extended the lead to 68-43 with 12:19 to play.  Wood then found Broekhoff ahead of the pack after pulling down a defensive board for a fast-break dunk, and on Valpo’s next possession, freshman Hrvoje Vucic (Split, Croatia/Faust Vrancic) grabbed an offensive rebound and laid it back in.  Rogers and Wood would each add another layup to cap a 19-4 run over a span of 5:24 to give the Crusaders an 80-45 lead with 8:47 remaining, and Valpo would cruise from there.

Ten different Crusaders played Saturday night, with nine players earning between 16 and 26 minutes of playing time.  All five Valpo starters ended the game in double figures, led by 20 points from Wood, who added a team-high four assists.  Broekhoff and Johnson each chipped in 18 points, with the former leading the Crusader effort on the boards and on the defensive end as he finished with seven rebounds, seven blocked shots and five steals.

“It was a wonderful team effort for us tonight, finishing with five players in double digits,” said Drew.  “Ryan really set the tone defensively with his blocks and steals.  He and Brandon both really shot the ball well for us as well.”

Little, who also grabbed six rebounds, and sophomore Erik Buggs (Memphis, Tenn./Mitchell) chipped in 10 points apiece as well in the winning effort.  Valpo knocked down 11 3-pointers Saturday and connected on 22-of-28 (78.6%) from the free throw line.  The Crusaders dished out 20 assists on 30 baskets and committed just 10 turnovers while registering 15 steals and nine blocks.

“I thought Mike really supplied us a lot of energy,” said Drew.  “Defensively, we were becoming a bit stagnant in the second half, and he came in and definitely helped get us the momentum with his play on that end of the floor.  This was probably his most consistent performance over the course of a game for us.”

Jake Hasselbring led Olivet Nazarene, an NAIA squad which was also playing the game as an exhibition contest, with 16 points off the bench.  Antonio Marshall added 13 points for the Tigers, while Nick Klomstad pulled down a team-best seven rebounds.

Valparaiso closes out the exhibition season next Saturday at the ARC against Aurora.  Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m., with live audio and video webcasts available at www.valpoathletics.com.  The audio broadcast will also be available locally on WVUR, 95.1 FM, while live stats will also be running through the official Crusader website.

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
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 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
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
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