February 24, 20241st2ndFinal
Murray St.364480
Stats at a GlanceVALPOMUR
FG Percentage.446 (25-56) .526 (30-57)
3P FG Percentage.417 (10-24) .300 (6-20)
FT Percentage.727 (8-11) .875 (14-16)
Offensive Rebounds711
Defensive Rebounds1726
Total Rebounds2437
Bench Points2330
PointsSchwieger - 26
Wood - 24
ReboundsPalm - 5
Ellington - 11
AssistsDeAveiro - 9
Wood - 3
StealsStafford - 2
Morgan - 3
BlocksEdwards - 2
Ellington - 1
Wood - 1
Valpo Assembles Strong First Half, But Host Racers Pull Away After Halftime
Saturday, February 24, 2024
Valpo Assembles Strong First Half, But Host Racers Pull Away After Halftime
Darius DeAveiro handed out nine assists and continued to climb the program's single-season chart on Saturday.

The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team put together a strong first half and led 44-36 at the intermission, but host Murray State pulled away after the break en route to an 80-68 win on Saturday afternoon at CFSB Center in Murray, Ky. Freshman Cooper Schwieger (Overland Park, Kan. / Blue Valley Southwest [Link Year]) poured in 20 first-half points and finished with 26 for the contest.

How It Happened

  • The game fluctuated between a stalemate and a slight Valpo lead until the Beacons stretched the edge to five thanks to a Schwieger 3 that made it 14-9. Isaiah Stafford (Bolingbrook, Ill. / Crispus Attucks [John A. Logan / Southern Indiana]) hit a 3 at the 10:58 mark that made it 21-17.
  • Murray State battled back to take the lead, but Sherman Weatherspoon IV (Bowie, Md. / Bethesda-Chevy Chase [Golden State Prep]) nailed a triple at the 6:35 mark to put the Beacons back up four at 30-26. Weatherspoon stayed hot with another one from long range a moment later to make it 33-28, then he hit a third 3 in succession to lift the lead to eight with 4:53 left in the half.
  • The Racers cut the edge to five but Valpo ended the half on a high note as Schwieger nailed a big 3 with 29 ticks left to extend the gap to eight, then Jaxon Edwards (Indianapolis, Ind. / Cathedral [Murray State]) rejected a shot at the other end of the court to keep the eight-point bulge intact.
  • Valpo scored the first two points of the half with Schwieger knocking down free throws to make it a double-figure lead. Valpo was cold offensively but did a nice job on the offensive glass early in the half, and didn’t lose ground on the scoreboard over the first five minutes despite cold shooting.
  • A 10-0 run for Murray State transformed a 52-46 Valpo lead into a 56-52 edge for the hosts by the 10:35 mark of the second half.
  • Yet another 3 by Weatherspoon tied the game at 60 with just under eight minutes remaining, and Valpo led by one with 7:21 on the clock. The Racers scored the next eight to take a seven-point lead, and another 8-0 burst down the stretch broke it open at 77-64 Murray State with 1:54 to play.

Inside the Game

  • Schwieger established a new career high with 26 points, outdoing his previous best of 22 that was established on Feb. 3 vs. Evansville and tied on Feb. 17 at Missouri State. This was the highest scoring output by a Valpo freshman since Javon Freeman-Liberty on Feb. 5, 2019 at Illinois State (27).
  • Weatherspoon’s 12 points marked his highest scoring output in conference play and his second highest of the season. He scored 13 on Dec. 6 at Central Michigan. He has scored in double-figures in back-to-back games. He was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field with all of his shots coming from long range on Saturday.
  • Senior Connor Barrett (Chicago, Ill. / Loyola Academy) made his first start of the season. He started exactly one game during both his sophomore year and his junior year as well. His lone start last season also occurred at Murray State. This was his 16th career start, with 13 coming during his rookie campaign.
  • Stafford scored 13 points, his fifth straight game in double figures.
  • DeAveiro handed out nine assists, while Stafford tied a personal best with five. The team distributed 17 assists, its highest total since the Nov. 6 season opener vs. Trinity Christian.
  • DeAveiro is up to 162 assists this season and 280 for his career. He moved up three spots on the program’s single-season assist list on Saturday, climbing over Bryce Drew’s 1997-98 season, Nick Edwards’ 2022-23 season and Keith Carter’s 2015-16 season. He is now tied with Drew’s 1994-95 season for sixth in single-season program history.
  • With 280 career assists, DeAveiro is now tied with Greg Tonagel (1998-2004) for 18th in the program record book.
  • Valpo won the turnover battle 11-8, the team’s ninth straight game holding the edge in that category.

Up Next

The Beacons (6-23, 2-16 MVC) will play the final road game of the regular season on Tuesday night at UNI in Cedar Falls, Iowa beginning at 7 p.m. The game will air on ESPN+.