The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team dropped its second MVC game of the season on Wednesday evening in Terre Haute, Ind., as host Indiana State shot better than 50% from the floor in sending Valpo to a 70-53 defeat.
How It Happened
- Both teams went inside for baskets early, as each of Indiana State’s first four baskets came in the paint, while junior Derrik Smits (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville) had six early points for Valpo.
- A pair of free throws from junior Markus Golder (Portland, Ore./Clackamas [North Idaho]) 3:34 into the game tied it at 8-8, but ISU’s Tyreke Key nailed a 3-pointer on the Sycamores’ next possession to give Indiana State the lead for good.
- A jumper in the paint from junior John Kiser (Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville) with 14:31 to play in the half brought Valpo within 11-10, but the Brown and Gold would be outscored 10-2 by Indiana State over the next eight minutes.
- A 3-point play by Smits briefly slowed the momentum, but the Sycamores scored the next seven points to push the lead to 28-15 and force Valpo’s second timeout of the half.
- A 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down from senior Deion Lavender (Alton, Ill./Marquette Catholic [UAB/Southern Illinois]) on Valpo’s final full possession of the first half brought it back within 32-21 at the intermission.
- Valpo scored on each of its first three possessions of the second half, as Golder, Kiser and Smits all added two points to their tallies – the last of which made it a 10-point game with 17:55 to play.
- Valpo would get no closer than that, however. Four times over the next few minutes, the Brown and Gold would cut the deficit to 11 points, but all four times, Indiana State responded with the next basket.
- After moving to within 47-36 with 11:23 to play, Valpo scored just three points over a span of nearly five minutes as the Sycamores extended the lead to 60-39, and the Crusaders would get no closer than the final margin the rest of the way.
Inside the Game
- Valpo gave up 70 points to the Sycamores on just 59 possessions, the third-worst defensive efficiency for Valpo this season, only coming in ahead of the West Virginia and Western Kentucky defeats.
- Indiana State shot 51% from the floor (26-of-51) and was 6-of-15 from 3-point range. The Sycamores shot nearly 45% from the 3-point line in non-conference play, but were down at 24% in MVC play before Wednesday’s game.
- Meanwhile, Valpo shot just 42.2% for the game and was just 2-of-10 from downtown. The two triples were Valpo’s fewest 3-pointers in a game since hitting just two triples against Utah State on Nov. 28, 2017.
- Valpo committed 14 turnovers against the Sycamores’ eight as Indiana State held a 22-6 advantage in points off turnovers. ISU also outscored Valpo in the paint, 40-30.
- Smits and Golder tied for team-high honors with 14 points apiece, while Lavender added 10 points and a game-high seven rebounds off the bench.
- Despite Wednesday’s loss, Valpo remained in a tie for first place in the MVC standings as Loyola dropped a road game at Missouri State as well.
Valpo (12-8, 5-2 MVC) returns home to the ARC for its next two games, beginning with a 7 p.m. tip Saturday night against Drake. Saturday is Boy Band Night at the ARC and will also be Hall of Fame Night, as the 22nd class of inductees into the Valpo Athletics Hall of Fame get recognized at halftime of the game.