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Valparaiso 73, Illinois-Chicago 63

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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Forward Alec Peters scored 29 points, and fourth-seeded Valparaiso held off a late charge by ninth-seeded Illinois-Chicago for a 73-63 opening-round Horizon League tournament victory on Tuesday at the Athletics-Recreation Center in Valparaiso, Ind.

Guard LaVonte Dority added 12 for the defending league champion Crusaders (18-14).

Valparaiso saw a 14-point, second-half advantage shrink to 59-56 with 6:29 to play, but the Crusaders maintained a lead that never slipped under five points the rest of the way.

Valparaiso completed a three-game season sweep of the Flames, whose campaign ended with the defeat. Illinois-Chicago (6-25) lost 19 of its final 20 games.

Illinois-Chicago guard Marc Brown scored 16 points, forward Jordan Harks had 14, guard Kelsey Barlow contributed 11 and guard Jay Parker added 10. The Flames maintain a 29-20 series edge, but last beat the Crusaders on Feb. 15, 2008.

Valparaiso never trailed, and it claimed a 39-28 lead by halftime behind Peters’ 14 first-half points. Brown had 11 for the Flames in the opening 20 minutes.

Valparaiso meets Milwaukee on Friday night in a Horizon quarterfinal at Green Bay. The fifth-seeded Panthers beat Detroit 83-73 in an earlier first-round match. Milwaukee eliminated Detroit 83-73 Tuesday.

The Milwaukee-Valparaiso winner will play the top-seeded Phoenix in the semifinals on Saturday, also at Green Bay.

Alan is an experienced writer of online betting and casino guides. He is one of the main editors of Basketballinsiders.

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