Everything clicked over the final 12 minutes for the Valparaiso University men’s basketball team.
The Beacons dug out of a double-figure hole on their way to enjoying a double-figure cushion by the end of a come-from-behind 67-55 victory over Eastern Michigan on Monday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Kevion Taylor (Milwaukee, Wis. / Whitnall [Winona State]) knocked down five of his seven second-half shots including four 3s to help the Beacons outscore the Eagles 41-27 after the break.
How It Happened
- Eastern Michigan jumped out to a 9-4 lead in the game’s early stages. Valpo scored the next five points with a basket by Kobe King (La Crosse, Wis. / La Crosse Central [Wisconsin]) and a 3-point play by Ben Krikke (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada / Jasper Place) that evened the game at nine.
- The Eagles soared back ahead and maintained a slight edge until the 9:30 mark, when Taylor scored his second straight basket to put Valpo up 17-16. Trevor Anderson (Stevens Point, Wis. / SPASH [Wisconsin]) canned a 3 with 8:21 to go to lift the Beacon lead to 20-16.
- Eastern Michigan scored the final four points of the half to enter the locker room with a 28-26 edge.
- The Eagles outscored Valpo 19-10 over the first eight minutes of the second half, building up an 11-point lead at 47-36.
- The game-changing stretch came from the 11:20 mark to the 7:14 mark of the second half. In that time, the Beacons outscored the Tribe 18-2 to open up a 54-49 advantage. Taylor scored 11 of the 18 points during that stretch including three 3s.
- Eastern Michigan whittled the deficit back to one, but Anderson swished a trey on a Preston Ruedinger (Oshkosh, Wis. / Lourdes Academy) assist with 5:56 on the clock, forcing an Eastern Michigan timeout. Anderson hit another big triple at the 3:49 mark, again expanding the lead to five.
- Taylor hit another 3 at the 1:54 mark as part of a stretch where Valpo scored the final 10 points of the game. After trailing 47-36, Valpo outscored Eastern Michigan 31-8 for the game’s duration.
Inside the Game
- This marked the second time this season that Valpo has come from double figures down to win a game, joining the 68-64 victory over Tulane in the third-place game of the Nassau Championship in The Bahamas. This was the 18th time during the Matt Lottich Era (sixth season) that Valpo has come from double figures down for a victory.
- This marked the seventh time under Lottich and first since Feb. 22, 2020 vs. Bradley that Valpo has trailed by double figures and gone on to win by double figures.
- Taylor’s 18 points topped three Beacons in double figures as he was joined by Krikke (17) and Anderson (15). Taylor’s effort represented his season high, surpassing his previous Valpo best of 16 on Nov. 13 vs. UIC.
- Krikke finished in double figures for the sixth time in his nine games this season and surpassed the 700-career point threshold.
- Taylor topped the team in scoring for the second time this season while enjoying his sixth double-figure scoring output this year and the 87th of his collegiate career. He has knocked down a 3-pointer in 75 consecutive games.
- Ruedinger made his collegiate debut and dished out four assists while squeezing a pair of rebounds and committing no turnovers.
- Valpo followed a flawless 14-of-14 performance at the free-throw line in their last outing vs. Charlotte with an 11-of-12 showing against Eastern Michigan. The Beacons have knocked down 25 of their 26 free-throw attempts over the last two games (96.2 percent).
- Anderson reached double figures for the sixth time in the last seven games and the eighth time in 12 games this season. He made three 3s for the third time this season, had his third straight game with multiple made triples and has knocked in multiple 3s in five of his last seven.
- King finished with nine points while hauling in a team-high seven rebounds. The seven boards marked a collegiate career high for King, usurping his previous best of six on Nov. 27, 2018 vs. NC State while playing for Wisconsin.
- Valpo recorded a season-high six blocked shots including a pair by Krikke. That marked the team’s highest rejection total since swatting seven Drake shots on Feb. 7 of last season.
- Another notable number was the turnover total, as Valpo gave it away just eight times. Valpo has kept the turnover number in single figures on five occasions this season including four times in the last six games.
- Valpo held Eastern Michigan to just 1-of-11 from 3-point distance (9.1 percent), a far cry from the previous game where Charlotte went 11-of-17 (64.7 percent) from long range. The 9.1 percent was the lowest 3-point clip by a Valpo opponent this season and the lowest since Central Michigan went just 1-of-17 for 5.9 percent on Dec. 8, 2019 at the ARC. This was also the first time that Valpo held an opponent to one made triple or fewer since the aforementioned game against the Chippewas.
- Valpo went 7-of-12 (58.3 percent) from 3 in the second half after hitting just one of their 11 triple tries before the break.
Postgame Press Conference
Click here for postgame press conference.
Valpo (6-6) will face a quick turnaround as William & Mary will be in town for a noon tipoff on Wednesday. It will be Community Day at the Athletics-Recreation Center with a Christmas celebration including pictures with Santa. Admission is free for those 18 and under and all tickets are $5 for adults. For ticket information, visit www.valpoathletics.com/tickets. Spectators are required to wear masks at all home Valpo athletic events until further notice.