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Men’s basketball: Valparaiso takes late lead, but still loses at Ohio

Updated: December 19, 2013 6:24AM



Like last Wednesday at Illinois, Valparaiso erased a big second-half deficit.

This time it was a 16-point margin, but unlike that previous road game, the Crusaders took a lead with under three minutes left.

Just like Wednesday, though, the Crusaders couldn’t hold off the Bobcats and fell 76-72 for their second straight road loss.

A basket by freshman Alec Peters with 2:49 left in the contest gave Valparaiso (2-2) a 70-69 lead. But Ohio finished the game on a 7-2 run to earn the victory.

But afterward, all the Valparaiso players and coaches could think about was the storms back home and if their loved ones were OK. Peters was high on that list since he’s from Washington, Ill., where a tornado caused plenty of damage and reportedly killed two people.

“None of us were aware of (the storms) until after the game,” Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew said. “We grabbed Alec out of the shower when we heard and he called his parents to make sure they were OK ... and thank the Lord they are. But the town is devastated.”

Peters had his best game in his short time at Valparaiso, scoring 16 points and grabbing 13 rebounds, while senior guard LaVonte Dority led the Crusaders with 20 points and three assists.

“We definitely took a step forward from the Illinois game (last Wednesday),” Drew said. “We executed through the end of the game. We took good shots ... we just didn’t make them. If we had knocked them down, that would have been the game.”

Valparaiso did improve its shooting percentage from the Illinois game, but only slightly at 37 percent (the Crusaders shot 32 percent on Wednesday). But Drew pointed out that Ohio is a very good team with eight returning lettermen that will compete for the Mid-American Conference title.

Drew also liked the efforts of freshman Clay Yeo and Moussa Gueye. Yeo, a Triton High School grad, had seven points off the bench, while Gueye had seven points, five rebounds and two blocked shots. Jordan Coleman added 11 points.



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