The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team took the court in a game situation for the first time this season on Saturday afternoon at the Athletics-Recreation Center, tuning up for the regular season with an 83-79 victory over Cedarville in exhibition action. Senior Ben Krikke (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada / Jasper Place) turned in a double-double of 25 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Beacons.
How It Happened
- Valpo raced out to an 8-3 lead over the first two minutes including a triple by Krikke on the game’s first possession.
- The lead was eight when Krikke swished a jumper at the 13:52 mark to make it 15-7, but the Yellow Jackets scored nine of the game’s next 11 points to whittle the lead to one at 17-16 with 10:53 to go in the half.
- A transition trey by Quinton Green (Columbus, Ohio / Homeschool [Cedarville]) helped Valpo build the edge to five against Green’s former team, as he was also fouled in the act of shooting and connected on the free throw to polish off the four-point play.
- Newcomer Nick Edwards (Atlanta, Ga. / Grayson [Glenville State]) knocked in a jumper with six minutes to go in the half to give Valpo its first double-figure cushion at 28-18. The lead continued to swell a moment later when Joe Hedstrom (Hopkins, Minn. / Hopkins [Wisconsin]) added a bucket, then Green scored the next five points including a fastbreak 3-pointer assisted by Maximus Nelson (Appleton, Wis. / Appleton North).
- Krikke made two 3s in the final minute of the first half to make it a 42-28 lead at the break.
- Edwards had a dunk that extended the gap to 17 with 17:48 to play, and the lead reached 18 as Cam Palesse (Waukesha, Wis. / Waukesha West) drilled one from long range with 12:19 on the clock to make it 58-40.
- Cedarville hit three 3s in succession in just over a minute, cutting a 17-point lead to eight at 62-54 with 8:22 to go. The cushion was double figures at 77-67 with 3:29 remaining, but Cedarville canned consecutive 3s to cut it to four with 2:33 left.
- The Yellow Jackets buzzed the lead down to two in the final minute, but Kobe King (La Crosse, Wis. / La Crosse Central [Wisconsin]) made key plays on both ends by finishing a layup and then swiping a steal. However, Valpo missed the front end of a one-and-one, then the Beacons fouled a Cedarville three-point shooter on the other end. Cedarville made two of the three free throws to reduce the lead to two at 81-79 with 12 seconds left.
- Valpo turned it over, and the Yellow Jackets had the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead. Valpo got a stop in the closing seconds, then King went to the free throw line and hit a pair to seal the victory.
Inside the Game
- Krikke’s double-double of 25 and 13 also featured four assists and three made 3-pointers. He has not made three 3s in a regular season game since Jan. 15, 2020 at UNI.
- King was Valpo’s second leading scorer with 14 points including a 6-of-7 performance at the foul stripe.
- Palesse saw his first game action with the Brown & Gold after redshirting last season. He was a perfect 4-for-4 from the floor for 10 points to round out the trio of Beacons in double figures.
- Valpo played 11 players in the exhibition including a starting five that featured Edwards (six rebounds, four assists), Krikke, Green, King and Emil Freese-Vilien (Copenhagen, Denmark / Falkonergardens Gynmasium), who has not started a regular-season game in his collegiate career.
- Junior college transfer Jerome Palm (Almere, Netherlands / Echnaton [Hillsborough CC]) scooped up five rebounds in 18 minutes of action off the bench.
Inside the Game
Click here for postgame press conference.
The games start counting on Monday, Nov. 7 as the Beacons make their way to Toledo to battle the Rockets. The season opener will tip off at 6 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on ESPN3. Links to live video, audio and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.