The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team battled through adversity on Saturday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Despite playing without two starters due to injuries and having to go beyond regulation for the fourth time in league play, the Beacons outlasted visiting Indiana State 79-72 in a double-overtime heart pounder. Kobe King (La Crosse, Wis. / La Crosse Central [Wisconsin]) delivered his best collegiate performance, outdoing previous career highs in both points and rebounds to help his team secure a season sweep of the Sycamores.
How It Happened
- Valpo jumped out to an early 11-3 lead over the game’s first six and a half minutes. The Beacons drained three early 3s including a pair by Sheldon Edwards (West Palm Beach, Fla. / Palm Beach Lakes [TLAP Sports Academy]) while holding the Sycamores to a cold shooting start.
- An 11-0 run for the visitors changed the game’s early narrative. By the time the half reached the midway mark, Indiana State was in front 14-11 after a tiebreaking triple by Cooper Neese.
- The game went back and forth in the next segment, reaching deadlocks at 14, 16 and 18. Consecutive drives to the hoop by the Beacons helped the hosts to a 22-18 lead with 6:21 left in the half. Indiana State eventually regained the advantage on a go-ahead 3 by Zach Hobbs with 3:46 left in the opening stanza.
- King scored seven points in the span of a minute to help Valpo build back to a four-point edge, but Indiana State scored the final five points of a half where neither team scored over the final 1:52 to own a one-point edge at the break.
- The game went back and forth for much of the second half. Indiana State held a five-point lead at the 14:18 mark that stood as the largest lead of the day for the Sycamores. Valpo rapped off five straight points to tie the game at 45, then the game reached deadlocks at 48, 50 and eventually 57. The 57-all tie came after Ben Krikke (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada / Jasper Place) converted a layup with 4:50 on the clock.
- Neese and Edwards exchanged triples, and the game reached a 60-all tie with 2:28 on the clock. The Edwards 3 received a rousing ovation from the ARC faithful, but neither team scored for the remainder of regulation.
- Valpo held the lead early in overtime, but Indiana State charged ahead 66-65 with 1:09 remaining. King made one free throw with 47 ticks to go to tie the game, then Neese dunked with 34 seconds left and King converted a tip-in layup with 10 seconds to play to again tie the score at 68. Valpo got a stop on the final possession of OT, and the teams played on as the game went to double overtime.
- Edwards drilled a massive 3 with 1:31 left in double OT to widen a one-point lead to four. That turned into a 7-0 run and a seven-point cushion when Kevion Taylor (Milwaukee, Wis. / Whitnall [Winona State]) converted an old-fashioned 3-point play with 40 seconds remaining. Taylor added two free throws with 21 seconds left, and Valpo held on for the victory.
Inside the Game
- King finished with 24 points and 11 boards, both setting personal bests. His previous scoring career high of 19 happened twice this season, as did his previous rebounding best of nine.
- King turned in the fifth double-double by a Valpo player this season and the first of his career. He also had three assists, a career-high three blocked shots and one steal.
- All three of Valpo’s home wins in league play have required overtime. Six of Valpo’s 11 conference games have either been decided by three points or fewer or required overtime. This marked Valpo’s second 2OT contest of the year (at Loyola).
- This was the sixth time this season Valpo has trailed at halftime and come back to win, including both matchups with Indiana State. The six rallies after trailing at the break are the program’s most in a single season since 2011-2012 (seven).
- Taylor accrued 20 points, his second 20-point game in a Valpo uniform and the 38th of his career. Valpo outscored Indiana State by 18 when Taylor was on the floor (+11 in regulation), as the big Sycamore run in the first half came during the only three minutes of rest Taylor received in the 50-minute contest. He also matched a season high with six rebounds.
- Edwards finished with 14 points, while Krikke chipped in 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting to go along with five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
- Valpo won the turnover battle 17-12, while Indiana State held a 42-36 edge on the glass. Even though the guests owned a 12-8 offensive rebounding advantage, Valpo had 11 second-chance points to Indiana State’s three.
- Valpo played without Thomas Kithier due to a back injury, while Trevor Anderson is out of the season with a back injury of his own.
Postgame Press Conference
Click here for postgame press conference.
Valpo (11-12, 4-7 MVC) will hit the road for a pair of games next week, beginning on Wednesday night for a 7 p.m. game against Illinois State at Redbird Arena in Normal, Ill. The contest will air on Marquee Sports Network, ESPN+ and the Valpo Sports Network (95.1 FM, ValpoAthletics.com and the TuneIn Radio App).