Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Mount Late Comeback; Down Golden Eagles

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Valparaiso stormed back from a nine-point deficit with under two minutes to play in regulation, forcing overtime on a Shawn Huff (Helsinki, Finland/Makelanrinne) 3-pointer with five seconds to play, and held Oral Roberts to just two points in the extra session as the Crusaders downed the Mid-Con leaders, 70-67, Thursday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center.

The win was Valpo's tenth in 11 all-time matchups against the Golden Eagles at the ARC, and moves Valpo into third place by itself in the Mid-Con standings. The Crusaders used a stellar defensive effort down the stretch to come back for the win, as ORU did not hit a field goal for the last 11 minutes of the ballgame.

The Crusaders found themselves trailing 60-51 with 1:57 to play after a pair of Adam Liberty free throws, but Samuel Haanpaa (Kerava, Finland/Cornerstone [Texas] Christian) drained a triple on Valpo's next possession to cut the deficit to six. Liberty's pocket was picked on ORU's next trip by Jarryd Loyd (Lincolnwood, Ill./Niles West), who successfully converted a give-and-go with Jake Diebler (Upper Sandusky, Ohio/Upper Sandusky) on the fast break to make it a 60-56 ballgame.

Valpo committed fouls on each of ORU's next two possessions, with Liberty and Kelvin Sango each nailing both of their attempts from the charity stripe. But the Crusaders traded off those free throws for 3-pointers, getting makes from behind the arc from Brandon McPherson (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) and Huff to cut the lead to 64-62 with 18 seconds to play. Diebler fouled ORU's Yemi Ogunoye immediately, and Ogunoye split the pair, setting the stage for Huff's game-tying shot.

The overtime session saw each team score on its first possession, with Liberty hitting a pair of free throws for ORU and Urule Igbavboa (Oakdale, Minn./Tartan) nailing a jumper in the lane to answer for the Crusaders. The game would remain tied at 67 for the next 2:30, before Huff hit his fifth triple of the game to give Valpo a 70-67 advantage, its first lead since midway through the second half.

Ken Tutt was fouled on the Golden Eagles' next time down the floor and missed the first free throw. Before he could attempt the second, a double lane violation was called and the ball awarded to Valpo on the possession arrow. After a Haanpaa miss for Valpo gave the ball back to the Golden Eagles, Caleb Green was called for an offensive foul, fouling him out of the ballgame with 53 seconds to play. ORU stopped the Crusaders and got the ball back with 26 seconds to play, but neither of Tutt's 3-point attempts would fall, giving Valpo the victory.

The game was tight throughout, as neither team held more than a five-point advantage in a first half that featured six ties and nine lead changes. ORU went into the half with a two-point advantage at 31-29 on a Tutt runner at the buzzer. The second half went back and forth for the first 10 minutes, with eight lead changes until the Golden Eagles grabbed a 45-44 lead at the 9:55 mark on a Green layup.

Oral Roberts scored seven straight points, making the run 11-0, to extend its lead to eight at 52-44 with 7:31 to play. Igbavboa answered for Valpo, scoring five straight points to cut the deficit to three at 54-51 with 5:02 left. The Golden Eagles scored the next six points, however, setting the stage for the final minutes.

Huff led the Crusaders with 21 points, setting a career-high with five made 3-pointers. Igbavboa finished with 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting, while Loyd finished with 10 points, giving Valpo three players in double figures. McPherson chipped in nine points to go along with team-high total of six rebounds and four assists.

Green led the visitors with 19 points, hitting 6-of-9 shots from the field and 7-of-8 from the free throw line. The two-time Mid-Con player of the year also grabbed five boards and dished out three assists, but committed eight turnovers as well. Tutt added 14 points, but had just three points on 1-of-7 shooting after halftime. Liberty contributed 13 points in the losing effort.

The Crusaders used their advantage from behind the arc, hitting 11-of-28 (39.3%) triples versus ORU's 4-of-20 (20.0%), to offset the Golden Eagles' advantage at the free throw line. Oral Roberts (15-8, 7-1 Mid-Con) knocked down 23-of-29 shots from the charity stripe, while Valpo hit just 7-of-12 attempts from the line. Valpo dished out 15 assists against just 11 turnovers, while the Golden Eagles committed 17 turnovers to go with 12 assists.

Valparaiso (11-11, 5-3 Mid-Con) returns to the hardwood at the ARC Saturday night, hosting Centenary. Tipoff is set for 7:05 p.m., and all the action, as always, can be heard live on the Valpo Sports Radio Network (WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso; WEFM, 95.9 FM, Michigan City; WAKE, 1500 AM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25 Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo