Valparaiso University senior Alec Peters (Washington, Ill./Washington) needed just 33 seconds to reach the 2,000 point milestone for his career on Wednesday night at the ARC, scoring the game’s first basket, and the Crusaders never trailed in an 80-61 victory over Chicago State. With the win, Valpo closes out non-league play with a 10-3 record.
How It Happened
- Peters, who entered the game just one point shy of reaching the 2,000-point mark, took a feed on the fast break from junior Lexus Williams (Chicago, Ill./Marist) and finished at the rim 33 seconds into the game to surpass the milestone.
- Valpo never trailed, as after a Chicago State basket on its next trip, the Crusaders scored the next seven points to take the lead for good. The Crusaders limited the Cougars to just 3-of-26 shooting from the floor to start the game, as CSU was stuck on seven points for over nine minutes of game time.
- Peters and senior Shane Hammink (Millingen aan de Rijn, Netherlands/Oakley College [LSU]) combined for Valpo’s first 15 points before a 3-pointer from junior Max Joseph (Montreal, Quebec/Vanier College) gave the Crusaders a double-digit lead 11 minutes into the game.
- Joseph’s triple came as part of a 15-0 run which extended the lead past the 20-point mark on a fast break 3-pointer from freshman Micah Bradford (Bradley, Ill./Bradley-Bourbonnais) with 3:45 to go in the opening half. Valpo took a 37-16 lead into the locker room at halftime.
- The Crusaders extended their advantage to 29 points early in the second half, scoring on four of their first five possessions to go ahead 47-18 with 16:37 remaining. The lead was still 25 points with 9:22 to play before a furious rally from the Cougars resulted in an 18-5 run in just over three minutes, cutting the edge to 66-54 with 6:07 to go.
- Junior Tevonn Walker (Montreal, Quebec/Vanier College) made sure that CSU would get no closer, however, driving to the rim and scoring on three of the Crusaders’ next four possessions to help push the lead back out to 74-56.
Inside the Game
- Peters joins Bryce Drew as the only players in Valpo history to reach the 2,000 point milestone for their careers. While it took Peters three more games than Drew to reach the mark, he did it in 356 fewer minutes of playing time.
- Peters also moved into the top-10 in Horizon League history in career scoring with his fourth point of the night, surpassing former Xavier great Tyrone Hill.
- Hammink led the Crusaders in scoring for the second time this season, finishing with 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the floor. The senior also handed out five assists while committing just one turnover.
- Peters fell short of scoring 20 points for the first time this season, finishing with 15 points. He did dish out a season-high four assists and pulled down a game-best 14 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the campaign.
- Walker’s big stretch late in the second half propelled him into double figures in the scoring column as well, as the junior finished with 12 points – all of which came in the final 20 minutes – and six rebounds.
- Williams tied his season high and finished one shy of his career high with a game-best seven assists. As a team, the Crusaders handed out 23 assists on 27 made field goals Wednesday night.
- With fellow freshman Jaume Sorolla traveling back from Spain, freshman Derrik Smits (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville) made his first career start at center Wednesday and tallied seven points, three rebounds and a blocked shot.
- Freshman walk-on John Kiser (Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville) played a career-high 14 minutes and scored his first career points on Wednesday. Kiser played eight of his minutes in the first half, helping the Crusaders to their 21-point halftime lead as he finished the period with six points and three rebounds. Kiser ended the game a perfect 4-for-4 from the floor for eight points.
- Senior walk-on Jason Karys (Newton, Mass./Newton South) hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds for his first basket in a regular season game as well.
- Valpo shot 51.9% (27-of-52) from the floor for the game, finishing above the 50% mark for just the second time this year. The Crusaders also connected on 9-of-19 (47.4%) of their 3-point attempts.
- Chicago State (4-11) placed three players in double figures in the scoring column, led by the effort of Trayvon Palmer, who tallied 18 points, nine rebounds and five steals. The Crusaders limited CSU to just 5-of-27 (18.5%) shooting from the 3-point line.
The Crusaders (10-3) open up Horizon League play Friday afternoon at UIC in a nationally-televised game on ESPNU. Tipoff is slated for 4 p.m., and as always, all the action can be heard as well on the Valpo Sports Network (WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso; WVLP, 103.1 FM, Valparaiso). Links for all the live coverage will be available at ValpoAthletics.com.