VALPARAISO | Lowell's Run'n Red Devils got their nickname historically by never turning down a shot they didn't like.
Really, the up-and-down offensive style never found a shot it didn't like.
On Tuesday, with visiting Valparaiso in town, everything was a polar opposite, on a night where polar bears were wearing parkas.
Lowell's defense forced 19 turnovers in pulling out a 40-34 win. The biggest came from Aaron Hamm with 2:47 left in the game that gave the Devils (2-1) a five-point lead.
“That was huge,” Lowell coach Nate Richie said.
All this was especially important with leading scorer Zach Van Hook only getting eight points.
The home team was led by Billy Barker's 15 points.
“We trapped them and played hard,” Barker said. “Beating Valpo is a huge deal. They're a very respected program. Coming off a loss (to E.C. Central), we wanted to come back strong and get a victory.”
Valpo led 21-20 at the half, on the help of two 3-pointers by Justin Osburn in the first quarter. But it didn't end well, especially after a 15-10 lead after one.
Vikings coach Matt Thomas called a timeout with 58.6 left in the second quarter after six turnovers in a short span.
He got in each player's face and pointed at their heart. Taking care of the ball was the plea.
“Lowell's length did affect us,” Thomas said. “It's a credit to Lowell. They played hard with a lot of heart.”
Conner TenHove and Drew Paul each had 10 points for the Vikings.