The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team hit big shots down the stretch, pulling away for a 76-66 victory over UIC on Tuesday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Nick Edwards twice beat the shot clock horn with a 3-pointer, Quinton Green (Columbus, Ohio / Homeschool [Cedarville]) converted a 4-point play and Kobe King (La Crosse, Wis. / La Crosse Centrla [Wisconsin]) poured in a game-high 24 points to help the Beacons to their second straight victory.
How It Happened
- Valpo jumped out to a 9-4 lead, and eventually stretched the advantage to 14-6 on a 3 by Connor Barrett (Chicago, Ill. / Loyola Academy) and 17-9 on an Edwards triple.
- Valpo had a 19-12 lead at the 11:09 mark of the first half, but UIC ran off 10 straight points to grab a 22-19 lead with 6:59 to go in the half.
- Barrett made another big 3 with 4:19 on the clock to make it 31-27. That helped the hosts enter the break ahead 36-33.
- Valpo held a slight lead early in the second half, an advantage that was stretched to seven at the 15:14 mark after a triple by Green.
- UIC put together a push to tie the game at 51 with 8:23 remaining.
- Edwards stemmed the tide with an enormous triple to beat the shot-clock horn to give the Beacons a 54-51 lead with 6:55 on the clock.
- With 5:27 remaining and Valpo clinging to a one-point lead, Green completed a four-point play to up the edge to five at 60-55.
- Edwards again beat the shot clock at the 2:20 mark, this time building the lead to 65-60 on a Krikke assist. Valpo never looked back the rest of the way, with the final exclamation mark coming on an Edwards steal leading to a Krikke fastbreak layup to make it an 11-point game with 17 seconds to go.
Inside the Game
- King tallied 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting and 8-of-8 at the free-throw line. This marked his second-straight game with 20 or more. This was his 20th straight game in double figures. It marked his highest scoring output since 26 on Nov. 13 vs. Western Michigan.
- Krikke scored 16 points and went 8-of-10 at the free-throw line. He has scored 15 points or more in six straight. He dished out five assists, his fifth straight game with three or more helpers.
- Edwards stuffed the stat sheet with 13 points, six rebounds, seven assists and three steals.
- Green tallied nine points and tied a season high with seven rebounds, his third game with seven boards this year.
- Valpo shot 85.2 percent at the free-throw line (23-of-27), its highest percentage since Nov. 19 vs. Incarnate Word (20-23, 87 percent) and second highest of the season.
- UIC’s Toby Okani had 29 points and 11 rebounds.
- The Beacons held the Flames to 40.4 percent shooting, the team’s best field-goal percentage defense in conference play so far this season.
- Valpo outscored UIC 25-15 over the final eight minutes.
Valpo (8-12, 2-7 MVC) will seek a third straight win on Saturday night at Illinois State. The game will tip off at 6 p.m.