Game No. 4
Ohio 76, Valparaiso 72
In a near-replica of a game played between the two teams three years to the week, Valparaiso rallied from a 16-point deficit to take a late one-point lead, only to go cold down the stretch and lose a close decision to the Bobcats. LaVonte Dority led the Crusaders with 20 points.
Game Ball -- Alec Peters and Clay Yeo sparked the Crusaders with 10 straight points that served as the beginning stages of a 24-7 run that gave Valparaiso a late 70-69 lead. Both freshmen shook off first half struggles to make several key plays that helped the Crusaders get back in the game. The youngsters are still learning how to close out a road game, but the pair have showed plenty of promise in the first four games of their respective careers.
Air Ball -- The Crusaders have had more turnovers than assists in all three of their Division I games this year. Valparaiso turned the ball over 19 times on Sunday, with 13 coming in the first half. Despite having a size advantage against Ohio, the Crusaders were unable to establish an offensive post presence, which would've led to easy assists. Valparaiso must get better at distributing the ball and limiting turnovers.
Weather Report -- Peoria was the site of a deadly tornado on Sunday afternoon which claimed at least five lives (as of the writing of this post). A tornado touched down in Washington County, the hometown of Valparaiso freshman Alec Peters. Peters was unaware of the damage during the game and when Bryce Drew was informed of the aftermath following the game, he quickly got off the phone and began searching information. According to Drew, Peters got in touch with his family and everyone in immediate relation was safe.
Quotable -- "I'm proud of the guys from battling back from down 16, but we're upset that we were down 16." -- Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew
Up Next -- The Crusaders close out their three-game road trip on Wednesday night with a game at Evansville. Valparaiso will then begin a four-game home stand on Saturday against James Madison.