The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team overcame an early 10-point deficit to take a five-point lead late in the first half, but visiting UNI eventually pulled out a 69-67 victory on a buzzer-beating putback as time expired on Wednesday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Ben Krikke (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada / Jasper Place) paced Valpo with 20 points, leading four Beacons in double figures.
How It Happened
- UNI started the game with a big burst as the Panthers scored the game’s first 10 points, capping the run with a 3-pointer by Bowen Born with less than three minutes elapsed. A triple by Quinton Green (Columbus, Ohio / Homeschool [Cedarville]) eventually put the Beacons on the board.
- Valpo trailed 22-10 with 12:45 left in the first half, and the lead was still nine with 10:50 on the first-half timer. That’s when Valpo compiled a 9-0 run to level the score at 24.
- Green gave Valpo its first lead of the game by draining a 3 with 4:08 to go in the half to make it 31-28. The Beacons built the lead to five after a steal by Ibra Bayu (Flevoland, The Netherlands) and fastbreak layup by Ben Krikke (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada / Jasper Place), but UNI scored the next seven points to go back in front.
- Freshman Maximus Nelson (Appleton, Wis. / Appleton North) hit a game-tying 3 with 55 ticks left in the opening stanza, but Born responded by swishing a triple of his own to give the Panthers the lead into the locker room.
- Valpo closed to within one after a Krikke basket with 17:10 to go in the second half to make it 48-47, but the Panthers rattled off the next eight points to build the lead back to nine at 56-47.
- The game of runs continued as a 3-point play by Green and a fastbreak triple by Kobe King (La Crosse, Wis. / La Crosse Central) on a Connor Barrett (Chicago, Ill. / Loyola Academy) assist helped Valpo get within three at 58-55. Valpo finished off the eight-point spurt with another basket to get within one, but couldn’t get over the hump to take the lead.
- The UNI lead swung between three and five for several minutes. Four straight made free throws by King allowed the Beacons to get all the way back to even at 67-67 with 12 seconds on the clock.
- UNI won on a buzzer-beating putback as time expired.
Inside the Game
- Krikke tallied 20 points, boosting his career total to 1,263, climbing into 19th in program history in career scoring. He moved past Darryl Ashby (1,247) on Wednesday.
- Krikke has been in double figures 14 times in 16 games this season. Wednesday marked his seventh 20-point output of the year.
- Krikke dished out a team-high six assists, shattering his previous career high of five set on Jan. 26, 2021 vs. Bradley.
- King scored 12 of his 14 points after halftime, finishing in double figures for the 16th straight contest. He is up to 977 career points.
- Nelson finished with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting, bettering his previous career high of seven points.
- Green was the fourth Beacon in double figures with 16 points. He swiped four steals, establishing a season high and tying a career best set on Nov. 16, 2018 vs. Campellsville Somerset while playing at Cedarville.
- Sophomore Darius DeAveiro (Kanata, Ottawa, Canada / Orangeville Prep) saw his first action since Dec. 10 after missing five games with a knee injury. He boasted a plus-minus of +13 in his return to the court and handed out four assists.
- The Beacons moved the ball well, delivering 18 assists on 25 made baskets. Nick Edwards (Atlanta, Ga. / Grayson [Glenville State]) accounted for five assists, his fifth straight game with five or more helpers.
- Bayu played solid defense throughout the game and rejected three shots in just 16 minutes.
- Valpo shot 55.6 percent in the first half but was held to 34.5 percent after halftime.
- UNI had four players in double figures including double-doubles from Michael Duax (15 points, 12 rebounds) and Tytan Anderson (16 points, 12 rebounds).
Click here for postgame press conference.
Valpo (6-10, 0-5 MVC) will have a nationally-televised contest on Saturday afternoon at Bradley. The game tips at 2 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.