Men's basketball

Crusaders win in Muncie for first time since 1967

2013-12-04T20:30:00Z 2013-12-05T01:59:05Z Crusaders win in Muncie for first time since 1967Paul Oren Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
December 04, 2013 8:30 pm  • 

MUNCIE | The Valparaiso men's basketball team took out 46 years of frustration Wednesday night.

The Crusaders used a 21-3 run that spanned both halves to dominate Ball State 69-50 in their first win in Muncie since Jan. 14, 1967.

Valparaiso had lost 12 consecutive games in Muncie and had won just three of its last 17 games against the Cardinals.

"Any road win is a special win," Valparaiso senior LaVonte Dority said. "This was our first road win of the year, and we talked all week about fighting to get this one."

Dority led the Crusaders (6-4) with 16 points, including three 3-pointers. The senior guard knocked down his first triple of the night at the end of the first half which sent Valparaiso into the locker room on a 12-0 run. Dority connected on his first long-distance shot of the second half as the Crusaders extended their lead to 17 points three minutes into the second half.

"We just ran our offense and took what was there," Dority said. "I give credit to my teammates for finding me."

Jubril Adekoya had a career-high 12 points and eight rebounds as the freshman continued his strong play since Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew put him in the starting lineup following a three-game road losing streak last month.

"I was proud of the way that our guys stepped up," Drew said. "I thought we played a full 40 minutes. We improved our play on the road tonight."

The Crusaders started the game by looking to establish a post presence with 7-foot center Moussa Gueye. The Alabama transfer finished with only four points, but added three blocks and a steal. Valparaiso outscored Ball State 40-15 in the paint.

"We've been trying to get Moussa going," Drew said. "When you have a guy that's in the first year in your program, you're doing your best to learn what he can do and to get him comfortable in the game."

The Cardinals (2-5) shot 26.9 percent (14-of-52) from the field and got just 28 points from the starting lineup. Reserve Mark Alstork led Ball State with 11 points, while Bowman Academy product Chris Bond had eight points and four rebounds. Bond did most of his damage at the free-throw line as the senior was just 1-of-8 from the field.

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