The Wright State men's basketball team led by eight at the half, but could not overcome Valparaiso shooting 57 percent in the second half as the Crusaders defeated the Raiders 84-74 in Horizon League action Friday night at the Wright State Nutter Center.
Threes by Steven Davis and Mark Alstork gave WSU a quick 8-2 lead, only to see Valpo answer with seven straight points to take a one-point advantage. Neither team then had more than a six-point edge until Wright State closed the half with a 13-4 run to go into the half up 42-34.
The Raiders hit 13 of 24 shots in the opening 20 minutes for 54 percent, including seven of 12 from three-point range, while the Crusaders shot 42 percent overall and were five of 16 from behind the arc.
WSU led 46-36 on an Alstork jumper and was ahead 53-44 on an Alstork three before Valpo tied it with nine unanswered points. The two teams were then tied three more times in the second hafl, the final being at 60 on another Alstork three, which allowed the junior guard to reach the 1000-point plateau at Wright State, the 31st Raider all-time to do so.
Valparaiso, though, regained the lead with seven straight points and despite WSU cutting the deficit to one on two occasions, held on to the advantage before pulling away by scoring the final eight points of the game.
The Raiders had another strong shooting performance in the second half, making 11 of 20 shots for 55 percent, but the Crusaders were 16 of 28 for 57 percent.
Valpo also led 22-14 in points in the paint and 26-17 in points off of turnovers as they forced 22 while committing only 10.
Alstork led all scorers with 28 points while Davis had 14 and Benzinger 12. Justin Mitchell added nine points and eight rebounds.
Wright State (19-11, 10-7 Horizon) wraps up the regular season on Sunday, February 26, with a 2:00 home contest against UIC. The two Raider seniors--Steven Davis and Mike La Tulip--will be honored before the game.