The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team moved to 2-0 at home by besting Incarnate Word 68-64 on Saturday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center. After being recognized for surpassing 1,000 career points in a pregame ceremony, Ben Krikke (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada / Jasper Place) poured in a team-high 22 to help the Beacons fend off the Cardinals.
How It Happened
- Incarnate Word took an early 5-2 lead, but Quinton Green (Columbus, Ohio / Homeschool [Cedarville]) and Krikke hit consecutive triples to vault Valpo ahead 8-5.
- A fastbreak dunk by Kobe King (La Crosse, Wis. / La Crosse [Wisconsin]) stretched the early edge to seven at 12-5 with 12:22 to go in the first.
- The Cardinals went on a 10-0 run to flip a 14-8 deficit into an 18-14 lead at the 7:42 mark.
- The lead went back and forth for the remainder of the half, with three free throws over the final two minutes eventually inching the Beacons ahead 29-26.
- Green hit an early 3 in the second half, then Krikke swished from long distance at the 16:22 mark to up the lead to five. Incarnate Word again fought back to take the lead and the game remained a seesaw affair.
- Freshman Maximus Nelson (Appleton, Wis. / Appleton) hit a crucial 3 at the 8:29 mark to break a 45-all tie and put Valpo back in front.
- King had a dunk with 6:44 to go to put Valpo once again ahead by three, and later Nelson made it a five-point game with a slam of his own.
- The Cardinals would still not go away, continually fighting back to within one possession. Green made a pair of free throws with six seconds on the clock to ice the game by extending the lead to four.
Inside the Game
- Krikke finished with 22 points on a day where he went 7-of-8 at the free-throw line. The Valpo forward has scored 18 or more in all four games this season and has 20+ in three straight outings.
- Green tied a season high with 20 points, matching his output from the opener at Toledo. He went 7-of-8 at the charity stripe.
- The free throw line was kind to the Beacons, who converted 20 of their 23 attempts, an 87 percent clip.
- Nelson chipped in seven points and five rebounds in 15 minutes.
- Jerome Palm (Almere, Netherlands [Echnaton [Hillsborough CC]) squeezed a team-high eight rebounds.
- The Beacons had six dunks in the game with King (3), Green (2) and Nelson (1) all in on the act.
- Former Valpo player Chris Artis returned to the ARC as an assistant coach for Incarnate Word.
Click here for postgame press conference.
Valpo (2-2) will begin a 10-day, four-game road trip by visiting Samford on Wednesday at 2 p.m. in Homewood, Ala. The contest will be broadcast on ESPN+ with links to live video, audio and stats available on ValpoAthletics.com.