Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Drops Season Opener at Ball State
Brandon McPherson scored 11 points and registered a game-high six assists Friday. (Ray Acevedo)
Brandon McPherson scored 11 points and registered a game-high six assists Friday. (Ray Acevedo)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Newcomers Cory Johnson (Duluth, Minn./Duluth East [Iowa State]) and Brandon Wood (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo [Highland C.C./Southern Illinois]) each surpassed 20 points Friday evening in Valparaiso’s season opener, but it was not enough, as Ball State led start-to-finish in an 88-78 victory over the Crusaders in Muncie, Ind.

Wood knocked down nine shots from the field, including three triples, and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the foul line en route to his game-high 25 points.  Johnson was very efficient with his field goal attempts, connecting on 9-for-14 from the floor for 21 points of his own.

“I thought you definitely saw our youth at times tonight,” said Crusader head coach Homer Drew.  “I was really pleased with our offense and thought Cory did a really good job battling inside.  The turning point, though, was allowing Ball State to shoot 57%.  Our defense has to get better, especially on the interior.”

Ball State jumped out to a very quick start, going ahead 14-3 just 4:46 into the contest and getting eight early points from Brawley Chisholm.  The Cardinals extended their lead to as many as 14 points at 21-7 8:05 into the game, at which point all seven of Valpo’s points were courtesy of Johnson.

Ryan Broekhoff (Frankston, Victoria, Australia/Australian Institute of Sport) then connected on a 3-pointer, however, to start the Crusaders’ crawl back into the game.  Valpo would out-score Ball State in the final 11:55 of the first half by a 31-21 margin, thanks in large part to 17 points from Wood, who went 6-for-8 from the field during that stretch.  The Crusaders closed the half with a big 7-2 spurt on a triple by Wood and two layups by Michael Rogers (Kingston, Jamaica/Redemption [N.Y.] Christian) to cut the deficit to 42-38 at the break.

Ball State scored the first four points of the second half, but Valpo immediately responded with a pair of layups from Johnson which sandwiched a 3-pointer by Howard Little (Chicago, Ill./Stoneridge [Calif.] School) to cut the lead down to 46-45 with 16:39 to play.  The deficit remained at two possessions or less for the better part of the next eight minutes, but Valpo could never forge a tie or gain the lead.

Still trailing just 62-57 with under nine minutes to play, the Crusaders gave up a 11-2 run over the next four minutes to Ball State, as the Cardinals pulled out to a 14-point advantage.  Valpo scored the next five points to stop the BSU run and get the deficit back to single digits, but the Crusaders would get no closer than eight points the remainder of the game.

Brandon McPherson (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) and Little joined Wood and Johnson in double figures in the scoring column, registering 11 and ten points, respectively.  McPherson also handed out a game-high six assists, while freshman Tommy Kurth (Osceola, Ind./Penn) dished out five helpers as Valpo owned 18 assists and just nine turnovers on the evening.  Johnson tied for game-high honors with nine rebounds.

Ball State (1-0) placed six players in double figures in scoring and shot at a 57.8% clip from the field on the evening.  Jarrod Jones led the Cardinals with 19 points, while Malik Perry added 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting.  Ball State also held a 39-29 advantage in the rebounding column over the Crusaders.

Valparaiso (0-1) returns to action Sunday when the Crusaders travel to take on defending national champion #6/4 North Carolina.  The game can be seen live at 3 p.m. CST on Fox Sports South (DirecTV channel 646) and will be carried live on the Valpo Sports Radio Network (WEFM [95.9 FM, Michigan City] and WAKE [1500 AM, Valparaiso]).  Live audio can also be found online at www.valpoathletics.com, which will also have a link for live stats.

M Track DePauw Invitational Greencastle, Ind.
Apr 5 9th/11 (28.33)
W Track DePauw Invitational Greencastle, Ind.
Apr 5 8th/10 (29)
W Track Stanford Invitational Stanford, Calif.
Apr 5 No Team Score
M Track Stanford Invitational Stanford, Calif.
Apr 5 No Team Score
Baseball Wright State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 5 Valpo 3
Softball Detroit 0 VU Softball Field
Apr 5 Valpo 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Green Bay, Wis.
Apr 5 Green Bay 6
Baseball Wright State 0 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 5 Valpo 2
Softball Detroit 0 VU Softball Field
Apr 5 Valpo 9
W Tennis Valpo 5 Green Bay, Wis.
Apr 5 Green Bay 2
W Golf IPFW Spring Invitational Fort Wayne, Ind. (Chestnut Hills G.C.)
Apr 6 4th/12 (311)
W Tennis Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 6 Milwaukee 7
Softball Detroit 0 VU Softball Field
Apr 6 Valpo 8
Baseball Wright State 4 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 6 Valpo 2
W Golf IPFW Spring Invitational Fort Wayne, Ind. (Chestnut Hills G.C.)
Apr 7 9th/12 (642)
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
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
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
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
M Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 11:00 a.m. Valpo
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
W Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 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
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
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
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
M 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