VALPARAISO, Ind. — Valparaiso scored the final six points of the game to push past the Drake University men’s basketball team in the final minutes of a 66-61 decision Saturday at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
“It’s a typical Valley game and that’s what you’re going to see across the league every night,” Drake head coach Darian DeVries said. “Give credit to Valpo. They made plays down the stretch to come away with the win and come up with stops they needed.”
Roman Penn, who hails from nearby Calumet City, Ind., led Drake with 21 points, one shy of a career high, on 9-of-15 shooting with eight rebounds and seven assists.
Liam Robbins added 13 points in the loss while Newton native Garrett Sturtz added 12, 10 of them coming on backdoor cuts to the basket to frustrate the Crusaders. Sturtz was 6-of-7 shooting in 27 minutes of play. He also added six rebounds to his team-leading 105.
Drake (12-5, 2-2 MVC) was unable to establish any significant cushion over the Crusaders as Valpo stayed within two possessions in the second half until tying the contest at 57-all with 4:30 left in the game. Ninety seconds later, a Jon Kiser 3-pointer put the Crusaders up, 60-59.
The Bulldogs return home for their next contest against Illinois State at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Knapp Center in Des Moines.