Ball State traveled to Valparaiso to take on the Crusaders for a bit of state bragging rights. A single win in Indiana will only take you so far, however, since there are so many great basketball teams there.
After going down 7-2 early, Ball State went on a run of their own, and took the lead, 11-7. The two teams battled back and forth, with the Cardinals taking the lead 33-26, with one minute left in the half. After a Coach Lottich called a timeout, Valpo came roaring back, and managed to go into the break only down 33-30, thanks to 4 Alec Peters free throws.
The battle continued, with neither team taking control, until Valpo went on a 10-3 run late, to make it 71-60 with only 1:40 remaining.
BSU was able to score 13 points after that, but Valpo hit their free throws, giving them the game, 79-73.
The Cardinals shot 50.9% from the floor, and 42.9% from beyond the arc. Valpo held the edge in rebounding, 36-30, including a 13-3 in second chance opportunities. The real killer for BSU, though, were the Crusaders 17 steals, which led to a total turnover margin of 23-14.
For the Cardinals, Francis Kiapway had 15 points, and Ryan Weber added 15 more off the bench. Trey Moses scored 13 while pulling down 9 boards. Franko House hit the career 1000 point mark, even though he only managed 7 this game.
The Crusaders were led in scoring and rebounding by Alec Peters. He had 23 and 8, respectively.
The loss put Ball State at 3-3 on the year, while the win moved the Crusaders to 6-1, and a perfect 4-0 at home.
Ball State hosts IU-Kokomo at 7pm on Tuesday, while the Crusaders host number 23 Rhode Island at 8pm the same day. After that, Valpo gets a nice break, not playing again until December 7th. They’ll need it, because they take on number 1 Kentucky, in Lexington.