Spans of just under four minutes on either side of halftime proved to be the difference Monday evening as the Valparaiso University men’s basketball team dropped a 77-61 decision to in-state rival Ball State at the ARC.
How It Happened
- The two teams traded the lead back and forth in the early going. Ball State pushed out to a five-point lead at 13-8 with 12:55 to play in the first half, but a 3-pointer from junior Markus Golder (Portland, Ore./Clackamas [North Idaho]) and a fast-break dunk by junior Ryan Fazekas (Chesterton, Ind./Marquette Catholic [Providence]) tied things up a couple of minutes later.
- The next seven minutes would all be played within one possession, with another Golder triple tying the game at 25-25 with 3:40 remaining in the first half.
- Ball State out-scored Valpo 10-0 going into the break to claim a 35-25 halftime lead. During the half-closing run, the Cardinals went 4-of-5 from the field, while Valpo was 0-for-5 with a turnover.
- Ball State then enjoyed a 10-3 advantage over the first 3:41 of the second half to extend its advantage to 45-28 with 16:19 to play.
- Valpo made one big push in the closing stages of the game. The deficit was 63-47 with 6:22 remaining before Valpo went on a 12-4 run, capped by a Fazekas 3-pointer with 2:45 to play which cut the lead to 67-59 – the first time Valpo had been within single digits in the second half.
- That would prove to be Valpo’s last basket, however, as BSU pulled away again down the stretch.
Inside the Game
- The loss was Valpo’s second straight at home in non-conference play, the first time Valpo has dropped consecutive non-conference home games since 2006.
- Valpo’s up-and-down shooting performances continued on Monday, as it hit just 3-of-16 from 3-point range one game after going 15-of-27 from deep. Overall from the field, Valpo hit just 40% for the game.
- Ball State held a 27-13 advantage in points off turnovers, forcing 17 Valpo miscues, and out-scored Valpo in the paint, 48-26.
- Fazekas led Valpo with 19 points, overcoming an off night from the perimeter by going 4-of-5 inside the arc and 8-of-9 from the foul line.
- Golder also scored in double figures, finishing 5-of-7 from the field for 14 points.
- Freshman Daniel Sackey (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada/Thornlea) tallied four points and handed out a team-best three assists.
- Junior Jaume Sorolla (Tortosa, Spain/Sunrise Christian [Kan.] Academy) continued to round back into form, playing a season-high 25 minutes and pulling down a team-best six rebounds.
Valpo (6-5) faces a quick turnaround as it flies down to College Station, Texas to face Texas A&M on Wednesday evening. Tip is slated for 7:30 p.m., and the game can be seen live on SEC Network+.