February 17, 20241st2ndFinal
Missouri St.384482
Stats at a GlanceVALPOMOST
FG Percentage.368 (28-76) .564 (31-55)
3P FG Percentage.346 (9-26) .333 (5-15)
FT Percentage.818 (9-11) .577 (15-26)
Offensive Rebounds1810
Defensive Rebounds2132
Total Rebounds3942
Bench Points39
PointsStafford - 24
Moore - 25
ReboundsEdwards - 9
Benson - 13
AssistsDeAveiro - 9
Lee - 8
StealsStafford - 4
Moore - 1
Lee - 1
Benson - 1
BlocksEdwards - 1
Schwieger - 1
Bey - 1
Edwards - 1
Late Run Helps Bears Best Beacons in Springfield
Saturday, February 17, 2024
Late Run Helps Bears Best Beacons in Springfield

The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team led by as many as 10 points, but Missouri State went on an 18-0 run in the game’s closing minutes to rally past the Beacons 82-74 on Saturday afternoon at Great Southern Bank Arena in Springfield, Mo. Two Valpo players eclipsed 20 points as Isaiah Stafford (Bolingbrook, Ill. / Crispus Attucks [John A. Logan / Southern Indiana]) paced the team with 24 and Cooper Schwieger (Overland Park, Kan. / Blue Valley Southwest) turned in 22.  

How It Happened

  • Valpo jumped out to an early lead as Jaxon Edwards (Indianapolis, Ind. / Cathedral [Murray State]) had a pair of early baskets including a dunk and Stafford drilled a game-opening 3, helping Valpo to a 9-3 edge out of the gate.
  • Chance Moore played a big factor early for Missouri State, including a basket at the 13:13 mark that put the Bears ahead by six at 17-11 thanks to a 14-2 burst.
  • The Beacons got back to even when Schwieger hit a 3 with 9:03 on the first-half clock to make it 21-all.
  • Valpo embarked on a 9-0 run from the 7:03 mark of the first half to the 5:24 mark, lifting the lead to double figures as Edwards and Schwieger hit back-to-back triples to make it 35-25 Valpo with 5:24 to go in the first half.
  • Missouri State responded with six points in a row. The lead fluctuated between three and five for the remainder of the half, and a second-chance layup by Matthew Lee at the horn cut the Valpo lead to 41-38 at the break.
  • The two teams were back and forth early in the second half. Schwieger hit a go-ahead 3 to make it 54-52 Valpo with 13:52 to go. Darius DeAveiro (Kanata, Ottawa, Canada / Orangeville Prep) got in on the 3-point act with 13:12 on the clock to break a 54-all tie.
  • A 7-0 Beacon burst including a pair of jumpers by Stafford put the lead back to 10 at 68-58 with 10:21 to play. Valpo still led by eight with 7:48 remaining. After Stafford’s basket with 7:48 left to make it 72-64, Valpo did not score again until Kaspar Sepp (Tartu, Estonia / Fairmont Academy) laid one in with three seconds remaining. During that time, the Bears went on an 18-0 run that decided the contest.

Inside the Game

  • Stafford’s 24 points marked his second straight contest with 20+ points. He has reached that threshold nine times this season.
  • Schwieger’s 22 points tied a career high set on Feb. 3 vs. Evansville. On Saturday, he went 8-of-15 from the field (53.3 percent) and knocked down four of his six 3-point tries. The four made triples represented a personal best. This marked his 12th straight game with nine points or more.
  • DeAveiro handed out nine assists and totaled 19 over two games this week. He scored seven points against the Bears.
  • Valpo switched up the starting lineup as Jerome Palm (Almere, Netherlands / Echnaton [Hillsborough CC]) made his first start since Dec. 16 after coming off the bench in 10 straight contests. He scored six points on 2-of-3 shooting and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line on Saturday.
  • Foul trouble plagued the Beacons as Schwieger fouled out and Palm and Ola Ajiboye (Chicago, Ill. / Evanston Township [Central Michigan / Bosco Institute]) had four apiece.
  • Valpo turned it over just once in the first half and had only eight giveaways for the game, the team’s seventh straight game either winning or tying the turnover battle and the squad’s ninth straight game with 12 giveaways or fewer.
  • The Beacons pulled down a season-high 18 offensive rebounds on Saturday. This was the team’s highest offensive rebound total since Nov. 21, 2017 vs. Samford. Valpo parlayed that into a 21-13 advantage on second-chance points. Missouri State still owned a 42-39 overall edge on the boards, Valpo’s eighth straight game being outrebounded.
  • Edwards tallied 12 points and nine rebounds on 5-of-8 shooting. He scored in double figures for the third time in the last five games.
  • Missouri State’s Chance Moore led all scorers with 25 points, while N.J. Benson had a double-double of 18 points and 13 rebounds and a big second half propelled Matthew Lee to a 19-point afternoon.

Up Next

The Beacons (6-21, 2-14 MVC) will return home to host No. 23 Indiana State on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Athletics-Recreation Center. For ticket information, visit valpoathletics.com/tickets.