Kevin Van Wijk comes up big for Valparaiso
By Michael Osipoff 648-3137 or email@example.com February 12, 2013 11:14PM
Updated: March 14, 2013 6:50AM
DAYTON, Ohio — More often than not, when Valparaiso needed a basket against Wright State, it went inside to Kevin Van Wijk.
And more often than not, the senior big man delivered.
Van Wijk scored 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting, and added a game-high nine rebounds, as the Crusaders topped the Raiders 68-61 on Tuesday night at the Nutter Center. And he did it in 24 minutes, hampered by foul trouble.
“I thought Kevin was sensational tonight,” Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew said. “We know Wright State plays some of the better defense in the country (averaging 58.5 points allowed entering the game, 23rd nationally), and he hit some tough shots, really posted up hard.”
Van Wijk, per usual, was quick to credit his teammates.
“Getting deep spots,” Van Wijk, who had 18 points and seven rebounds against Wright State in Valparaiso’s Jan. 19 win at the ARC, said when asked what was working. “The guys were really looking for me tonight. Everybody had their way of finding me in the post, and I was able to finish this time.”
And Matt Kenney was quick to credit Van Wijk.
“Kevin tonight was huge,” he said. “We threw it in there, and he was just scoring at will.”
Down, but not out: Already nursing an ailing back, Kenney rolled his right ankle with 16:52 left in the game, stepping on a cameraman under the basket. Later in the game, team athletic trainer Rod Moore worked on Kenney’s ankle. The senior guard expected to be OK, though.
“I’ve had so many ankle injuries over the years,” said Kenney, who also wanted to apologize to the cameraman, hoping he was OK as well. “It’s fine, 100 percent fine; I’ll ice it and I’ll be good. But it scared me — this far into the season, I don’t want a sprained ankle or a broken ankle, I can’t afford that. I was worried at first.”
Kenney said his back is holding up, and it doesn’t really bother him in the games, when the “adrenaline kicks in.”
Eight is enough: Valparaiso used eight players on Tuesday, with each scoring at least four points. Jordan Coleman did not play for the first time this season, after having appeared in each of the Crusaders’ first 25 games.