November 21, 20231st2ndFinal
Western Ill.273966
Stats at a GlanceWIUVALPO
FG Percentage.424 (25-59) .473 (26-55)
3P FG Percentage.263 (5-19) .438 (7-16)
FT Percentage.786 (11-14) .700 (14-20)
Offensive Rebounds146
Defensive Rebounds2621
Total Rebounds4027
Bench Points841
PointsWest - 19
Ajiboye - 21
ReboundsCisse - 14
Ajiboye - 8
AssistsDent Jr. - 7
DeAveiro - 7
StealsWest - 2
Williamson - 3
BlocksWest - 1
Cisse - 1
Ajiboye - 2
Schwieger - 2
Bench Steps Up, Lifts Valpo Past Western Illinois
Tuesday, November 21, 2023
Bench Steps Up, Lifts Valpo Past Western Illinois
Ola Ajiboye scored a career-high 21 points in Tuesday's win.

When the Valparaiso University men’s basketball team went to the bench on Tuesday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center, the Beacons didn’t miss a beat. The underclassmen trio of Ola Ajiboye (Chicago, Ill. / Evanston Township [Central Michigan / Bosco Institute), Sherman Weatherspoon IV (Bowie, Md. / Bethesda-Chevy Chase [Golden State Prep]) and Jahari Williamson (Pickering, Ontario Canada / Royal Crown Academy) combined for 41 bench points, playing a pivotal role in Valpo’s 73-66 home win over Western Illinois.

How It Happened

  • Western Illinois held the upper hand in the game’s early stages, racing out to an 11-4 lead just over five minutes in. After a Valpo bucket, the Leathernecks knocked in a triple to extend the early edge to eight at the 14:06 mark of the first half.
  • That’s when Valpo embarked on a 10-0 run to take their first lead of the night when Weatherspoon made a jumper on an assist by Darius DeAveiro (Kanata, Ottawa, Canada / Royal Crown Academy) at the 9:48 mark to make it 16-14. Weatherspoon and Ajiboye had four points apiece during the run.
  • With just under nine minutes on the clock, Williamson canned a go-ahead 3 on a DeAveiro assist.
  • Valpo led 21-16 with 6:49 left in the opening half, but Western Illinois drew even at the 4:56 mark. DeAveiro hit a go-ahead 3-pointer on a fastbreak to make it 26-23, starting a barrage of triples that also included Weatherspoon and Cooper Schwieger (Overland Park, Kan. / Blue Valley Southwest [Link Year]). That opened up a nine-point lead at 32-23 with three minutes to go. Valpo led 34-27 at halftime.
  • The lead swayed back and forth early in the second half. Schwieger hit two 3s including a go-ahead bucket at the 15:38 mark to make it 42-41 with 15:38 on the clock. Western Illinois built up a four-point edge at 48-44 with 13:42 to play.  
  • Williamson went on a personal 8-0 run including back-to-back 3s. All told it was a 10-0 Beacon burst that flipped a 48-42 deficit into a 52-48 lead with 10:34 on the clock.
  • The Valpo lead was 59-57 with 4:48 to go, then the Beacons scored five straight to make it a seven-point edge. Ajiboye slammed one home to boost the lead to eight with 39 seconds on the clock and put an exclamation mark on the eventual seven-point win.


Inside the Game

  • Ajiboye poured in a career-high 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting and collected eight rebounds. He became just the 10th Valpo player in the last decade to shoot at an 80 percent clip or better with a minimum of 10 attempts and first since Quinton Green on Jan. 21, 2023 at Illinois State.
  • Ajiboye became the first Valpo player to shoot 80 percent or better at the ARC (min. 10 attempts) in a game against a Division-I opponent since Alec Peters on March 4, 2014 vs. UIC.
  • Ajiboye became the first Valpo player to come off the bench and score 20 points or more against a Division-I opponent since Sheldon Edwards on Feb. 16, 2022 vs. Loyola.
  • This marked quite the turnaround for Ajiboye after he played but did not score on Friday at No. 23 Illinois.
  • Williamson and Schwieger scored 13 points apiece, while DeAveiro was the fourth Beacon in double figures with a season-high 11.
  • DeAveiro, who made four of his five field-goal attempts, handed out a season-high seven assists, while Stafford chipped in five helpers.
  • Williamson swiped a team-high three steals, while Ajiboye and Schwieger rejected two shots apiece.
  • The Leathernecks were limited to 26.3 percent from 3-point territory, missing 14 of their 19 triple tries.
  • Valpo prevailed despite being outrebounded by 13 (40-27) as the Leathernecks owned a 14-6 advantage on the offensive glass. This was Valpo’s first win when being outrebounded by such a wide clip since Jan. 2, 2022 vs. Illinois State.
  • Valpo improved to 15-1 in its last 16 matchups with Western Illinois and extended its home head-to-head winning streak to eight.

Postgame Press Conference

Click here for postgame press conference.

Up Next

The Beacons (3-2) will host Southern at 3 p.m. on Saturday at the Athletics-Recreation Center. For ticket information, visit