Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Men's Rally Not Enough in Exhibition Opener
Michael Rogers led Valpo with 19 points Sunday. (Ray Acevedo)
Michael Rogers led Valpo with 19 points Sunday. (Ray Acevedo)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Valparaiso men’s basketball exhibition opener was a high-scoring affair that saw the Crusaders fight nearly all the way back from a 16-point second half deficit, but in the end Valpo could not complete the comeback, as Indianapolis came away with an 88-83 victory Sunday afternoon at the ARC.

"Today’s game will only help us in the long run,” said Crusader head coach Homer Drew.  “We’ll take a lot of good lessons from today and use them to get better as we come up on the start of the regular season.  You have to compliment Indianapolis, they’ve got a number of good players, including three Division I transfers, and they played really well today, especially on the defensive end.  They also played harder than we did, and in the end, that’s why they won.”

The Crusaders, who trailed by seven at halftime, came out of the break with the first basket of the second half on a fast-break layup by Brandon Wood (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo [Highland C.C./Southern Illinois], but the Greyhounds would not let Valpo get any closer for quite a while, methodically extending the lead until it reached its peak at 60-44 with 12:45 to play.  A triple by Ryan Broekhoff (Frankston, Victoria, Australia/Australian Institute of Sport) halted a 7-0 spurt by Indianapolis, but the Greyhound lead remained in double figures over three minutes later at 69-57.

Valpo reeled off a 13-2 run over a four-minute span at that point, however, cutting the deficit down to one point at 71-70 with 5:21 to play.  Michael Rogers (Kingston, Jamaica/Redemption [N.Y.] Christian) scored five of his 16 second-half points during the run, while Cameron Witt (Launceston, Tasmania, Australia/Launceston) added three points of his own.  But Indy scored the next four points to push its advantage back up to five, and the Crusaders would only get within one possession one more time in the closing minutes.

The Crusaders got off to a quick start to the game, scoring the first six points of the contest on a pair of layups by Brandon McPherson (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) and a jumper by Cory Johnson (Duluth, Minn./Duluth East [Iowa State]).  But Indianapolis scored the next seven points to kick off a 17-3 run to give itself a 17-9 lead five and a half minutes in.

Valpo scored the next seven points on tip-ins by Rogers and Matt Kenney (Mooresville, Ind./Mooresville) and a 3-pointer by Broekhoff, but Indianapolis responded with seven straight points of its own to again take control.  The Greyhound lead reached 12 points with 37 seconds remaining in the opening half, but a 3-pointer by Howard Little (Chicago, Ill./Stoneridge [Calif.] School) and a fast-break dunk by Broekhoff closed the halftime deficit to 42-35.

Rogers led three Crusaders in double figures with 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting, while McPherson added 15 points and Little 13 points.  Little and Witt tied for team-high honors with five rebounds each, while Wood handed out a game-high five assists.

“It takes time to blend in nine newcomers on one team, and I think that’s something we’re still working at,” said Drew.  “But we just didn’t play as well as we wanted to today.  Our offense was not as smooth as we need it to be, and defensively we had a number of breakdowns because of lack of communication.”

All five Indianapolis starters reached double figures on the day, paced by 20 points on 6-of-8 from the floor and 8-of-14 from the charity stripe by Larry Woods, who also pulled down eight rebounds.  Sergey Struck also knocked down 6-of-8 from the field en route to 18 points, while also coming up with eight rebounds.

Sunday’s game was Valparaiso’s only exhibition contest of the 2009-2010 season, and the Crusaders will begin regular season play on Friday, Nov. 13 at Ball State at 6 p.m. CST.  All the action can be heard live on the Valpo Sports Radio Network (WAKE 1500 AM, Valparaiso; WE-FM 95.9 FM, Michigan City) and online at www.valpoathletics.com, which will also have a link for live statistics.

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 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. #21/21 Notre Dame
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
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
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
W 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
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
M 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
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay