Valparaiso University men’s basketball junior Alec Peters (Washington, Ill./Washington) tied a program record for accuracy from behind the 3-point line, leading the Crusaders’ long-range barrage as they earned a road win at Chicago State Friday evening, 71-53.
Peters knocked down all four of his attempts from downtown in the first half, and added two more in the second half to end the game 6-for-6 from 3-point range. Peters’ 6-of-6 mark from deep was the fourth time in program history a Crusader has hit all six of their 3-point attempts, accomplished most recently by Matt Kenney at Green Bay in March of 2013. Peters finished the night with 26 points overall, going 8-of-11 from the field and 4-of-4 from the foul line, as well as seven rebounds.
Peters led the way as the Crusaders enjoyed a season-best effort from downtown as well. The junior got help from five other Valpo players who connected on triples, led by four 3-pointers from senior Darien Walker (Chicago, Ill./Simeon [John A. Logan/Arizona Western]). The Crusaders finished the game 14-of-27 from beyond the arc, their best shooting percentage from 3-point range this season and their most 3-pointers in a single game since Dec. 21, 2013.
Valpo never trailed on Friday, as Walker connected on a 3-pointer on the Crusaders’ first possession of the game. Back-to-back triples by Peters made it 15-10 less than six minutes into the game, but Valpo would not score for the next six minutes. The Crusaders limited Chicago State to just four points over that same stretch, however, to maintain the lead.
Another 3-pointer from Walker broke the scoring drought at the 8:30 mark of the first half, and two possessions later, it was sophomore David Skara (Zadar, Croatia/Ekonomska Skola Zadar) who hit from deep, pushing the lead to seven points. A few minutes later, Peters again hit consecutive triples to start a stretch of four straight possessions with 3-pointers, as senior Keith Carter (Maywood, Ill./Proviso East [Saint Louis]) and Walker also hit from downtown to push the lead to 16 points. The lead would remain 16 at 39-23 heading into halftime.
The Crusaders never let their advantage sink into single digits in the second half, as Chicago State got only as close as 12 points. With the Cougars trailing Valpo by 14 at 55-41 with 11:34 remaining, the Crusaders went on a 13-2 run with points from five different players – including Peters’ sixth 3-pointer of the night, as well as the third triple of the year for junior Jubril Adekoya (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) – to push the advantage out to 25 points and put the game away.
Walker joined Peters in double figures for Valpo with 12 points on his four 3-pointers, and while no other Crusader hit double digits, five others contributed at least five points. Carter came up just shy of a points/assists double-double, scoring nine points and dishing out a career-best nine assists while also posting four steals. Hammink added seven points and three steals off the bench as well.
Kieran Woods led Chicago State (3-7) with 14 points off the bench and five assists, but was the only Cougar to reach double figures. Trayvon Parker pulled down a game-best 10 rebounds.
Valparaiso (9-2) will step away from game competition during finals week, returning to the court next Saturday, Dec. 19 for a 1:30 p.m. matinee against Missouri State at the ARC. The game can be seen live on ESPN3.com and heard live on WVUR (95.1 FM, Valparaiso), with links for live video, audio and stats available via ValpoAthletics.com.