Led by a big performance from point guard Nick Edwards (Atlanta, Ga. / Grayson [Glenville State]), the Valparaiso University men’s basketball team coasted to a 96-60 victory over Trinity Christian College on Tuesday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Edwards stuffed the stat sheet with 21 points, five rebounds, seven assists and three steals, while Ben Krikke (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada [Jasper Place]) poured in 20 points in just 19 minutes of action. All 13 Beacons who saw the floor scored.
How It Happened
- The Trolls got off to a strong start, jumping out to a 9-4 lead through four minutes. A pair of Krikke baskets later, the game was even at nine.
- The contest was a seesaw affair for the first 10 minutes and the Valpo lead was three at 24-21 with 9:26 left in the first half. The Beacons scored the next five including a 3 by Preston Ruedinger (Oshkosh, Wis. / Lourdes Academy) to open up an eight-point edge.
- Sixth-year senior Quinton Green (Columbus, Ohio / Homeschool [Cedarville]) connected from long distance at the 7:19 mark, then a Kobe King (La Crosse, Wis. / La Crosse Central [Wisconsin]) dunk lifted the lead to 34-23.
- The lead stretched to 13 when Connor Barrett (Chicago, Ill. / Lourdes Academy]) buried a 3 with 3:53 left in the half, and Valpo eventually went into the locker room up 50-32.
- One highlight of the second half was a monster dunk by Ibra Bayu (Flevoland, The Netherlands [Perkiomen]) despite being fouled at the 8:22 mark to extend the lead to 30.
- Another second-half highlight occurred at the 3:46 mark, when Joe Hedstrom (Hopkins, Minn. / Hopkins [Wisconsin]) tallied his first basket of the evening on a Bayu assist. Hedstrom finished through contact and eventually completed the 3-point play.
- A third highlight of Half 2 occurred at the 1:51 mark, when senior walk-on Luke Morrill (Lombard, Ill. / Montini Catholic) drilled a 3 to lift the lead to 94-57.
Inside the Game
- The 21 points by Edwards shattered his previous season best of 15 established on Nov. 16 at Chicago State.
- Edwards also achieved a season high in the assist department with seven. He had handed out six twice this season, most recently Nov. 27 vs. James Madison.
- The three steals were also an outright season high for Edwards.
- Edwards became the first Valpo player since at least 2010 with 20+ points, 5+ rebounds,7 + assists and 3+ steals in a game.
- Krikke had his fifth 20-point output of the season and his ninth double-figure scoring effort in 10 contests. He has scored 20+ points 14 times in his collegiate career. Krikke’s scoring came on an efficient 8-of-11 shooting.
- Krikke played in his 100th game in a Valpo uniform on Tuesday.
- King contributed 17 points and has been in double figures in all 10 games this season. He has scored 15+ points in eight of those 10 contests.
- Jerome Palm (Almere, Netherlands / Echnaton [Hillsbourough CC]) grabbed a team-high eight rebounds in 15 minutes, his fourth straight game with seven rebounds or more and his sixth time in nine games with 7+ boards.
- Valpo shot over 50 percent from the field and 43 percent from the 3-point arc en route to the season-high 96 points, the team’s highest point total in 364 days. Valpo scored 101 on Dec. 7, 2021 vs. East West.
The Beacons (4-6) will make their way to Oxford, Miss. to take on Ole Miss on Saturday at 2 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on SEC Network.