WMU vs Valparaiso

November 28, 2007

Late First-Half Run Fuels Crusader Victory

Valparaiso held Mid-American Conference preseason favorite Western Michigan without a field goal for nearly 11 minutes spanning the two halves Wednesday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center, taking a one-point deficit and turning it into a 14-point lead as the Crusaders downed the Broncos, 77-65. It marked the second straight game that Valpo has defeated a conference favorite. “It was really exciting to pick up our ninth home win in a row and defend the ARC tonight against a very tough Western Michigan team,” said Crusader head coach Homer Drew. “I thought our depth was really key tonight, as we got good minutes from all nine players who played and they all scored for us. Being able to move guys in and out of the line up was a big factor in keeping us fresh down the stretch.” The opening stages of the game were closely contested, and Western Michigan led by one at 20-19 with 7:57 to play in the half after a Michael Redell 3-pointer. Neither team would score for the next two minutes, until Shawn Huff (Helsinki, Finland/Makelanrinne) drained a trifecta on Valpo’s third 3-point attempt of the possession to give the Crusaders a two-point lead.

Huff converted a layup on Valpo’s next possession to extend the lead to four. Western Michigan answered with two free throws, but Urule Igbavboa (Oakdale, Minn./Tartan) responded with a dunk to move the lead to 26-22. Huff drilled another three the next time down to make it a seven-point game. The Broncos converted on two more free throws, but this time it was Howard Little’s (Chicago, Ill./Stoneridge [Calif.] School) turn to answer, as the freshman hit a 3-pointer to make it 32-24. Igbavboa gave Valpo a double-digit lead for the first time with a layup with 1:22 to play in the half. Western Michigan looked to keep the deficit manageable going into the break after hitting two more attempts from the charity stripe, but Huff hit his third triple of the half, followed by a 3-pointer from Jarryd Loyd (Lincolnwood, Ill./Niles West) with 12 seconds to play in the opening stanza to give the Crusaders a 40-26 advantage at the break. “The run in the last few minutes of the first half was crucial,” said Drew. “We really did a great job locking down defensively, and on offense, we did a good job moving the ball and getting open looks, and Howard, Jarryd and Shawn all stepped up to hit some clutch shots during that time.”

The Crusaders extended their advantage to as many as 17 points in the early portion of the second half before Western Michigan got a field goal from Martelle McLemore with 17:09 to play to snap its 10:48 drought from the floor. Valpo maintained a double-digit lead for most of the remainder of the game, answering immediately on three occasions when the Broncos cut the advantage to single digits. WMU cut the lead to nine with 1:43 to play, but Brandon McPherson (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) stepped up and hit four consecutive free throws to clinch the victory. “It was nice to see us respond to (Western Michigan) in the second half,” said Drew. “Every time they made a run at us, we responded, whether it was a drive by Jarryd or a 3-pointer by Jake Diebler (Upper Sandusky, Ohio/Upper Sandusky) or an offensive rebound and putback by Shawn. I was also proud to see Brandon step up and hit some clutch free throws near the end of the game.” Huff led all scorers on the night with 19 points, and was especially efficient, hitting 6-of-7 shots from the floor, including 3-of-4 from behind the arc. Igbavboa joined Huff in double digits with 15 points, connecting on 6-of-8 field goal attempts. He also tied for team-high rebounding honors, grabbing seven boards, as did Diebler, who set a new career high with his seven caroms. Loyd contributed in all areas, scoring nine points while also grabbing three rebounds, dishing out seven assists and registering two steals. The seven assists marked the most that Loyd has recorded over the last three seasons.

Western Michigan (4-3) was led by 16 points from Joe Reitz, who was a perfect 8-for-8 from the foul line. Three other Broncos reached double figures in the scoring column as well. Valpo held Western Michigan to just 19 field goals on 36.5% shooting, but the Broncos stayed in the game with a 22-of-31 performance from the charity stripe. The Crusaders, on the other hand, connected on a season-best 57.8% (26-of-45) of their field goal attempts, and knocked down 11 3-pointers on 47.8% accuracy. Valparaiso (5-1) matched its best record through six games under Drew, and will look to move to 6-1 for the first time since the 1998-99 campaign when the Crusaders host Ball State on Saturday night at the ARC. Tipoff is set for 7:05 p.m., and all the action can be heard live on the Valpo Sports Radio Network (WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso; WEFM, 95.9 FM, Michigan City; WAKE, 1500 AM, Valparaiso) or online at www.valpo.edu/athletics. The game will also be telecast throughout Chicagoland on Lakeshore Public Television, and can be seen online through the Horizon League Network at www.horizonleaguenetwork.tv.

