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Wright State gives Valparaiso a scare on senior night | The Catch and Shoot

Wright State gives Valparaiso a scare on senior night

Valparaiso (25-4, 12-2 Horizon) gutted out a tough, 55-48 win Saturday against Wright State (11-17, 3-11).

Junior guard Keith Carter, who had been absent for a month, had a breakout game against the Raiders. Carter finished with 9 points on 3-of-6 shooting.

“I felt better,” Carter said. “Just tried to get into a rhythm for my team. (My jump) shot felt great tonight. I got my reps up in practice.”

Carter went down late in the second half with an apparent ankle injury, which worried every Crusader fan in attendance.

“I hit my big toe (on the play), but it felt okay after,” Carter said.

Another guard who was crucial to the win for the Crusaders was junior Darien Walker, who did not start on senior night in order to make room for senior David Chadwick.

Walker finished with 14 points on 50 percent shooting.

Photo: Valpo Athletics
Photo: Valpo Athletics

“Senior night is always an emotional time,” coach Bryce Drew said. “There is a lot of reflection going on. A lot of players who are told to sit on the bench will check out. Darien wasn’t upset, and he used it as motivation. Got two huge steals for us and made key shots.”

Speaking of key shots, sophomore forward Alec Peters nailed a 3-pointer with 3 minutes left to extend the slim Valpo lead to seven points. The Crusaders never looked back.

“Our team does a tremendous job of finding (Alec),” Drew said. “It helps when you are 6-9 and shooting from the perimeter.”

Drew also found a way to implement Chadwick into the rotation. The senior saw his first playing time since Dec. 29 against James Madison.

Chadwick did miss his first 3-pointer, but he drew an offensive foul on the other end early in the first half. The fans also begged to get Chadwick into late into the game by chanting his name.

Drew answered the fans with bringing him back into the game with 26 seconds to go. He finished with zero points in three minutes.

Center Vashil Fernandez was the senior who played a more critical role in the post Saturday, scoring 6 points in 21 minutes.

Fernandez, however has Valpo’s campus buzzing for other reasons as he proposed to his girlfriend during his senior night speech.

The Crusaders will need those high spirits to move with them to Detroit and Cleveland State as they try to close out their bid for the Horizon League title.


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