Visiting Indiana State remained the lone undefeated team in Missouri Valley Conference play on Sunday afternoon at the Athletics-Recreation Center, defeating the Valparaiso University men’s basketball team 68-50 on the first day of the 2023 calendar year.
How It Happened
- After Indiana State scored the game’s first six points, Valpo went on a 6-0 run of its own to level the score.
- Freshman Maximus Nelson (Appleton, Wis. / Appleton North) canned a 3 at the 11:09 mark of the first half to cut the Indiana State lead to four at 15-11. The Beacons again shrunk the gap to four with 8:51 left in the half when Quinton Green (Columbus, Ohio / Homeschool [Cedarville]) swished one from beyond the arc.
- Valpo got the deficit all the way down to three at 25-22 after a pair of free throws by Green, but the Sycamores scored the next eight points to open up an 11-point lead with 2:27 to go in the half. Valpo went into the locker room down 36-24.
- The rough stretch that started late in the first half continued early in the second half, when the visitors scored the first 10 points to break it open at 46-24 with 16:38 on the clock.
- Valpo whittled the lead to 12 on two occasions in the final six minutes, but could get no closer.
Inside the Game
- Senior Ben Krikke (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada / Jasper Place) led Valpo with 16 points, scoring in double figures for the 13th time in 15 games this year and notching 15+ points for the 11th time this season.
- King tallied 13 points to finish in double figures for the 15th straight game. He is the only Missouri Valley Conference player who has scored in double figures in each of his team’s 15 games this season.
- This marked the sixth straight game where Valpo held the opponent to under 33 percent from 3-point territory as the Sycamores shot just 28.6 percent (6-of-21) from 3. Before this current six-game stretch, Valpo opponents had shot 33 percent or better in seven straight games.
- Redshirt freshman Cam Palesse (Waukesha, Wis. / Waukesha West) saw his first game action since the Nov. 7 season opener at Toledo.
- Fifth-year senior point guard Nick Edwards (Atlanta, Ga. / Grayson [Glenville State]) dished out five assists, his fourth straight game with five or more.
- Green tied a season high set on Dec. 21 vs. Stonehill by squeezing a team-most seven rebounds.
- Nelson knocked down all three of his field goal attempts to finish with seven points.
- Valpo struggled to hit shots from beyond the arc, going 3-of-22 (13.6 percent) from long range.
- Indiana State’s Cooper Neese had 16 points to lead all scorers, while Cade McKnight posted a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds.
- This marked Valpo’s first New Year’s Day game since 2011 (at Butler) and just the program’s second Jan. 1 contest since 1945.
Valpo (6-9, 0-4) will attempt to get back in the win column on Wednesday night as UNI comes to town for a 6 p.m. tip time at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Tickets are available by visiting ValpoAthletics.com/tickets.