Valparaiso (16-3, 2-1) gained their 16th win of the season tonight over Cleveland State (9-9, 3-1) in a nail bitter classic (58-56.)
Alec Peters (17.8 ppg) continues to get the job done, when called upon. The Sophomore guard from Washington Illinois scored 24 points tonight, shooting 5-7 from behind the arc, and knocking down seven foul shots in the game.
With Valpo down 3 points and just over 2:00 minutes left in the game Alec was able to draw a foul shooting a three. Peters went to the line and sank all three foul shots to tie the game up at 54. The Vikings came down the next possession but were blocked by 6 foot 10 inch Vashil Fernandez, who then went down and scored in the paint to take the lead (56-54.)
Cleveland State had a chance at the end down by three with just two seconds left, Trey Lewis (16.6 ppg) was fouled shooting a three. Lewis made his first free throw, but missed his second, causing him to miss the next attempt on purpose. Trey shot the third foul shot quickly but was called for a lane violation, because he crossed the foul line before releasing the ball.
The Crusaders were able to pull out the victory despite having 19 turnovers and shooting 62 percent from the foul line. Injury to starting point guard Keith Carter, could be a reason for the high amount of turnovers, but the Crusaders did only turnover the ball 8 times in their last game against UIC (Carter's first missed game.)
Anton Grady (12.0 ppg) was the leading scorer for the Vikings connecting on 8 of 12 shots, and finishing with 19 points.
Cleveland State's head coach Gary Waters after the game discussed how they were unable to execute the game plan of stopping Peters, "Goal was to shut him down, obviously we didn't do that." He later on said "Shut him down they can't beat you."
As for Bryce Drew on Alec's play, "Alec was huge, I didn't realize he had 24 (points) and was 5-7 from three."
Alec Peters commented on the win "Any win in conference is satisfying", "The crowd was amazing, their were a lot of students there tonight."
Tonight's win gives Valpo their 16th of the season which is currently tied for the most in the nation with Gonzaga.
Cleveland States next game is Wednesday night at Wright State, while Valpo will also travel to Wright State next Saturday.