Valpo Falls In MVC Play For First Time In 2019

by | Jan 16, 2019 | Headlines, RRSN News | 0 comments

Valpo Falls In MVC Play For First Time In 2019

 

The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team dropped its first Missouri Valley Conference game of the year on Tuesday evening, falling at defending conference champion Loyola by a 71-54 final. Despite the loss, which snapped a five-game winning streak, Valpo remains in a tie for first place in the MVC standings.

 

How It Happened

–          Valpo never led in the game, but took each shot Loyola threw at it in the early going. Back-to-back baskets from junior Jaume Sorolla (Tortosa, Spain/Sunrise Christian [Kan.] Academy) and senior Deion Lavender (Alton, Ill./Marquette Catholic [UAB/Southern Illinois) cut a five-point Loyola lead to 9-8 with 12:48 to play in the first half.

–          Then, after Loyola hit a pair of 3-pointers to extend its lead to seven, Valpo answered with an inside basket from junior Derrik Smits (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville) and a 3-pointer by freshman Javon Freeman (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young) to move within 15-13 with 8:35 to play in the half.

–          Loyola scored the next six points over the next two minutes to extend its lead to 21-13, but junior Markus Golder (Portland, Ore./Clackamas [North Idaho]) came back with four straight points of his own to make it a four-point game.

–          The Ramblers scored seven of the next nine to extend their lead to nine, and after the teams traded baskets, Golder came up with a mid-range jumper to make it a seven-point lead with a minute to play in the first half. But Loyola’s Cooper Kaifes hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds of the period – his third triple of the first half – to give the Ramblers a 33-23 lead at intermission.

–          Loyola started the second half on a 15-1 run to extend its lead to 24 points, and Valpo would get no closer than the final margin the rest of the way, outscoring Loyola 15-4 over the final five and a half minutes.

 

Inside the Game

–          Tuesday’s loss snapped Valpo’s five-game winning streak dating back to December 29. With the loss, Valpo falls into a tie for first place in the MVC standings with Loyola at 4-1.

–          Valpo sits at 4-1 in conference play having already played each of the conference’s top four choices in the preseason poll.

–          Loyola limited Valpo to a season-low 17 baskets from the floor (17-for-40) and a season-low eight assists. Meanwhile, Valpo committed 14 turnovers which the Ramblers converted into 23 points.

–          Valpo did enjoy one of its top free throw shooting performances of the year, going 14-of-17 from the charity stripe. Sophomore Mileek McMillan (Merrillville, Ind./Merrillville) led the way by going 6-for-6 as part of a nine-point effort.

–          Defensively, Valpo surrendered its second-highest opponents’ field goal percentage of the year, as Loyola hit 53.3% (24-of-45) from the field. The Ramblers matched that percentage from the 3-point line, going 8-of-15 from deep – the highest 3-point percentage by a Valpo opponent this season.

–          Golder led Valpo in scoring for just the second time this season, coming up just two points shy of his career best as he went 6-of-8 from the floor for 16 points.

 

Next Up

Valpo (11-7, 4-1 MVC) returns to action at the ARC Saturday afternoon as it hosts UNI as part of Basketball Day Indiana. Tipoff is slated for 3 p.m., and the game will be broadcast regionally on the MVC TV Network (NBC Sports Chicago; FOX Sports Midwest/Indiana/Kansas City).

 

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