January 27, 20241st2ndFinal
Missouri St.404181
Stats at a GlanceMOSTVALPO
FG Percentage.465 (33-71) .355 (22-62)
3P FG Percentage.467 (7-15) .400 (10-25)
FT Percentage.667 (8-12) .889 (16-18)
Offensive Rebounds136
Defensive Rebounds3527
Total Rebounds4833
Bench Points2010
PointsMason - 22
DeAveiro - 20
ReboundsEdwards - 11
Schwieger - 7
AssistsMason - 9
DeAveiro - 7
StealsMoore - 1
Mason - 1
Ajiboye - 2
DeAveiro - 2
BlocksEdwards - 3
Edwards - 3
Ajiboye - 3
Four Freshmen Start as Shorthanded Beacons Fall to Bears
Saturday, January 27, 2024
Four Freshmen Start as Shorthanded Beacons Fall to Bears
Jahari Williamson was one of four freshmen to start for the Beacons on Saturday.

Playing without the services of leading scorer Isaiah Stafford for family reasons, the Valparaiso University men’s basketball team started four freshmen for the first time in 40 years on Saturday afternoon at the Athletics-Recreation Center. The Beacons were even or ahead for the majority of the first half, but the experience of visiting Missouri State proved too much to overcome as the Bears used a 12-0 second-half run to prevail 81-70 despite a combined 39 points from Darius DeAveiro (Kanata, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada / Orangeville Prep) and Jahari Williamson (Pickering, Ontario, Canada / Royal Crown Academy).

How It Happened

  • Missouri State scored the game’s first six points, but Valpo rallied to take an 11-10 lead when Sherman Weatherspoon IV (Bowie, Md. / Bethesda-Chevy Chase [Golden State Prep]) drilled back-to-back 3-pointers, the second one coming with 16:18 on the clock.
  • The lead changed hands several more times before a 7-0 Beacon burst opened up a 20-14 lead capped by Ola Aijboye (Chicago, Ill. / Evanston Township [Central Michigan / Bosco Institute]) blocking a shot on one end and making a layup on the other. DeAveiro delivered a 3 during that stretch as well, helping Valpo build up a 20-14 edge.
  • The Bears responded by scoring the game’s next eight points to go ahead 22-20. The Beacons regained the edge at 27-24 when Williamson connected from long range with 9:35 to go in the half.
  • DeAveiro hit a big 3 to put Valpo up 32-30 with 6:43 left in the half. Cooper Schwieger (Overland Park, Kan. / Blue Valley Southwest [Link Year]) had a dunk with 1:50 on the clock, but the guests went into the break ahead 40-37.
  • Missouri State used a 12-0 run to widen the lead to 15 at 59-44 with 11:12 left in the second half.
  • Valpo scored nine of the game’s final 11 points to cut what had been an 18-point deficit with 2:30 to play to 11 as DeAveiro hit a 3 with 37 seconds to account for the final points of the day.

Inside the Game

  • DeAveiro led the Beacons with a career-high 20 points, surpassing his previous personal best of 19 set on Jan. 3 vs. Bradley. The junior point guard knocked down four of his six 3-point tries and all four of his free throw attempts while also dishing out seven assists, snatching four rebounds and swiping two steals.
  • DeAveiro became just the second Valpo player in the last 15 years to have seven or more assists to go along with 20 or more points in a game. DeAveiro was the first in that time period to do it in a conference game. Nick Edwards turned the trick twice last season, including a points-assists double-double of 20&12 on Dec. 21, 2022 vs. Stonehill.
  • Williamson added 19 points including a 9-of-10 showing at the free-throw line. This marked the freshman’s highest scoring output in league play and his third highest of the season. It was his highest point total since scoring a personal-best 24 on Dec. 29 at Elon.
  • Williamson’s nine made free throws marked a career high, as did DeAveiro’s four triples.
  • Valpo started four freshmen in the same game for the first time in 40 years. Schwieger, Williamson, Weatherspoon and Kaspar Sepp (Tartu, Estonia / Fairmont Academy) were all in the starting five. Williamson made his fourth start and first since Jan. 6 at UIC.
  • Schwieger was the third Beacon in double figures with 10 points and seven rebounds.  
  • Valpo blocked eight shots and now has 15 rejections in the last two games. The Beacons boasted their highest blocked shot total since nine on Nov. 14 vs. Green Bay and the team’s most in league play this year. Ajiboye and Edwards had three rejections apiece.
  • Valpo shot 88.9 percent (16-of-18) at the free-throw line and hit at a 40 percent clip from 3-point territory (10-of-25).
  • Valpo committed just seven turnovers, winning the turnover battle 9-7. Six of the seven Valpo players who logged more than three minutes in the contest were freshmen or sophomores, and those six players combined for no turnovers.

Postgame Press Conference

Click here for postgame press conference.

Up Next

The Beacons (6-15, 2-8 MVC) will return to the road on Wednesday to visit Drake at 7 p.m. in Des Moines, Iowa. The game will air on ESPN+.