Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Ryan Broekhoff registered a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds to lift the Valparaiso Crusaders to a 75-70 decision over the Illinois-Chicago Flames in a Horizon League tussle at UIC Pavilion.
LaVonte Dority added 18 points and four assists for Valpo (12-5, 2-1 Horizon) as it picked up its second straight win. Kevin Van Wijk went 4-of-5 from the field and a perfect 8-of-8 at the charity stripe to contribute 16 points before fouling out after 23 minutes of action.
Gary Talton paced UIC (10-5, 1-1) with 25 points after he hit six of his eight field goal attempts and drained all 11 of his free throw tries. Josh Crittle provided 16 points and seven boards while Hayden Humes netted 12 points for the Flames, who suffered their first conference loss of the season.
UIC scored the first five points of the contest to take an initial lead, but the Crusaders responded with 12 unanswered points to go on top in the early stages of the bout. The Flames overcame a seven-point deficit and Van Wijk sank a layup with just under a minute left before halftime to tie it up, but Broekhoff drilled a shot from beyond the arc to send Valpo into the intermission with a 33-30 advantage on the scoreboard. UIC managed to tally 11 second chance points in the opening 20 minutes to keep it close.
The Flames began the second stanza with some momentum and jumped out to a 46-37 lead less than five minutes after the break. Valpo rallied back with nine consecutive points to even the score, and neither side could build too great of an edge the rest of the way. Crittle converted a traditional three- point play with 2:34 remaining to tie it up for the 13th time, but the Crusaders generated a 6-0 run to go on top for good.
Valpo held a 31-26 advantage in the rebounding battle to overcome its 15 turnovers. The Flames were unable to pick up the victory despite draining all 18 of their free throw attempts.