Valparaiso pulled off an upset against Green Bay on Wednesday night, 75-60. Led by LaVonte Dority’s 26 points and Lexus Williams’ eight assists to just one turnover, the Crusaders were able to coast into the finish.
The Crusaders went into halftime leading 42-29. Vashil Fernandez set the tone early with three blocked shots and two of the Crusaders 24 first-half points in the paint.
Coming out of the half, Bryce Drew picked up a technical foul after an apparent foul to Alec Peters. With Keifer Sykes making one of two free throws to cut the lead to 12, the Crusaders then went on a 14-0 run to take a 26-point lead and put the game away with 14 minutes remaining.
The Crusaders held conference player of the year Keifer Sykes to 19 points on 5-for-13 shooting and forced him into five turnovers. It was only the second time in eight games that Sykes did not score 20 points. Greg Mays contributed eight points and seven rebounds.
Jabril Adekoya had outstanding defense when switched up on Sykes and he contributed 12 points and five rebounds on the score sheet.
The inside-outside play by the Crusaders, designed to take advantage of the lack of an injured Alec Brown, seemed to doom the Phoenix. Adekoya, Fernandez and Moussa Gueye shot a combined 9-for-11 from the field, and the Crusaders outrebounded the Phoenix 38-28.
Before the game, Valparaiso retired No. 24, the first in its history, shared by Bruce Lindner and current head coach Bryce Drew.