The Valpo Crusaders welcomed neighboring Pride from Purdue Northwest for an exhibition game at Valparaiso University’s Athletics Recreation Center. This was only the second meet-up between these two teams, the first being in December of 2018, when the Crusaders sent the Pride home with a 97-61 loss to Valpo. Tonight, PNW returned once more to Valparaiso, hoping to even the score.
This proved to be a difficult task since the Crusaders (2-4) have proven to be a tough opponent under fifth-year coach Matt Lottich, and remain unbeaten on their home court so far this season. Valpo was originally scheduled to play a match-up with Eastern Michigan, which was postponed until the 2021-2022 season and this contest against the Pride was added.
Valpo jumped out to an early lead against PNW, building up a formidable 20-point lead against their Northwest Indiana rivals from Hammond, eventually building up a 45-32 lead over PNW by the end of the first period.
The Pride caught their second wind at halftime, though. After coming within 9 points of taking the lead, the Crusaders regrouped and rebounded to a resounding 89 to 71 final score against PNW.
Highlights for Valpo included #25 Nick Robinson, who scored 21 points, #23 Ben Krikke with 8 rebounds, and #3 Daniel Sackey with 6 assists.
On the PNW side was #1 Mikell Cooper with 17 points and #33 Vince Miskiewicz with 16 rebounds and 4 assists.Valparaiso will head next to Toledo, Ohio this Saturday, while the Pride will have a break until January 8, when they look forward to facing Michigan Tech in Houghton, Michigan.