Game No. 2
Valparaiso 113, North Park 50
Five players scored in double figures as the Crusaders barely broke a sweat in Sunday's 63-point victory over the Vikings. The game marked the fourth-largest win in school history and Valparaiso's 113 points were the most scored in a game since the Crusaders hung 118 points on Chicago State in the first round of the 1996 Mid-Con Conference Tournament.
Game Ball -- LaVonte Dority caught a lot of grief for his 3-of-13 shooting performance in Friday night's season opener against Murray State. The senior responded by coming out and draining his first six shots and leading the Crusaders with 21 points in just 17 minutes Dority knocked down his first four 3-pointers and didn't miss a shot until three minutes into the second half. The senior added two steals and an assist.
Air Ball -- It's hard to find something to get down about today if you're Valparaiso, so I'll take a look at the bigger picture. I understand the personal connection to bringing in North Park (Valparaiso director of athletics Mark LaBarbera graduated from the school in 1981) and I know that the freshmen need all the floor time they can get, but I just wonder about the timing of this game. Going from an emotional Murray State game to a glorified practice in front of a sparse crowd may not be the best way to get ready for Illinois.
Quotable -- "As a coach you're always worried after an emotional win about how the guys are going to play. I thought the guys came out with some energy and then took the energy to a whole other level in the second half, especially on the defensive end." -- Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew
Balance! Balance! -- All eleven Valparaiso players had at least 15 minutes of court time on Sunday with the distrubtion ranging up to a team-high 22 minutes from three different players. All eleven players scored and no one missed more than three shots.
Record Watch -- Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew notched his 50th career victory on Sunday in just his 70th game as head coach. Drew became the fastest in program history to reach the mark, topping the 79 games it took both Loren Ellis and Gene Bartow. It took Homer Drew 159 games at Valparaiso to reach 50 victories.
Up Next -- The Crusaders (2-0) hit the road for their first game away from the Athletics-Recreation Center on Wednesday as Valparaiso takes on Big Ten foe Illinois. The Fighting Illini knocked off Alabama State 80-63 on Friday night and host Jacksonville State on Sunday evening.