Men’s basketball defeats Valpo in regular season finale


Aces take 65-63 win

Marty Hill recorded 21 points and K.J. Riley scored 16 to help the University of Evansville men’s basketball team take a 65-63 win at Valparaiso in the regular-season finale inside the ARC.

“It feels great, our guys never wavered and our hard work paid off today,” UE head coach Walter McCarty said.  “It is good for our guys to get the win and feel good heading to St. Louis.”

Hill went 7-of-13 from the field and hit four 3-pointers in the victory for UE (11-20, 5-13 MVC).  Riley notched 16 points while Noah Frederking had 12 and John Hall added 11.  Riley added a team-best seven rebounds and four assists.  Pacing the Crusaders (14-17, 7-11 MVC) was Derrik Smits, who scored 15.

A back-and-forth first half saw the Crusaders get on the board first before a Marty Hill trey gave UE an early 3-2 lead.  Valpo retook the lead at 6-5 and a 1-for-8 stretch from the floor by the Aces saw the Crusaders take a 16-12 edge just past the midway point.

Evansville made a nice run to take its largest lead, outscoring Valpo by a 12-2 margin to go up by a 24-18 score inside of three minutes left in the half.  K.J. Riley had six of the points while Noah Frederking added a 3-pointer and John Hall capped it off with a free throw.  Over the final portion of the period, the Crusaders rallied back to take a 28-27 halftime lead when Derrik Smits knocked down a pair of free throws in the final seconds.  Hill led UE with 11 in the half while Riley scored 10.

John Hall notched eight quick points to open the second half as UE took a 39-34 lead in the opening four minutes.  Hall drained a pair of 3-pointers while Hill added his third of the game.  Valpo came back in a big way, going on a 14-3 run to open up a 48-42 lead with the half reaching its midway point.  They connected on six out of eight attempts over the run.

The lead for the Crusaders reached 52-43 at the 7-minute mark as the total run was 18-4.  Dainius Chatkevicius ended the stretch with a layup before Noah Frederking hit a three to cut the Valpo lead to four – 52-48.  UE continued its fight as another trey from Hill knotted the game at 55-55 with just over four minutes on the clock.

After Valpo retook a 60-57 lead, Noah Frederking connected from long range to cap off a 5-0 stretch that gave the Aces a 62-60 lead in the final minute.  Derrik Smits hit two free throws to tie the game back up, but John Hall drove one to the basket with 17 ticks on the clock that gave the Aces a 64-62 lead.  From there, the Aces were able to hang on for the 65-63 triumph.

The Aces shot 40.9% for the game, but a total of nine triples helped to push them over the top as Valpo was 2-for-10 from outside.  Valpo finished with a slight 34-33 lead on the boards.

Arch Madness awaits the Aces as they open up on Thursday at 8:30 p.m.  The opponent

will be determined following today’s league games.