RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team made just 33 percent of its shots in an 82-60 road loss to Valparaiso University in the 2013 ESPN Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters.
The Crusaders (22-7) shot 68 percent from the field.
The Colonels (22-7) fell behind 11-2 out of the gate and trailed by seven, 24-17, with a little over eight minutes left in the first half. Eastern put together a strong defensive stretch that allowed the visitors to score eight unanswered.
Valparaiso had four turnovers and a missed shot on five straight possessions. The 8-0 run was highlighted by Timmy Knipp’s 3-pointer and ensuing free throw after being fouled on the shot. Two free throws by Mike DiNunno capped the run and gave EKU its first and only lead of the game, 25-24, with 5:32 left in the opening half.
The Crusaders answered with a run of their own to take control. Valpo ended the first half on a 15-4 run, then scored the first six points of the second half on 3-pointers by Ryan Broekhoff and Will Bogan to stretch the run to 21-4. Bogan’s trey pushed the lead to 16, 45-29. The Colonels never got closer than 11 the rest of the way.
Corey Walden scored a game-best 20 points. He made 7-of-13 attempts from the field, including 3-of-5 from behind the arc. DiNunno finished with 19 points. Eric Stutz contributed 10 points and five rebounds.
Broekhoff and Bogan led Valparaiso with 13 points each. Five Crusaders finished in double figures.
Valpo made 30-of-44 shots from the field, including 7-of-17 from three-point range (41.2 percent). VU out-rebounded Eastern by 14. EKU committed six fewer turnovers, but made just 20-of-61 attempts from the field.
The Colonels will close out the 2012-13 regular season with a pair of road games next week beginning at Tennessee Tech on Thursday. Tip-off in Cookeville is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET.
Eastern has already clinched a spot in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament for the 11th straight season. The Colonels also have clinched a top-4 seed, which means at least a first round bye.
This was the first meeting between Eastern Kentucky and Valparaiso since Dec. 2, 1985. EKU won 73-48 in Richmond.
Eastern Kentucky leads the all-time series 3-2. The Colonels are 1-1 in games played in Valparaiso.