The 3-point arc told the tale of the game’s outcome on Sunday afternoon at the Athletics-Recreation Center. The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team made a season-most 10 triples while boasting a season best in terms of 3-point defense en route to a 71-66 victory over visiting Elon. Valpo built up an 18-point advantage before holding on for the triumph.
How It Happened
- The Beacons sprinted out to an 8-2 lead that included an early 3-pointer by Quinton Green (Columbus, Ohio / Homeschool [Cedarville]). The Phoenix responded to eventually tie the game at 14 on a made 3 with 12:49 to go in the half.
- Elon took its first lead of the day on another 3 with 11:09 remaining of first-half time to make it 19-16, and a moment later the lead grew to five.
- That’s when Valpo assembled a 10-point run capped off by a Kobe King (La Crosse, Wis. / La Crosse Central [Wisconsin]) traditional 3-point play to make it 26-21 in favor of the hosts.
- Elon clawed back to within one at the 6:53 mark of the first half, but then a 13-0 Valpo run that started on a pair of Green 3s and finished with a pair of Connor Barrett (Chicago, Ill. / Loyola Academy) baskets enlarged the margin to 14 at 39-25.
- Valpo took a 42-29 lead into the halftime locker room, and the edge reached 18 early in the second half.
- The Beacons owned a 55-37 lead with 13:25 on the second-half clock, but a sudden 14-0 Elon burst made it a four-point game at 55-51 with 7:39 to go. Nick Edwards (Atlanta, Ga. / Grayson [Glenville State]) finally ended the scoring drought with a bucket at the 7:00 mark.
- Edwards and King responded by helping Valpo lift the lead back to 12 with 2:12 to go. The Phoenix fought to within six with 53 second remaining, but Valpo raised the lead back to 11 with 36 ticks to go before Elon scored the game’s final six points.
Inside the Game
- King poured in a game-high 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting and 6-of-7 at the free-throw line. He was a perfect 5-of-5 from the floor in the opening half.
- King scored in double figures for the 31st time in his 35 Valpo games and the 12th straight game to begin this season. He scored 15+ points for the 10th time in 12 games this year and 20+ for the fifth time this season.
- Edwards celebrated the season of giving by handing out a season-high 13 assists, three shy of a single-game program record, which was set by John McIlvain on Jan. 13, 1983 at UIC.
- Edwards became just the 10th player in the nation this season with 13 or more assists in a game.
- The last Valpo player prior to Edwards with 12 or more assists in a game was Bryce Drew on Jan. 21, 1995 vs. Eastern Illinois. Edwards became the first Valpo player with 13 assists in a single contest since at least the start of the 1989-90 season.
- Prior to this season, only one Valpo player (Deion Lavender twice) had a double-digit assist output in the last decade. Now, two Beacons have turned the trick this season as Edwards joins Darius DeAveiro (Nov. 13 vs. Western Michigan).
- Edwards added five points, six rebounds and two steals. Jerome Palm (Almere, Netherlands / Echnaton [Hillsborough CC]) paced the team on the glass with seven rebounds to go along with three blocks, the first three-block game by a Beacon this season.
- Green tied a career high for made 3s in a game with five, the third time this season he has reached that number. He tallied 16 points and grabbed six boards.
- Barrett went 4-of-5 from the field en route to a season-high 13 points, outdoing his previous season best of three. This marked Barrett’s first double figure scoring output since his freshman season – Jan. 28, 2021, a 14-point performance vs. Bradley.
- Senior Ben Krikke (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada / Jasper Place]) scored seven points to crack the top 20 on Valpo’s all-time scoring list. He now ranks 20th in program history with 1,202 career points after surpassing Lance Barker (1991-95; 1,196) on Sunday.
- The 10 made 3s were Valpo’s most of the season as the Beacons shot 40 percent or better from long distance for the third time this year. This was the squad’s first game with 10 or more made 3s since last season’s MVC Tournament victory over Evansville (10).
- Elon made just three of its 27 3-point tries, good for just 11.1 percent. This was Valpo’s best game in terms of 3-point defense since Feb. 23 of last season vs. Drake (10 percent).
- The Beacons shot a season-best 51 percent from the floor.
- Valpo improved to 3-0 this season in games decided by five points or fewer while also improving its home record to 4-1.
Click here for postgame press conference.
Valpo (5-7) will attempt to close out the nonconference portion of the season on a winning note as Stonehill comes to town on Wednesday at noon for the program’s annual Community Day at the ARC. Upper bleacher tickets are available for the discounted price of $5 and children ages 18 and under will be admitted free of charge. The first 400 fans through the turnstiles will receive a free Valpo Santa Hat as part of Christmas at the ARC. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit valpoathletics.com/tickets.