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Valparaiso Comes Up Big Down the Stretch, Defeats Kent, 75-69

Valpo hit the shots when they needed to

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Kent State and UCLA Bruins Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Kent State Golden Flashes were looking to improve to 4-1 on the season. In their way, the 5-0 Valparaiso Crusaders.

Kent State stayed close most of the first half before Valpo made a run late, building a 32-22 lead with 2:02 left. Adonis De La Rosa scored close while Jaylin Walker hit a three to keep the Golden Flashes in the game. They were only down 34-27 at the intermission.

The two teams battled in the second half, with Valpo holding a 65-63 edge at the 3:41 media timeout. Kent State was able to stick around by being better from beyond the arch. The Valpo bench held a 35-19 point advantage at that point, which would be the deciding factor in the game.

The Golden Flashes had a few chances to take the lead late, and closed to 68-67 on a couple of De La Rosa free throws with just 51 seconds left. Joe Burton, who was 0-6 at that point nailed a three to crush the dreams of Kent State.

Valpo made the shots late to win the game.

Jaylin Walker led the Golden Flashes with 15, but only shot 5 of 16. When he gets his head right, this Kent team is going to be formidable. De La Rosa hit all 3 shots from the field and all 4 free throws to finish with 10 points and 7 rebounds.

Kent State takes on Loyola-Chicago tomorrow.