The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team saw its three-game winning streak come to an end on Wednesday night with a 77-66 setback to host UNI in Cedar Falls, Iowa. A valiant effort by Ben Krikke and a double-double by Kobe King helped the Beacons make several pushes, but the guests could not fully dig out of a hole created by several big first-half runs for the Panthers.
How It Happened
- Valpo wasted no time in knocking down a 3-pointer as Maximus Nelson hit from deep on the game’s first possession. The play was even early, and Valpo knotted the score at 15 after Ibra Bayu drained a 3 on a Darius DeAveiro assist at the 13:06 mark.
- The game was tied at 17, but Valpo did not score from the 11:39 mark to the 5:29 mark, during which time the Panthers embarked on a 13-0 run.
- Valpo put together a push to cut the lead to seven as Nelson hit a 3, Krikke showed persistence on the glass for a third-chance bucket and Nick Edwards beat the shot clock horn with a 3.
- UNI went on its second big run of the half, scoring the final 10 points of the period to build the lead to 17 at the break at 45-28.
- The Beacons showed fight early in the second half, taking seven points off the deficit to shrink the gap to 12. Connor Barrett hit a 3 with 14:09 on the clock to get Valpo to within single figures, and then a Quinton Green 3 got the lead down to seven.
- A second-chance bucket by Krikke at the 8:27 mark cut it to five at 59-54, but UNI’s Bowen Born responded with a monster 3, and a moment later the lead was back to double figures. Valpo got it to nine one more time with 1:23 to go, but could get no closer.
Inside the Game
- Krikke led all scorers with 22 points while stuffing the stat sheet with eight rebounds, five assists and two steals. This marked Krikke’s highest scoring output since Dec. 4 vs. Murray State.
- King posted a double-double of 14 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. This represented his career high on the glass, outdoing his previous best of 11 on Feb. 5 vs. Indiana State. This marked his first double-double of the season and the third by a Beacon (Krikke and Edwards).
- Edwards posted 12 points to go along with five rebounds and three steals, making it three Valpo players in double figures.
- Krikke advanced another spot on Valpo’s all-time scoring list, passing Milo Stovall (1998-2002, 1,339) for 17th.
- King scored in double figures for the 22nd straight game.
- Valpo held a 12-3 edge on offensive rebounds.
Valpo (9-13, 3-8 MVC) will return home to face off with Evansville on Saturday night at 6 p.m. The first 500 fans will receive free Valpo koozies. Tickets are available at valpoathletics.com/tickets.