VALPARAISO | Lengthy possessions, few points.
That's the theme of just about every Valparaiso game this season. It was no different Thursday night in a Duneland Athletic Conference matchup with Crown Point.
Senior guard Justin Osburn capped off the final possession that lasted one minute, 20 seconds with a 25-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Times No. 10 Vikings a 44-41 victory over the Bulldogs.
"We drew it up to get it on the block and I was the second option," Osburn said. "I can shoot that shot normally; it's second nature."
It was a particularly satisfying shot for Osburn. On Thursday morning, he was a pallbearer at the funeral of his grandfather Charlie Osburn.
"That's the kind of guy Justin is," Valpo coach Matt Thomas said. "A pallbearer at his grandpa's funeral, and then he comes out here and plays his heart out.
"It amazes me."
Osburn finished with a game-high 17 points for the Vikings (10-7, 4-2 DAC). He drilled the game-winner from the volleyball line.
"He's just been a gym rat since he was 3 years old," Thomas said. "I remember watching Justin shoot baskets when he was a little kid, so I have all the confidence in the world in him."
Crown Point (9-6, 3-3 DAC) was led by junior Nick Jeffirs, who had 15 points and four rebounds.
Senior Bret Barclay scored 14, including three 3-pointers in the first quarter. Barclay ignited a 10-0 run for the Bulldogs early in the first quarter, hitting a deep 3- pointer from the right key off an assist from Josh Berquist.
Sophomore guard Grant Gelon hit one on the next possession, and Barclay hit two more later in the period as the 'Dogs led 15-8 after one.
Osburn, who struggled in a Saturday night loss to Bishop Noll, nailed an early 3-pointer to start the second quarter. The Vikings earned their first tie at 18-18 on a Drew Paul bucket with 4:47 remaining in the half.
Valpo freshman Jay Bisacky hit two shots late in the period off assists from Osburn, and Conner TenHove made two free throws with 1.2 remaining to get the Vikings to within 26-24 at the half.
With Barclay and Gelon on the bench with three fouls apiece, Valpo put together an 11-0 run in the third quarter, punctuated by 3-pointers from Osburn and Cole Wolf and a wide-open layup from Max Jindra.
Valpo got the final possession after a Conner TenHove steal with 1:20 left in the game, leading to Osburn's game-winning heroics.