For the second time in as many road games, the Valparaiso University men’s basketball team got the better of the play after halftime, but an early hole proved to be too much to overcome in an 87-74 setback at Chicago State on Wednesday. Ben Krikke (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada / Jasper Place) had another monster performance with 27 points on 12-of-16 shooting, while Nick Edwards (Atlanta, Ga. / Grayson [Glenville State]) provided an offensive lift by scoring 15 second-half points.
How It Happened
- The Cougars set the tone early, scoring the game’s first eight points.
- Valpo battled back to cut the lead to two at 10-8, but the Cougars ran off the next 10 points to extend the lead to 12 at 20-8.
- By halftime, Chicago State had stretched the lead to 25 at 49-24. Krikke scored 14 first-half points, but the rest of the team was held in check. Meanwhile, the Cougars shot lights out, knocking down nine of their 12 3-point attempts and shooting 68 percent from the field. At one point, the Cougars made 11 straight field goals without a miss.
- Quinton Green (Columbus, Ohio / Homeschool [Cedarville]), who was limited to 11 minutes due to foul trouble before fouling out, had a 3 and a pair of free throws as part of a half-opening spurt that also saw Edwards score six points in the first two and a half minutes of the second stanza. Edwards’ third basket of the half came at the 17:31 mark and cut the lead to 16.
- Edwards made his fourth basket of the half before the half was four minutes old to continue to provide a scoring lift.
- Jerome Palm (Almere, Netherlands / Echnaton [Hillsborough CC]) cleaned up the offensive glass on several occasions in the second half, including a put-back with 10:52 on the clock that made it 63-47. After a pair of Darius DeAveiro (Kanata, Ottawa, Canada / Orangeville Prep) free throws and a nice jumper by Krikke, the Beacons cut the lead to 12 at 63-51 by the half’s midway mark.
- However, the Cougars continued to make all of their free throws and hit shots at a high enough clip to make it hard for the Beacons to fully get back in the game. The Cougars went 27-of-28 (96.4 percent) at the foul line including 21-of-22 in the second half after entering the game at 68 percent over their first three contests.
Inside the Game
- Krikke led all scorers with 27 points and has now scored 55 over the last two contests. He was one shy of his career high of 28 that was established in Sunday’s game against Western Michigan. He shot 12-of-16 and was 3-of-3 at the line. Krikke is averaging 24.3 points per game over the season’s first three outings. This marked Krikke’s 54th career double-figure game and his 11th with 20+ points.
- Edwards had his first double-figure game in a Valpo uniform with the 15-point output, the 25th double-figure scoring effort of his collegiate career.
- Kobe King (La Crosse, Wis. / La Crosse Central [Wisconsin]) paced the team on the glass with six rebounds including four offensive boards. King scored 11 points, finishing in double figures for the third consecutive game and the 22nd time in his 26-game Valpo career.
- The Beacons shot 48.3 percent for the game but were just 2-of-11 from 3-point territory. Valpo made 14 of its 18 free throws (77.8 percent). Chicago State posted impressive shooting numbers at 54 percent from the field, 63 percent (10-of-16) from 3 and the aforementioned 96 percent from the line.
- Valpo held a 24-10 edge in transition points and a 42-30 advantage in points in the paint.
- The Beacons shot 54.3 percent in the second half and outscored the Cougars 50-38 after the break.
- Sophomore Preston Ruedinger (Oshkosh, Wis. / Lourdes Academy) returned after missing the previous two games with a back injury, but Ibra Bayu (hernia) and Cam Palesse (thumb) remained sidelined.
Valpo (1-2) will look to get back in the win column on Saturday as Incarnate Word comes to the Athletics-Recreation Center for a 7 p.m. tip. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3. Links to live video, audio and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit valpoathletics.com/tickets.