Junior Ben Krikke (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada / Jasper Place) turned in a strong performance, but the Valparaiso University men’s basketball team fell 71-56 to Bradley on Wednesday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center. The Beacons and Braves played even in the second half, but Valpo was unable to bite into a 15-point halftime hole. The hosts were without starting center Thomas Kithier (Macomb, Mich. / Clarkston [Michigan State]), who was sidelined by a back injury, while starting guard Trevor Anderson (Stevens Point, Wis. / SPASH [Wisconsin]) was limited to 14 minutes before leaving with a back injury of his own.
How It Happened
- Valpo started strong as Preston Ruedinger (Oshkosh, Wis. / Lourdes Academy) nailed a 3 with 15:46 to go in the opening half to boost an early Valpo edge to 7-3. Bradley scored the next seven points to take the lead.
- The game was deadlocked at 11 and again at 14 after a made triple by Sheldon Edwards (West Palm Beach, Fla. / Palm Beach Lakes [TLAP Sports Academy]) with 11:21 to play in the half, but Bradley used a 10-2 spurt to build up a 24-16 advantage.
- The Beacons trimmed the lead to five with 4:08 left in the half, but the Braves reeled off 10 straight points to close the period and held a 37-22 advantage at the break.
- The two teams played even during the second half as each side posted 34 points over the final 20 minutes, but Valpo was unable to dig out of the halftime hole.
- Kevion Taylor (Milwaukee, Wis. / Whitnall) nearly saw his 3-point streak come to an end, but the fifth-year senior drilled one as the final horn sounded to extend his impressive run to 84 games.
Inside the Game
- Krikke posted a team-high 18 points and has scored 39 points over his last two games. He also paced the team on the glass with six rebounds and had a big day distributing the basketball with a career-high five assists against no turnovers.
- Valpo outscored Bradley by two points in the 31 minutes that Krikke was on the floor, but the Braves outdid the Beacons by 17 in the nine minutes that Krikke was not in the game.
- Krikke has reached double figures in 12 of his 18 games this season and has scored more than 15 points on nine occasions.
- Senior Kobe King (La Crosse, Wis. / La Crosse Central) also reached double figures with 11 points on an efficient 5-of-8 shooting. King has scored in double figures in 10 of his 12 Valpo outings. The Wisconsin native also swiped three steals to match a career high that was previously set on Jan. 8 vs. Southern Illinois.
- The Beacons were plagued by a tough shooting night as they converted a season-low 21.1 percent of their 3-point attempts (4-of-19).
- Valpo used its 10th different starting lineup of the season as Taylor, Krikke, Ruedinger, Anderson and King formed yet another unique combination.
- Taylor has made a 3 in 84 consecutive contests dating back to Dec. 15, 2018.
Postgame Press Conference
Click here for postgame press conference.
Valpo (10-11, 3-6 MVC) will hit the road to visit Southern Illinois on Sunday at 4 p.m. in Carbondale, Ill. The game will air on ESPN+ and the Valpo Sports Network (95.1 FM, the TuneIn Radio app and ValpoAthletics.com). Note that the game was pushed back one day from the date on the original schedule.