Alec Peters drilled a 3-pointer on Valparaiso's first possession Saturday night and the Crusaders never looked back in their first game of the UCF Holiday Classic.
Peters and Lavonte Dority each hit four long-distance shots as the Crusaders knocked down 15 3-pointers in a 89-46 blowout win over Southeastern.
The Crusaders will take on host Central Florida this afternoon in a rematch of Valparaiso's 85-70 victory at the Athletics-Recreation Center from earlier this season.
"Our guys came out and did a good job of finding the open man and not rushing shots," Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew said. "I thought we did a great job of distributing the ball."
Saturday's game marked the much-anticipated debut of Valparaiso sophomore Keith Carter and the St. Louis transfer didn't disappoint, scoring eight points and dishing out five assists in 18 minutes.
"There's a difference between knocking down shots in practice and hitting them in games," Drew said. "I was very excited to see Keith come in and knock down a couple of 3-pointers and get other guys involved. He hasn't played in a year-and-a-half and I thought he did very well."
Dority led the Crusaders (8-5) with 18 points in just 17 minutes while Peters scored 16 points in 16 minutes. Every starter played less than 20 minutes and should be plenty rested for a rematch with the athletic Knights.
"Integrating Keith, we wanted to get into a rhythm," Drew said. "I thought everyone played really well out there and we were able to keep everyone to about 18 minutes. That should help us for (today)."
The Crusaders hit 15 of their first 18 3-pointers and finished the night shooting 62.5 percent from beyond the arc. Vashil Fernandez played a team-high 22 minutes and had seven points and seven rebounds to go along with three blocks.
Five played scored in double figures earlier this year when Valparaiso jumped out to a 20-7 lead against Central Florida. Peters led all scorers with 16 points, while Jordan Coleman added 15.
"We're going to have to play much better this time around if we're going to win," Drew said. "Both teams are better now than they were earlier this season and we're going to have to play very well against them."