connected on a Horizon League Championship record 15 3-pointers,
seven of which came in the final 20 minutes from Brandon
Ind./Kokomo [Highland C.C./Southern Illinois]), who scored 30 points
in all as the Crusaders downed Detroit in quarterfinal action Friday
night in Milwaukee, Wis., 88-78. Valpo plays at Milwaukee in the
second semifinal Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
think you saw a very good college basketball game tonight between two
good basketball teams,” said Crusader head coach Homer
“I was glad we were able to get the lead and never lose, even
though it did get close quite a few times in the second half. Our
team played very well together, moved the ball well, shot well and
was able to win.”
30-point effort came despite missing his first seven shots from the
floor and not hitting a basket until over 15 minutes into the game.
The junior ended the first half just 3-of-11 from the field,
including 0-of-2 from behind the arc, and with just seven points.
But Wood turned things completely around in the second stanza,
hitting 7-of-8 from downtown en route to 23 second-half points.
thought Brandon hit some big, big 3-pointers in the second half to
help us keep our lead,” said Drew. “I was very pleased with his
poise; he stayed patient when things weren't going his way early on
and continued to work to get open.”
Wood led the Crusaders' effort toward the record-setting barrage of
3-pointers, he got plenty of help as well on Friday. Sophomore
Victoria, Australia/Australian Institute of Sport), who had not hit a
triple in his last three games, went 3-of-6 from downtown, while
Ill./Oswego East) connected on two of his three long-distance tries.
Three other Valpo players knocked down one apiece as well as the
Crusaders broke the previous record of 13 3-pointers, set twice, most
recently by Loyola in 2003.
3-pointers started falling early for Valpo, as triples by sophomore
Tenn./Mitchell) and senior Cory
Minn./Duluth East [Iowa State]) helped stake the Crusaders to an
early 8-3 advantage. But a cold spell allowed Detroit to go on a
14-1 run over the next four minutes to claim what would be their
largest lead at 17-9, before a triple by Harris stopped the Titan
kept Detroit within arm's reach, tying the game once at 18-all with
9:43 to go in the first half on a Johnson bucket, but the Titans held
a narrow advantage for much of the first half. Trailing 28-23 with
6:55 to go in the opening stanza, Valpo put together a quick 8-0
spurt to take the lead for good, as a Buggs inside bucket was
followed with 3-pointers by Broekhoff and sophomore Matt
Ind./Mooresville). Detroit cut the Crusader advantage to one point
on a trio of occasions down the stretch of the opening 20 minutes,
the latest coming with 1:21 to play in the half, but a steal and
3-point play on the fast break by Wood gave Valpo a 40-36 lead into
the locker room.
Titans tied the game twice in the opening four minutes of the second
half, but both times Valpo answered with 3-pointers, first by
Broekhoff and then by Wood, to maintain possession of the lead. Wood
scored 14 of his second-half points in the first seven minutes of the
half, knocking down his fourth triple of the game with 13:07 to play
to push the Crusader advantage to 60-52, their largest lead to that
scored five points on its next two possessions, however, setting up a
second half in which the Crusaders had to find a counter-punch to
every Titan punch. Twice in the middle stages of the half, the
Titans cut the lead to two, but both times sophomore Kevin
Van Wijk (Hoofddorp,
Netherlands/Katholieke Scholengemeenschap Hoofddorp) came up with
inside baskets to make it a two-possession game. Then with under
eight minutes to play, Detroit held the ball with a chance to take
the lead after a 3-pointer by Jason Calliste cut its deficit to one,
but Broekhoff blocked a shot and ignited a fast break that ended with
all five Crusaders touching the ball and Harris canning a 3-pointer
from the corner.
more times down the stretch, the Titans moved within two points, but
again every time, Valpo held off the Detroit attack. Leading just
69-67 with five minutes to play, Johnson knocked down a pair of huge
free throws to push the lead back to four points. Following a
putback basket by Ray McCallum, Wood hit yet another 3-pointer to
stretch the lead to five points, and then after Detroit had scored
three points over two possessions, Wood hit another triple to make it
a 77-72 game with 3:28 remaining.
Johnson free throw increased the lead to six points with under three
minutes to play, and after the two sides traded turnovers, Broekhoff
stepped up and drew a charge on McCallum to give the Crusaders the
ball back. There was no surprise as to which Valpo player would end
up taking the shot on the ensuing possession, as Wood freed himself
and Kenney hit him for his seventh 3-pointer of the contest, a Valpo
season-high and a career best. The triple, which came with 1:48 to
play, gave Valpo a nine-point edge, and Detroit would get no closer
down the stretch.
added 13 points to Wood's 30 and approached a double-double with nine
rebounds Friday evening. Johnson also finished the night in double
figures with 11 points. Harris and Kenney each contributed eight
points off the bench, with the latter adding seven rebounds and four
assists, while Buggs chipped in seven points and five assists. Valpo
hit 30-of-62 (48.4%) from the floor and knocked down 15-of-27 (55.6%)
from deep on the evening.
thought both Ryan and Matt did a great job on the boards for us
tonight,” said Drew. “They were both key with their work inside
rebounding against a big Detroit front line. Matt was wonderful off
the bench for us, playing tenacious defense and handling the ball
well as well.”
(17-16) placed five players in double digits, led by 22 points from
Nick Minnerath. Eli Holman picked up a double-double with 12 points
and 11 rebounds, seven of which came on the offensive glass. The
Titans hit just 6-of-21 (28.6%) from behind the arc, but stayed in
the game thanks to 40 points in the paint.
(23-10) advances to semifinal action on Saturday evening against host
and top-seeded Milwaukee. Tipoff is slated for 7:30 p.m., with the
game airing live on ESPNU and ESPN3.com. As always, all the action
can also be heard live on the Valpo Sports Radio Network and online
which will also have a link for live stats.