Kevion Taylor (Milwaukee, Wis. / Whitnall [Winona State]) joined elite company on Wednesday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
Bryce Drew. Alec Peters. And now, Kevion Taylor.
That’s the list of players in the history of the Valparaiso University men’s basketball program who have scored their 2,000th collegiate point in a Valpo uniform. Taylor, who scored the bulk of those points in four seasons at Winona State before joining Valpo’s program as a graduate transfer, fittingly achieved the feat in his final collegiate home game, a 71-65 Senior Night loss to visiting Drake.
Taylor and fellow seniors Trevor Anderson (Stevens Point, Wis. / SPASH [Wisconsin]) and Eron Gordon (Indianapolis, Ind. / Cathedral [Seton Hall]) were honored during a pregame ceremony and postgame speeches.
How It Happened
- The Beacons jumped in front with the game’s first four points and again took the lead on a go-ahead trey by Sheldon Edwards (West Palm Beach, Fla. / Palm Beach Lakes [TLAP Sports Academy]) that snapped a four-all tie five minutes into the contest. Drake wrestled in front at the 12:43 mark on a D.J. Wilkins 3-pointer, but then Edwards responded with another 3 of his own to make it 12-11 in favor of the hosts.
- The game remained tight as Valpo fell behind 15-12 at the half’s midway mark before reeling off seven straight points to go up 19-15. Ben Krikke (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada / Jasper Place) had a pair of baskets in that stretch, while Gordon converted a 3-point play.
- Taylor knocked in a 3 with six minutes on the timer to double the Valpo lead to 25-19, which remained the peak of the Beacon advantage. The Bulldogs scored the next eight points to claw ahead at 27-25. A few minutes later, Tucker DeVries nailed a go-ahead jumper in the closing seconds of the half to give Drake a 31-29 edge at the game’s midway mark.
- Taylor helped Valpo tie the game at 34 with a made 3, then he made a jumper to create a 36-all deadlock. Drake scored the next eight points including a fastbreak dunk by ShanQuan Hemphill.
- Valpo responded as Kobe King (La Crosse, Wis. / La Crosse Central [Wisconsin]) scored the team’s next five points, but Drake opened the lead back to seven on several occasions, including 56-49 with 5:06 remaining.
- That’s when Taylor reached the 2,000-point threshold, which fittingly came on a 3-point basket. Gordon, a fellow senior, provided the assist. Taylor may only be in his first season in a Beacon uniform, but the crowd erupted into a thunderous ovation in recognition of the accomplishment.
- After a timeout by Matt Lottich, Valpo got a defensive stop, then Edwards buried a 3 to the delight of the fans in attendance as the ARC returned to a frenzied state.
- Drake scored on its next three possessions to go up 63-57 with 2:12 to play, and the Beacons got no closer than five for the game’s duration.
Inside the Game
- Taylor became the 27th active player at all levels of NCAA basketball to reach the 2,000-point milestone for his collegiate career. He scored 1,635 of his points over four seasons at Winona State. The only two players in program history to score their 2,000th collegiate point in a Valpo uniform prior to Wednesday were the program’s two most iconic players, Alec Peters (2013-2017; 2,348) and Bryce Drew (1994-1998, 2,142).
- Taylor finished the game with 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting and 4-of-6 from 3-point territory. This marked his fifth 20-point output this season and the 41st of his collegiate career. Taylor also squeezed five rebounds, one shy of a career high.
- Krikke had 16 points, his 10th straight double-figure output. He also pulled down six rebounds, his fifth consecutive game and ninth time in his last 10 with five boards or more.
- Valpo’s third double-figure scorer was King with 13, his 17th two-digit scoring output in 20 Valpo games.
- The Beacons limited the Bulldogs to just 1-of-10 from 3-point territory, the worst clip by a Valpo opponent in conference play this season. This marked the second time Valpo limited an opponent to one made triple this year, joining Dec. 20 vs. Eastern Michigan. Valpo held Drake to its second-worst 3-point shooting day of the season (1-16, Jan. 2 vs. Missouri State).
- This was the first time Valpo held an opponent to one made 3 or fewer in a conference game since Feb. 21, 2015 vs. Wright State.
- Valpo outscored the Bulldogs by 21 points from the 3-point arc (eight made 3s to one), but Drake owned a 40-22 advantage in terms of points in the paint.
- The Beacons had just seven turnovers, their 15th time this season with 10 or fewer.
- With both DeAveiro and Gordon starting, Valpo utilized yet another new starting lineup. This marked the team’s 14th starting lineup combination of the season and 11th in MVC play alone.
- Drake shot 61.5 percent in the second half, attempting 24 of their 26 shots from 2-point territory. They finished at 53.4 percent for the game.
- Valpo again played without the services of two starters as Preston Ruedinger (ankle) and Thomas Kithier (back) were out with injuries.
Postgame Press Conference
Click here for postgame press conference.
Valpo (13-16, 6-11 MVC) will close the regular-season on Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Bradley in Peoria, Ill. Regardless of Saturday’s outcome, Valpo is locked into the No. 7 seed in next week’s