A 16-point first half from Ben Krikke (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada / Jasper Place) helped the Valparaiso University men’s basketball team stay close through 20 minutes, but behind an efficient 22-point effort from Isiaih Mosley and five 3s apiece from Ja’Monta Black and Jaylen Minnett, host Missouri State pulled away for an 84-66 victory on Saturday at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo.
How It Happened
- Missouri State scored the game’s first six points, but Valpo battled back by scoring six of the next eight. Sheldon Edwards (West Palm Beach, Fla. / Palm Beach Lakes [TLAP Sports Academy]) threw down a dunk on a Preston Ruedinger (Oshkosh, Wis. / Lourdes Academy) assist with 12:39 left in the half to pull the Beacons to within one at 13-12.
- A technical foul on Missouri State helped the Beacons grab their first lead of the game as Krikke made both free throws, then Thomas Kithier (Macomb, Mich. / Clarkston [Michigan State]) converted a layup to make it 16-15 guests at the 9:04 mark.
- Missouri State responded by scoring the next eight points to quickly bolster the lead to seven at 23-17 at the 7:21 mark.
- Valpo fought to within four as Krikke blocked a shot on one end of the court and made a shot on the other with 1:32 left to make it 36-32, but Minnett responded with a big triple. The Beacons were within five at 41-36 when the horn sounded to end the opening half.
- Missouri State outscored Valpo 11-2 in the first four minutes of the second half.
- Valpo scored eight straight to trim a 15-point deficit to seven at the 11:03 mark at 59-52. Then Missouri State outscored Valpo 25-14 for the remainder of the contest to pull away.
Inside the Game
- Krikke finished with 20 points on 7-of-12 and 6-of-7 at the free-throw line. This marked Krikke’s seventh 20-point output of the season and third in the last six games.
- Krikke and Taylor shared the team lead with six rebounds apiece, while Taylor gave out a team high three assists.
- Kithier returned to action after missing the previous four games with a back injury. He scored eight points and grabbed five rebounds.
- Edwards and Kobe King (La Crosse, Wis. / La Crosse Central [Wisconsin]) joined Krikke in double figures with 11 points apiece. Edwards went 6-of-6 at the foul stripe, while King was 7-of-8.
- A major bright spot for the Beacons was free-throw shooting, as they shot 92.6 percent with a season-high 25 made free throws (25-of-27). It was Valpo’s highest made free throw total since making 28 vs. Bradley last season.
- The 3-point line played a big role in the game as Missouri State made 12 3s to Valpo’s three. The dozen triples tied for the most by a Valpo opponent this season with the home game against UNI. Meanwhile, the three made 3s (all of which came in the second half), tied a season low for the Beacons (at Southern Illinois).
Valpo (11-14, 4-9 MVC) will host Loyola on Wednesday on the MVC TV Network, which includes NBC Sports Chicago Plus. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. and will be Valpo’s Lakeshore PAWS Benefit Game. For ticket information, visit www.valpoathletics.com/tickets.