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Strong First Half Propels Purdue Past Valpo
Saturday, December 28, 2002West Lafayette, Ind. ? Purdue made nine, 3-point baskets in the first half and went on to defeat Valpo 87-55. The Boilermakers led 52-17 at halftime after limiting the Crusaders to 25 percent shooting in the first half. Raitis Grafs topped Valpo (5-5) with 15 points.
Kenneth Lowe, who drained five of seven treys, led four Boilermakers in double-digits with 21 points. David Teague finished with 17 points, which included five, 3-pointers ? four in the first 20 minutes. Willie Deane added 14 points and five steals, and Chris Booker contributed 13 points. Purdue finished shooting 52 percent from 3-point territory, swishing 14 of 27.
Valpo was hurt by 23 turnovers, including 14 in the first half. Purdue committed two turnovers before halftime and finished with 11. Ali Berdiel and Stalin Ortiz scored 10 points each for the Crusaders. Dan Oppland grabbed eight rebounds for Valpo, which outrebounded Purdue 43-41.
After Greg Tonagel made a 3-pointer to tie the score at 5-5, the Boilermakers went on a 19-2 run to take a 24-7 lead with 12:25 left in the half. Deane scored eight points, which included two treys, and Teague added five points during the stretch.
Following a jumper by Grafs that cut the deficit to 24-11 with just under nine minutes remaining before halftime, Lowe made two straight 3-pointers to ignite an 8-0 Purdue run. Another key stretch in the contest occurred when Purdue held Valpo scoreless for a 6-minute period, outscoring the Crusaders 16-0. The Boilermakers hit four treys during the run, including three by Teague.
Purdue built its largest lead (60-18) with 18:15 remaining. Valpo gradually cut its deficit and outscored the Boilermakers 38-35 in the second half. Berdiel tallied all 10 of his points in the final 20 minutes, while Grafs added nine and Ortiz had seven in the half.
Valpo, which finished shooting 34 percent (18-53) overall, made 44 percent of its shots in the second half. Purdue shot 53 percent (19-36) in the first half and finished shooting 45 percent (31-69) overall. The Boilermakers made 13 steals and dished out 18 assists, led by Austin Parkinson with six. The Crusaders converted 17 of 29 free throws, while Purdue made 11 of 18.
The Crusaders conclude a two-game road trip on Monday at Missouri beginning at 7 p.m. CST.