Official Basketball Box Score
Western Michigan vs Valparaiso
11/28/07 7:05 p.m. at Valparaiso, Ind. (ARC)

VISITORS: Western Michigan 4-3
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
04 DREWS, Derek........ f  2-7    0-2    0-0    0  2  2   2   4  0  1  0  1  20
42 REITZ, Joe.......... c  4-6    0-0    8-8    3  2  5   5  16  0  3  0  0  29
22 REDELL, Michael..... g  2-4    1-1    6-6    0  1  1   4  11  4  3  0  1  27
23 KOOL, David......... g  3-7    2-5    3-4    0  2  2   0  11  1  1  0  2  30
34 GARY, Shawntes...... g  2-11   1-4    2-2    1  3  4   2   7  1  2  0  0  24
01 FRACALOSSI, Derek...    0-2    0-1    0-0    1  2  3   2   0  0  0  0  0  14
02 LAKU, Silver........    0-1    0-1    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  1  0  1   5
05 HERSHBERGER, Andrew.    1-2    0-0    0-2    2  0  2   3   2  0  2  1  1  15
12 RICKS, Andre........    1-6    0-2    0-0    0  0  0   0   2  0  1  0  0  11
15 WOLF, Alex..........    0-0    0-0    1-2    0  1  1   0   1  1  0  0  0   5
21 McLEMORE, Martelle..    4-6    1-2    1-5    1  1  2   2  10  0  0  0  2  11
33 LAWSON, Donald......    0-0    0-0    1-2    0  0  0   4   1  0  1  0  0   9
   TEAM................                         6  2  8             1
   Totals..............   19-52   5-18  22-31  14 16 30  24  65  7 16  1  8 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  8-24 33.3%   2nd Half: 11-28 39.3%   Game: 36.5%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  2-5  40.0%   2nd Half:  3-13 23.1%   Game: 27.8%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  8-8  100 %   2nd Half: 14-23 60.9%   Game: 71.0%    3

HOME TEAM: Valparaiso 5-1
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
00 IGBAVBOA, Urule..... f  6-8    0-0    3-6    0  7  7   4  15  0  2  0  1  33
35 HUFF, Shawn......... f  6-7    3-4    4-5    2  2  4   3  19  0  4  1  0  33
10 McPHERSON, Brandon.. g  1-4    1-3    4-4    0  0  0   2   7  2  2  0  1  17
13 HAANPAA, Samuel..... g  1-2    1-2    0-0    0  1  1   1   3  2  1  0  0  17
33 DIEBLER, Jake....... g  2-6    2-6    1-2    1  6  7   3   7  1  0  0  0  37
11 MacLEOD, Calum......    1-1    1-1    1-2    2  0  2   3   4  1  0  0  0   7
14 LITTLE, Howard......    3-6    1-3    0-0    0  1  1   0   7  2  1  0  0  14
23 LOYD, Jarryd........    3-4    2-3    1-4    0  3  3   3   9  7  5  0  2  26
44 BOUCHIE, Bryan......    3-7    0-1    0-2    0  0  0   5   6  1  1  0  0  16
   TEAM................                         1  5  6
   Totals..............   26-45  11-23  14-25   6 25 31  24  77 16 16  1  4 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 16-28 57.1%   2nd Half: 10-17 58.8%   Game: 57.8%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  8-15 53.3%   2nd Half:  3-8  37.5%   Game: 47.8%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  0-2   0.0%   2nd Half: 14-23 60.9%   Game: 56.0%    8

Officials: Lamont Simpson, Tom Clark, Kyle Ingram
Technical fouls: Western Michigan-None. Valparaiso-None.
Attendance: 3678
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Western Michigan..............   26   39  -   65
Valparaiso....................   40   37  -   77

Points in the paint-WMU 20,VALPO 30. Points off turnovers-WMU 20,VALPO 12.
2nd chance points-WMU 13,VALPO 8. Fast break points-WMU 2,VALPO 3.
Bench points-WMU 16,VALPO 26. Score tied-1 time. Lead changed-3 times.
Last FG-WMU 2nd-00:25, VALPO 2nd-02:09.
Largest lead-WMU by 5 1st-18:35, VALPO by 17 2nd-18:37.

