VALPARAISO | Ben Boggs never lost faith that he would be called on to make an impact for the Valparaiso men’s basketball team.
The senior fell out of the rotation following a toe injury last month but returned to the starting lineup in a big way with 12 first-half points as the Crusaders started fast and blew out Milwaukee 71-40 on Friday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
The 40 points scored by Milwaukee are the fewest that the Crusaders have given up to a Division I opponent since they beat Green Bay 35-33 on Jan. 21, 1984.
“I was glad that I was able to provide a spark for the team,” Boggs said. “I just kept getting shots up, little things like that. You never know when (the opportunity) will happen.”
Ryan Broekhoff had 11 points and seven rebounds in limited minutes while Will Bogan added 12 points on four 3-pointers, just one game after he missed all five of his perimeter attempts.
“That’s kind of been the trend lately,” Bogan said. “I’ll have an 0-for game and then I’ll come out and hit some shots. I’ll try to work on keeping it with the good shooting games.”
The Crusaders (17-6, 7-2) looked nothing like the squad that took the floor at Youngstown State on Wednesday night, connecting on 11 3-pointers while scoring 30 points in the paint. Valparaiso was just 3-of-20 from the 3-point line against the Penguins.
“We had a tough game a couple nights ago,” Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew said. “The guys were really focused and mentally prepared and I thought that showed with their play.”
Bobby Capobianco played one of his best games in a Valparaiso uniform with eight points and nine rebounds while Vashil Fernandez added a career-high six points and two blocks.
The star of the night was Boggs, who knocked down two early 3-pointers and connected on his first five shots while playing 33 minutes, the most he has played all season.
“Ben is one of our hardest workers,” Drew said. “He always stays prepared and I’m really happy for him. It’s nice as a coach to have the luxury of having a player like Ben.”