It’s been 18 years since the last time Valparaiso beat a top 25 team. Last night, that streak was snapped. Valpo knocked off No.21 Rhode Island, 65-62, Tuesday night at the Atheltics-Recreation Center in Valparaiso.
Alec Peters led the Crusaders with 27 points and a perfect 10-10 from the free throw line while Jubril Adekoya chipped in 13. For Rhode Island, Jarred Terrell put up 21 points and Hassan Martin added 16 in the first true road test for the Rams this season.
Valpo was up by 2 with 20 seconds left when Shane Hammink fouled after missing a fast break layup. Rhode Island went to the free throw line and missed the front end of the one and one and ended up fouling Adekoya with 10 seconds left. Adekoya missed the first free throw but hit the second and the Rams, down by 3, had a chance to tie the game with 10 seconds to go in regulation. Rhode Island could not get a clean shot off and Valpo held on for their first win against a ranked team since former player/coach Bryce Drew hit a 3 at the buzzer against #4 Ole Miss in the first round of the 1998 NCAA Tournament.
A turning point in the game took place with less than 14 minutes left in the second half when Rhode Island Head Coach Dan Hurley was called for a technical foul. Peters hit two free throws to put up Valpo by 3 and Max Joseph followed with a layup to give the Crusaders a 5 point cushion.
Rhode Island (5-2, 0-0 A10) will have another tough road test against in-state rival Providence College on Saturday.
Valparaiso (7-1, 0-0 Horizon) heads down to Lexington, Kentucky to go head-to-head against the loaded Kentucky Wildcats.
Photo via John Raymond- AP Photo