Valpo Uses Defense To Spark Comeback In Knocking Off UWM
Jan. 28, 2012
MILWAUKEE - Ryan Broekhoff scored 11 points and Valparaiso overcame an 11-point second half deficit with strong defense in claiming a 55-52 win over the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Saturday afternoon at the U.S. Cellular Arena.
The Panthers (14-9, 7-4 Horizon) led 41-30 with 17:27 to play but scored just 11 points the rest of the way.
Kaylon Williams did have a chance to tie the game on a three-pointer from the left wing as time expired, but his shot through contact banked off the backboard and rim before bouncing away.
UWM was up 11 on a pair of occasions early in the second half and Milwaukee still led 46-40 with 10:13 to play. But Valpo scored seven in a row to claim a 47-46 advantage and the contest was tight from there.
The Crusaders (15-8, 8-3) took the lead back for good on a layup by Broekhoff with four minutes remaining and hung on thanks to a pair of layups and two key free throws from Kevin Van Wijk.
Williams did hit a three for Milwaukee with under a minute to play to cut a four-point deficit to one. And, Milwaukee's final possession included three 3-point attempts, including the final try at the horn from Williams.
"It was a tale of two halves," UWM head coach Rob Jeter said. "In the second half we just seemed to get real stagnant. We kept the ball out top and were never really able to get things inside. I am very impressed with Valpo. From the first play of the game you knew it was going to be an edgy game and they never backed down. They never backed off and they kept coming at us."
The Panthers led nearly the entire way in the first 20 minutes. The first portion of the contest included three runs. Milwaukee scored the first six points before Valpo responded with the next seven. But, the Panthers then scored 12 in a row to build an 18-7 lead, with threes from Haarsma and Meier capping the burst.
The advantage was eventually 12 at 21-9 on another Meier three and was still 24-12 after Haarsma knocked another one from long range.
The Crusaders crawled their way back into the game from there, with a three from Richie Edwards bringing Valpo within four at 26-22. But, Edwards was assessed a technical foul for taunting after making the basket, and ejected as it was his second of the game. That helped stem the momentum, as Milwaukee restored a 32-24 lead on a three from Ryan Haggerty and went into the locker room up 35-28.
Milwaukee restored a double-digit lead early in the second half, eventually going up 41-30 with 17:27 to play. But the Crusaders tightened up their defense from there, pulling out the key road win.
The Panthers wrap up their three-game homestand with a Tuesday night contest against Youngstown State. The game tips off at 7 p.m.