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Valpo erases double-figure deficit for road victory at SIUE

By: Valparaiso University Last Updated: November 13, 2019

The comeback kids were at it again on Tuesday night at the Vadalabene Center in Edwardsville, Ill.

Another resilient effort resulted in a road triumph as the Valparaiso University men’s basketball team transformed a double-figure first-half deficit into a double-figure victory, topping host SIUE 89-76. Sophomore Javon Freeman-Liberty (Chicago, Ill. / Whitney Young) has turned heads every time he’s taken the court this season, but Tuesday marked his best night yet with a double-double of 30 points and 13 rebounds.

How It Happened

Inside the Game

Thoughts from Head Coach Matt Lottich

“The message at halftime was that this wasn’t who we are, and we did a good job establishing ourselves in the second half. We’re doing a good job of closing games well defensively, but we’ve got to get back to the drawing board on how to start games well defensively. We’ve found ways to win two out of three so far. This is a hard game to play at the end of a five-day trip, so I’m pleased with the victory.”

“They were pressuring Javon a little bit, and he was able to get by his defender and did a really good job finishing. Teams have to crowd Javon this year because he can shoot. Last year, teams tried to lay off him a little bit. He’s playing very well right now. The other thing that sometimes goes unnoticed is how well our guys have been working together. Their movement and screening have helped him get the opportunities he’s gotten. It is great when you have a guy who can throw in 30, but it is a team effort always.”

“With Ryan Fazekas out, there was some conversation about our starting lineup. Donovan Clay and John Kiser have both played well. I like Donovan’s enthusiasm in the lineup and I like Kiser’s veteran presence off the bench. I talked to John about it, and he said, ‘Coach, I’m here for the team.’ I thought Donovan did really well embracing the opportunity.”

“Our zone helped; it forced them to be a little bit tentative on the offensive end. They’re a good zone defensive team, and I thought we did a good job attacking that tonight.”

Up Next

Valpo (2-1) will return home to host North Dakota on Sunday afternoon in a game that tips off at 1:30 p.m. at the Athletics-Recreation Center. It is slated to air on ESPN3 with links to live video, audio, and stats available on ValpoAthletics.com.