Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valparaiso Men's Basketball - Back to the Dance After Winning HL Tournament
Play Video The Crusaders with the championship trophy. (Jonathan Miano
The Crusaders with the championship trophy. (Jonathan Miano
Wright State (21-12)
at
Valparaiso (26-7)
3/12/2013 | Valparaiso, Ind. (ARC) | Attendance: 4457
1st2ndFinal
Wright State252954
Valparaiso362662
Stats at a GlanceWSUVALPO
FG Percentage.389 (21-54) .538 (21-39)
3P FG Percentage.273 (3-11) .286 (4-14)
FT Percentage.692 (9-13) .762 (16-21)
Offensive Rebounds66
Defensive Rebounds1626
Total Rebounds2232
Turnovers1225
Steals148
Bench Points317
Statistical LeadersWSUVALPO
PointsARCENEAUX - 14
BUGGS - 22
ReboundsBRAMANTI - 4
SLEDGE - 4
VAN WIJK - 10
AssistsGRIFFIN - 2
SLEDGE - 2
BUGGS - 3
BROEKHOFF - 3
StealsARCENEAUX - 3
GRIFFIN - 3
BUGGS - 4
BlocksYOUNG - 1
VEST - 1
VAN WIJK - 2

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Valparaiso men’s basketball team is going back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004 after completing a thrilling 62-54 victory over Wright State to earn the Horizon League tournament championship at the ARC Tuesday night.

The Crusaders were led on Tuesday evening by the standout play of fifth-year senior and tournament MVP Erik Buggs (Memphis, Tenn./Mitchell).  Not to be denied in Valpo’s second consecutive league tournament title game, Buggs drove to the basket time after time, finishing the night with a career-high 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the floor to go along with four steals.  Buggs was joined on the All-Tournament Team by senior Ryan Broekhoff (Frankston, Victoria, Australia/Australian Institute of Sport), whose buzzer-beater against Green Bay as part of a 25-point performance sent the Crusaders into the championship.

“This means everything,” said Broekhoff in the post-game press conference.  “The personal accolades are fantastic, but this is what we play for. This is what we put in four hard years for. This is what we have come for when we come to practice every day and grind it out. We worked so hard in the offseason, the pre-season, during the season. All this work was for this moment right now.”

“It means a lot because I played with these guys for four years,” said Buggs.  “Getting over that hump and getting to the NCAA, it not only means a lot to me, but it means a lot to share it with my brothers to that point we have been trying to reach.”

The outcome looked in doubt for the Crusaders, who committed 13 turnovers in the first 12-plus minutes of the second half as Wright State erased an 11-point halftime deficit and took the lead on Valpo.  A 3-pointer by the Raiders’ Reggie Arceneaux with 9:25 to play gave Wright State a 45-42 lead, its first edge since 3-2, and almost four minutes later, Matt Vest knocked down a triple to make it 50-44 Raiders with 5:37 remaining.

But Valpo, as it had in the regular season meeting at the ARC with Wright State, rallied late to earn the victory.  The big late run started with senior Kevin Van Wijk (Hoofddorp, Netherlands/Katholieke Scholengemeenschap Hoofddorp) converting inside while being fouled with 5:13 to play.  Two possessions later, Buggs picked the pocket of AJ Pacher and took it coast-to-coast, bringing the Crusaders within two points.

Broekhoff then came up with a steal on the defensive end, and in transition, Buggs again got to the basket, getting fouled as the clock ticked under four minutes.  Out of the media stoppage, the fifth-year senior calmly knocked down both attempts from the stripe to make it 50-all.  Two possessions later, after a pair of WSU misses from downtown, Buggs again was fouled and hit one of two to return the lead to the Crusaders, 51-50 with 2:53 on the clock.

The biggest shot of the night would come two possessions later.  With the shot clock winding down and the Crusaders still maintaining the one-point lead, Buggs again drove to the basket, looking to get to the rim.  But this time, with the defense collapsing into the paint, Buggs located Broekhoff wide open in the right corner, and the Aussie drained the 3-pointer to push the advantage to 54-50 with 1:49 remaining.

Van Wijk came up with a huge defensive rebound off a Raider miss on the defensive end, and with Wright State playing defense, Valpo again ran the shot clock into single digits.  After a tie-up gave the Crusaders the ball on alternate possession on the baseline with five seconds left to shoot, senior Matt Kenney (Mooresville, Ind./Mooresville) put himself in position underneath to receive the inbounds and drew the foul going up, hitting both to make it 56-50 with 53 seconds to play.

Van Wijk then blocked a Wright State attempt and cleared to fifth-year senior Will Bogan (Boise, Idaho/Vallivue [Ole Miss]), who hit both free throw attempts as the celebration started in the ARC.  Bogan and Van Wijk would each hit one final pair of free throws to close out the Crusader scoring.

“I thought the guys dug deep in their heart and the last five minutes may have been the best five minutes of defense we played all year,” said Drew on the final stretch.

As has been the case so often for the Crusaders this season, they started the game strong, opening the game on a 16-5 run over the opening 5:30.  Bogan and Buggs each had five points during the opening spurt.  The lead swelled to 12 on a fast-break layup by Buggs before the game was ten minutes old, but Wright State responded with eight straight points to close to within 18-14 with eight minutes left in the half.

Valpo responded in kind with a 10-0 run over the next three and a half minutes, getting a pair of baskets from Buggs as four different players scored in the spurt which gave the Crusaders a 28-14 edge with 4:26 left in the half.  Triples by Bogan and junior LaVonte Dority (Chicago, Ill./Foreman [USF]) in the waning minutes helped Valpo maintain a 36-25 lead into the break.

Buggs was joined in double figures on Tuesday by Bogan, who ended the night with 14 points, and Van Wijk, who posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.  The Crusaders shot 53.8% (21-of-39) from the floor to offset 25 turnovers.

Wright State (21-12) got a team-best 14 points off the bench from Arceneaux, but he was the only Raider to finish the night in double figures.

Valparaiso (26-7) set a new program record for victories in a single season on Tuesday as well with their 26th win of the 2012-2013 campaign.  The Crusaders will find out their Second Round opponent for the 2013 NCAA Tournament on Sunday evening as CBS unveils the brackets at 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 17.  Valpo will be holding a viewing party for the selection show in the Harre Union ballrooms starting at 4 p.m. on Sunday afternoon – more information about the party will be available in the coming days.

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
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
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
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
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
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W 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
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