VALPARAISO | The Valparaiso men’s basketball team got a jump on putting together the 2013-14 highlight video on Sunday afternoon.
LaVonte Dority led five players in double figures with 21 points as the Crusaders notched their highest point total in 17 years with a 113-50 blowout victory over North Park.
Dority knocked down all five of his shots in the first half, including four 3-pointers, and bounced back from a poor shooting performance (3-of-13) in Friday’s season opener.
“It feels great when you see the ball going in,” Dority said. “I got in the gym and I was upset with the way I played last game. I was happy to get it going early.”
From Dority’s early 3-pointers to Andrean product Nick Davidson cracking 100 on the scoreboard with his first career points, Sunday was an offensive display for the Crusaders. Davidson played 15 minutes in his first college game and finished with five points, two assists and a steal.
“It was pretty special,” Davidson said. “My teammates were really supportive of me and were on me to get us to 100. I just kept being aggressive.”
The Crusaders (2-0) dominated every aspect of the game on Sunday and finished with 23 assists, 12 steals and 10 blocks. By the time Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew went with a freshmen-heavy lineup midway through the second half, the rout was on as the Crusaders turned in highlight after highlight down the stretch. Four different players were credited with dunks and Valparaiso had 18 fast-break points.
Valparaiso’s 113 points marked the most in a game since the Crusaders scored 118 points against Chicago State in the first round of the 1996 Mid-Continent Conference tournament during Drew’s sophomore year.
“As a coach you’re always worried after an emotional win about how the guys are going to play,” Drew said. “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.”
Drew improved to 50-20 since taking over the Crusaders in 2011 and he became the fastest coach in school-history to reach the 50-win mark, topping the 79 games it took both Loren Ellis and Gene Bartow. Former Valparaiso coach Homer Drew reached his 50th win with the Crusaders in his 159th game.
“It means that we have really good players,” Drew said. “They shot the ball well today and they’ve been efficient.”
Clay Yeo had 15 points and five assists while Jordan Coleman added 14 points, three assists and two blocks.