Tom Wolf here: Sorry the pictures aren't better. Even though I was able to stand right next to the court in the first half the lighting in the gym was crappy as reflected in the quality of the pictures I took.

Hawkins: Stop talking and get stops
Thursday, November 29, 2007

VALPARAISO, IND. -- In the moments after Valparaiso's 77-65 win over Western Michigan University Wednesday night, the Crusaders' Jarryd Loyd tried to explain how his team held its guests to 37 percent shooting and 28 percent from behind the arc. ``We try to protect our home court, protect our house. ... We take pride in our defense as players,'' Loyd said. It's the type of statement Broncos coach Steve Hawkins would like to see out of his team, though he doesn't want his players to open their mouths to say it. Talking about defense -- Hawkins is sick of that. WMU's coach made that known when he benched his starters and most of the playing rotation to begin the second half, trailing 40-26. ``I mean I came in at halftime and I heard all of our guys talking about defense, and ... I was tired, to be honest with you, I was just tired of it. I'm tired of talking about defense. We've got to do it,'' said Hawkins, who backed up his verbal fatigue by not allowing his players to talk to the media afterward. ``Until we derive as much enjoyment from getting stops as we do out of scoring on people, we're not going to get to where we need to be, and that's ready for (Mid-American Conference) play.''

The Broncos' defensive lapses were most prevalent in the final four minutes of the first half, when Valparaiso outscored them 16-4 and knocked down four 3-pointers. Down 34-26, WMU (4-3) watched the Crusaders (5-1) hit back-to-back triples in the last minute, while its point guard, Michael Redell, had consecutive turnovers. ``They were more committed to running offense than we were to playing defense and it showed. It really showed,'' Hawkins said. ``... They were just beating us off the drive and that's what led to the 3-point shooters. We were forced to scramble long before their 3-point shooters ever got the ball. That's where the defensive breakdowns were. ``We couldn't keep them in front of us. That was the most frustrating thing.''

Hawkins opened the second half with Parchment native Alex Wolf at point guard, Silver Laku at shooting guard, Donald Lawson at center, Martelle McLemore on the wing and Andrew Hershberger and Derek Fracolossi splitting time at power forward. That's one walk-on (Wolf), two players who haven't played at all this season (Wolf and Laku) and four other guys who entered the night combining to average 10.2 points per game. ``I thought we could lose the ball game with the starters or we could lose with the kids that I think are going to bust their tale defensively,'' Hawkins said. ``I mean we're down 14, what's the worst that's going to happen? Are we going to lose by 30? A loss is a loss.'' The Wolf-run third unit played until the 14:47 mark, trimming the deficit to 10 (45-35) at one point, before leaving the game with the Crusaders about to make 1 of 2 free throws for a 49-37 lead. Valparaiso went 3-for-5 from the floor with four turnovers against WMU's subs. Offensively, McLemore kept the Broncos afloat, scoring nine of his season-high 11 points as WMU's primary option. The sophomore wing fell out of the rotation during the Broncos' first six games, averaging 1.2 points in 4.2 minutes. ``It might have been just exactly the situation Martelle needed to get himself going,'' Hawkins said of McLemore, who also came up with two steals and two rebounds in his 11 minutes. ``He could play freely, he could relax. It wasn't like any mistake was going to cost us the game. We had already put ourselves in that hole.''

With its normal rotation back in the game, WMU never made a substantial run. The Broncos cut the margin to 49-40, only to see Valparaiso counter with five unanswered points. When WMU finally got closer, 69-61 on a David Kool 3-pointer with 2:31 remaining, Valpo's Shawn Huff scored on a putback and then Kool and Shawntes Gary missed shots at the other end. Center Joe Reitz led the Broncos with 16 points and five rebounds, but fouled out trying to rebound the aforementioned misses by Kool and Gary. Kool also reached double figures with 11, but took only seven shots (3 of 7; 2 of 5 from long range).

Redell scored 11, as well, and dished out four assists to go with three turnovers -- a fairly good ratio considering WMU totaled just seven assists to 16 turnovers. Shawntes Gary (2-for-11) and Derek Drews (2-for-7) were examples of the Broncos' poor shooting a week after making 59 percent of their shots in an impressive home win against Davidson. Huff paced Valparaiso with 19 points and Urule Igbovboa added 15. Loyd tallied nine points and seven assists for the Crusaders, who shot 58 percent and made 11 of 23 3-pointers to win their ninth straight home game in front of 3,678 at the Athletics-Recreation Center.

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