Three members of the Valparaiso University men’s basketball team put together career performances as the Beacons opened the home portion of the season by pulling away from Western Michigan in the second half for an 81-65 victory on Sunday evening at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
Ben Krikke (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada / Jasper Place) surpassed the 1,000-career-point milestone in the first half, and just kept scoring from there, finishing with a career-high 28 points. Kobe King (La Crosse, Wis. / La Crosse Central) also registered a new career watermark with 26, while sophomore point guard Darius DeAveiro (Kanata, Ottawa, Canada / Orangeville Prep) handed out a personal-best 10 assists.
How It Happened
- Fifth-year senior Quinton Green (Columbus, Ohio / Homeschool [Cedarville]) snapped a four-all tie with a fastbreak 3 to vault Valpo ahead 7-4 in the game’s early stages. After a WMU basket to make it 7-6, Krikke expanded the edge to four with a traditional 3-point play a moment later.
- King drilled a 3 at the 14:32 mark of the first half, then Krikke added a jumper to bolster the gap to nine at 17-8 with 14:01 to go in the half.
- A King 3 at the 11-minute mark made it 20-13, but Western Michigan would not go away as they kept it within striking distance through the first 10 minutes with Valpo holding a four-point lead as the half reached its midway mark.
- That’s when the Beacons put together an 11-2 burst that featured a Joe Hedstrom (Hopkins, Minn. / Hopkins [Wisconsin]) basket plus 3s by King, Green and Connor Barrett (Chicago, Ill. / Loyola Academy). Barrett’s bullseye came with 6:27 to go in the half and gave the Beacons their largest lead to that point at 35-22.
- Krikke reached the esteemed milestone at the 4:50 mark of the opening half as his layup lifted his career point total into four figures. The crowd recognized the accomplishment with a loud ovation as public address announcer John Bowker communicated the news to the audience at the next dead ball.
- The Broncos scored the last seven points of the half and went into the locker room down just four at 40-36.
- Valpo held a slight lead for the first 10 minutes of the second half. The guests closed to within one possession on several occasions, but each time the Beacons extended the advantage.
- The hosts eventually broke the game open with an 8-0 run that featured three Krikke buckets, boosting the edge to 14 at 69-55 with 7:44 to play.
- DeAveiro made a nifty bounce pass to Green, who cut to the rim for a dunk with 6:54 on the clock, stretching the lead to 15 with 6:54 to play and serving as the final highlight of a successful and action-packed evening at the ARC.
Inside the Game
- Krikke became the first Valpo player to hit the 1,000-point threshold since current graduate assistant Tevonn Walker reached that mark on Nov. 13, 2017 vs. Trinity Christian.
- Krikke outdid his previous career high of 26 points, which was established on Nov. 27, 2021 vs. Trinity Christian.
- Speaking of career highs, King set a watermark of his own, outdoing his previous best of 24 that came on Feb. 5 of last season vs. Indiana State.
- Sunday’s performances by Krikke and King marked the first time Valpo boasted two players with 25+ points in the same game since Dec. 21, 2010 at Oakland, when Brandon Wood (35) and Cory Johnson (33) turned the trick.
- Prior to Sunday, the last time a pair of Valpo teammates each scored 20 or more points in a single contest was Jan. 22, 2017 vs. UIC (Alec Peters, 30; Shane Hammink, 24).
- Krikke turned in his 10th career game with 20 or more points, while King enjoyed his third such contest.
- Prior to his 10-assist game on Sunday, DeAveiro’s top output was eight on two occasions, most recently Dec. 7 of last season vs. East West.
- DeAveiro became the first Valpo player with a double-figure assist total since Deion Lavender on Dec. 8, 2018 at George Washington. DeAveiro joined Lavender (twice) as the only Valpo players with a double-figure assist game since 2007.
- DeAveiro was two points shy of a double-double as he tallied eight, while Green was the third Beacon in double figures with 10 points.
- DeAveiro had just one turnover, becoming just the 11th player in the nation this season with 10+ assists and one turnover or fewer in a game.
- Junior Jerome Palm (Almere, Netherlands / Echnaton [Hillsborough CC]) claimed a team-high nine rebounds.
- Valpo shot an even 50 percent (31-of-62) while holding the Broncos to 35.5 percent (22-of-62).
- The Beacons committed just eight turnovers while racking up 18 assists.
- Valpo improved to 17-1 in its last 18 home openers with 15 of the 17 victories coming by double figures.
- The Beacons outscored the Broncos 20-2 in fastbreak points and 46-24 in the paint.
Click here for postgame press conference.
Valpo (1-1) will make the short trip to the Windy City on Wednesday to matchup with Chicago State for a 7 p.m. tipoff. The game will be broadcast on FloHoops. Links to live video, audio and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.