CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland State jumped out to an early lead, but Valparaiso was able to rally and then hold off a late Viking charge to earn a 78-67 victory at the Wolstein Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Vikings fell to 5-13 overall and 1-5 in the Horizon League, while Valpo improved to 14-4 overall (4-1 HL).
- Rob Edwards led the Vikings with 22 points, four rebounds and two steals.
- Bobby Word scored 14 points, hitting four three-pointers.
- Demonte Flannigan chipped in nine points, four rebounds and three blocked shots.
- Nelson Maxwell had a strong game off the bench, finishing with eight points, three rebounds an assist and a steal.
- Jibri Blount tallied five points and four rebounds.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Edwards scored seven points to help the Vikings race out to a 16-4 lead at the nine minutes in.
- CSU used full court pressure and strong defense to hold the Crusaders to one made field goal in their first 12 attempts in building the early lead.
- However, Alec Peters hit a three-pointer from the corner to stop the Viking run and help the Crusaders pull within three points (18-15) with just over eight minutes on the clock.
- CSU's lead was five points (27-22) after a Flannigan jumper with 5:07 to play, but the Crusaders closed the half on a 12-1 run to take a 34-28 lead at halftime.
- Flannigan started the second half scoring with a tip-in to pull the Vikings within four points (34-30), but 13 straight Valpo points allowed the Crusaders to open up a 47-30 advantage with 14:18 to play.
- The Vikings were able to cut their deficit back to nine points (53-44) as Word and Edwards knocked down three-pointers.
- But Valpo had an answer, scoring six straight points to push the lead back to 15 points (59-44) with just over nine minutes to play.
- The Vikings would rally to cut the Crusader lead to four points (68-64) on a Word three-pointer with 3:21 to play, but Valpo answered with seven straight points to push the lead to 75-64 with 1:41 to play.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- The Vikings committed a season-low eight turnovers, while Valpo made 11.
- CSU's bench out-scored Valpo's 20-12, but the Crusaders held a 43-25 advantage on the boards.
- The Vikings blocked seven shots and had seven steals.
- Valpo finished 32-of-37 at the free throw line, while CSU hit 17-of-25.
- The Vikings hit 8-of-24 from three-point, while the Crusaders were just 2-of-11.
- Alec Peters led all players with 30 points, adding nine rebounds.
- The Vikings conclude a stretch of three games over five days with a 7:00 pm contest at Oakland on Monday (Jan. 16).
- CSU then heads to Wisconsin for two games, playing at Milwaukee on Friday (Jan. 20) at 8:00 pm ET and at Green Bay on Monday (Jan. 23) at 7:00 pm ET.