VALPARAISO, In. — On the Crusaders’ senior night, their seniors stepped up big.
Valparaiso took the win over Missouri State 89-74 in a game with some pretty hefty Arch Madness implications.
Crusaders (16-14, 9-8) Senior Ryan Fazekas scored 20 points and was nearly perfect from the 3-point line, shooting 5-6.
The Bears (14-16, 8-9) road struggles continued as they drop to 3-10 in true road games this season.
Gaige Prim led the Bears in scoring with 17 points, while Isiaih Mosley scored 13 and Keandre Cook added 12.
Missouri State trailed most of the first half, but battled back to take the lead 27-26 off a Mosley layup with six minutes before halftime.
The Crusaders came out firing in the second half, opening on a 15-3 run before the Bears’ would get their first field goal of the half. Valpo would end up outscoring Missouri State 48-35 in the second half.
The win, for the time being, pushes the Crusaders over the Bears in the standings. Missouri State appears heading for a Thursday opener in Arch Madness, but it’s not certain yet.
The Bears host Southern Illinois on Saturday in the regular season finale. If the Salukis beat the Bears, MSU will play in the opening round. But if the Bears were to Beat SIU, other games (primarily Valpo at Indiana State) would come into play.