Youngstown State lead Valparaiso from start to finish
Post-Tribune staff report January 30, 2013 9:34PM
Updated: January 30, 2013 11:32PM
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — There would be no miracle comebacks for Valparaiso University this time.
The Crusaders, who stunned Detroit earlier this year when they came back from a 22-point deficit, were thoroughly outplayed by Youngstown State on Wednesday in an 80-68 loss. It was the fourth straight victory for the Penguins, who moved into third place in the Horizon League, a game behind the first-place Crusaders. Kendrick Perry, who finished with 28 points (8-of-12 from the field), was the biggest thorn in VU’s side.
Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew said his team never really found any kind of rhythm, partially because of YSU.
“Youngstown State did a lot of things well,” he said. “They were just quicker to the ball tonight.”
Drew said the Crusaders had some open shots but they “just never went down.”
The Penguins didn’t trail the entire game, jumping out to a double digit halftime lead and then extending that advantage to as many as 16 points in the second half.
VU (16-6, 6-2), which hadn’t played for a week (the Crusaders beat Green Bay 73-61 at the Athletics-Recreation Center on Jan. 23) certainly looked like a team out of sync.
The Penguins went ahead by 10 when Perry made a jumper with 10:34 left in the first half. That gave YSU a 19-9 lead. The Crusaders cut the lead to five points when Ben Boggs made a jumper with 6:11 left, making it 23-18. But YSU went on 16-10 run over the last six minutes of the half. Another score by Perry, who finished with 15 first half points and a free throw after he got fouled, gave the Penguins a 39-28 lead.
The Crusaders were cold from 3-point range in the first half, making just 2-of-15 and 10-of-29 overall (34.5 percent from the field). They also couldn’t stop Perry. He finished with 15 first-half points on 5-of-8 from the field.
It was more of the same for YSU and VU in the second half. A 3-pointer by freshman Ryan Weber with 11:01 left capped a 6-0 run for the Penguins and made the score 57-41. It also forced Drew to call timeout.
VU came out in the second half with more defensive energy but the Crusaders never could mount a serious run. They trailed by nine after Kevin Van Wijk made a jumper to start the half, but they never broke the double-digit barrier after that.
The Crusaders were led in scoring by Van Wilk, who finished with 14 points.
They play next at home on Friday against UW Milwaukee.