LOWELL — It wasn't an "A" game for Valparaiso's offense Tuesday, but the defense sure got high marks.
The Times No. 2 Vikings locked up Lowell. forcing 19 turnovers in a 58-43 victory at The Pit.
"It was one of those nights offensively where we really couldn't find a groove," Valpo coach Barak Coolman said. "Part of the credit goes to Lowell. Their defense was good. Like I told the guys, if you don't play well on one end, you can still control the game. I was proud of our defensive energy and effort. It dictated the game for the majority of the time. If you can take care of the basketball and play good defense, you've got a good chance of winning most games."
Valpo led wire to wire, opening up a 10-point margin at the half after a nine-turnover second quarter by Lowell. The spread continued to build in the second half.
"They're a good defensive team," Red Devils coach Joe Delgado said. "They're a physical team. They played with a lot of energy and they fed off it. That's something we're striving for. We showed a little of our youth, handling that. We need to see that and rise above it. We can't take a step back. We have to match it. "
Brandon Newman scored 19 points for Valpo and checked Lowell's leading scorer Dustin Hudak, who matched his 19, but didn't score in the first half.
"I don't want to be a one-dimensional player," Newman said. "Everyone can score. A good basketball player does everything. That's why I've been working on my game in the offseason, practicing every day."
Newman had three 3s and a pair of dunks, one of a steal and another on a lob from Colin Walls.
"You can see he's worked to become a total basketball player," Coolman said. "Defense and every aspect."
Marcus Gholston picked up 14 points for Valpo, which asserted its size and strength advantage inside.
"The whole point of emphasis was to get the ball into the basket area," Coolman said. "Marcus plays hard. He's in the right place to get the right bounce. The more helter skelter it is, the more flying around, the better for him."