Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Defeat Dons in Finale at Rainbow Classic

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Brandon McPherson (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) matched his career-high output with 24 points, and the Crusaders hit free throws down the stretch to defeat San Francisco, 64-59, in the seventh place game of the 43rd Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic Saturday in Honolulu, Hawai'i.

McPherson, who broke the 20-point barrier for the third time in five games, hit six of his nine field goal attempts, including all four of his shots from behind the arc. He also hit 8-of-9 shots from the charity stripe, including four straight with under 20 seconds to play after the Dons had cut Valpo's lead to two.

The Crusaders hit three 3-pointers over a two-minute span, two of them from McPherson, midway through the second half to extend their lead to 52-37 with 9:25 to play. After the two squads traded baskets, San Francisco turned up its pressure, forcing five Crusader turnovers during an 18-5 run to cut the Valpo lead to 60-58. That was as close as the Dons would get, as McPherson hit his four free throw attempts to secure the win.

The first half played out much like the Crusaders' previous game against Charlotte, with Valpo jumping out to an early lead and the Dons putting together a quick run of their own to gain the advantage. Valpo put together a 9-0 run over a five-minute span in the latter stages of the half, led by four points from Urule Igbavboa (Oakdale, Minn./Tartan), to take a 25-16 lead with 4:34 left in the stanza. The lead was still nine with under a minute to play, but Armondo Surratt hit a jumper and Antonio Kellogg beat the buzzer with a triple to make the halftime score 28-24 in favor of the Crusaders.

Shawn Huff (Helsinki, Finland/Makelanrinne) and Samuel Haanpaa (Kerava, Finland/Cornerstone [Texas] Christian) joined McPherson in double figures, with Huff scoring 14 points and Haanpaa adding 13 of his own. For Huff, it was his first double-digit output since starting the season with five straight games of at least 10 points.

Moussa Mbaye (Dakar, Senegal/Life Center [N.J.] Academy) enjoyed a stellar game in the post for Valpo, grabbing a team-high seven rebounds while not committing a turnover in 26 minutes of action. As a team, the Crusaders cut their turnovers down to 17, their lowest number of miscues in the last six games.

Armondo Surratt led the Dons with 23 points, including four triples, while Antonio Kellogg joined him in double figures with 19. Alan Wiggins chipped in seven points for San Francisco (4-10) and also grabbed a game-high eight rebounds.

The Crusaders shot just 40.8% (20-of-49) from the field on the game, their worst percentage in a win this year, but excelled once again from the 3-point line, drilling 11-of-21 (52.4%) attempts from beyond the arc. Valpo also continued its stellar free throw shooting, extending its streak of consecutive foul shots made to 24 (over a three-game span) before finally missing Saturday. The Crusaders ended the game 13-of-15 (86.7%) from the charity stripe.

Valparaiso (4-8), which broke an eight-game losing streak with the win, returns to action after Christmas and returns home for the first time in a month when the Crusaders host Chicago State on December 30 at 7:05 p.m from the Athletics-Recreation Center. All the action 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.
Softball Northern Illinois 6 VU Softball Field
Apr 8 Valpo 8
Baseball Valpo 5 Evanston, Ill.
Apr 8 Northwestern 12
Softball Northern Illinois 3 8 inn.
Apr 8 Valpo 4
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
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
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
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
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
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W 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 Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 5:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
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
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26 Horizon League Tournament
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