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Valparaiso (11-9) at Youngstown State (12-8)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 23, 7:05 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Beeghly Center (6,300) -- Youngstown, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: Valpo 8-3, YSU 8-1. Away Record: Valpo 2-6, YSU 2-7. Neutral Record: Valpo 1-0, YSU 2-0. Conference Record: Valpo 3-2, YSU 3-2. Series Record: Valparaiso leads, 27-9.

GAME NOTES: Both the Valparaiso Crusaders and the Youngstown State Penguins will try to extend their respective winning streaks on Thursday night when they meet up at the Beeghly Center for a Horizon League tilt.

Valpo won back-to-back games last week, taking down Detroit on the road on Jan. 15 (78-70) before besting Milwaukee at home on Saturday, 75-62. The surge has allowed the Crusaders to improve to 11-9 on the season and 3-2 in the league, although they are still just 2-6 away from home.

YSU opened up its league schedule with two straight losses only to rip off three consecutive wins, most recently taking care of business against Detroit, 77-63. The Penguins, who are 11-9 overall, are in the midst of a season-long four-game homestand and have won eight of nine at the Beeghly Center this season.

In regards to the all-time series, Valpo holds a convincing 27-9 advantage over YSU, but the Penguins have won the last two bouts on their home floor.

The Crusaders opened up a 10-point halftime lead over Milwaukee in their most recent contest and never relinquished that advantage in the second stanza, as they shot 23-of-53 from the field (.434), 21-of-25 from the free-throw line (.840) and earned a 47-30 advantage in the rebounding battle. LaVonte Dority paced all scorers with 27 points, doing so on 9-of-16 from the field, including 5-of-10 from 3-point range. Lexus Williams chipped in 12 points, Keith Carter scored 10 points off the bench and Moussa Gueye hauled in 12 rebounds.

On the season, Valpo has impressed on both ends of the floor, as it outshoots its opponents from the field, 48 percent to 39.3 percent, for a +7.9 scoring margin. It also sits firmly in the green in terms of rebounding (+7.1), but its -4.8 turnover margin has come back to haunt it on occasion. Dority (16.0 ppg) and Alec Peters (12.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg) have combined to drain 77 3-pointers at greater than a 40-percent clip, while Jordan Coleman brings 10.6 ppg to the table.

The Penguins held just a two-point lead at intermission over Detroit their last time out but pulled away down the stretch to post the 14-point decision. They shot a lofty 54.5 percent from the field in the victory, including 9- of-20 from beyond the arc, and were paced by the efforts of DJ Cole, who made 4-of-5 from long distance on his way to 22 points while still finding time to hand out nine assists. Bobby Hain registered 18 points on 6-of-7 from the field, while Ryan Weber and Kendrick Perry put up 13 points apiece.

YSU's offensive attack has shined all season long, as it shoots 46.5 percent from the field and 73.4 percent from the foul line en route to 79.7 ppg, which is able to adequately support its disappointing scoring defense (72.6 ppg). Perry is not only the Horizon League's top scorer with 21.2 ppg (on 52.3 percent field goal shooting), but he chips in across the board with 4.4 apg, 3.7 apg and 2.7 spg. Kamren Belin (12.0 ppg), Hain (11.0 ppg), Weber (10.5 ppg) and Cole (8.5 ppg, 4.2 apg) round out the impressive starting five.

This should be an exciting matchup between two strong scoring clubs that should go down to the wire, but expect YSU to come out on top with its home crowd giving it a boost down the stretch.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Youngstown State 80, Valparaiso 77

01/23 10:19:52 ET

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Local
Final
CHA 102
DET 78
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
 
Final
PHI 9
ATL 2
Final
MIN 4
BOS 4
Final
HOU 3
DET 2
Final
NYY 0
TAM 3
Final
BOS 7
TOR 9
Final
MIA 8
WAS 0
Final
NYM 4
STL 5
Final
OAK 4
ANA 1
Final
KAN 4
LOS 4
Final
CIN 0
ARI 3
Final
SEA 4
CWS 12
Final
SFG 5
CLE 2
Final
CHC 11
MIL 7
Final
CWS 2
SDP 8
Final
COL 10
TEX 4
Final
BAL 3
PIT 3
12:05pm Today
STL
NYM
 
1:05pm Today
DET
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
NYY
PIT
 
1:05pm Today
PHI
TAM
 
3:05pm Today
CIN
CLE
 
3:05pm Today
SDP
MIL
 
3:10pm Today
ARI
CWS
 
6:05pm Tonight
ATL
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
MIN
BOS
 
7:05pm Tonight
CCH
HOU
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
LOS
 
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
OAK
 
Final
CHA 102
DET 78
Final
WAS 106
PHI 93
Final
ORL 91
SAN 103
Final
NYK 98
BRK 100
Final
BOS 100
IND 87
Final
MIL 95
CHI 91
Final
OKC 131
DAL 135
Final
HOU 115
SAC 111
Final
MIN 99
TOR 113
Final
UTA 98
DEN 84
4th
POR 118
LAC 122
 
4th
LAL 84
NOP 103
 
8:00pm Tonight
CLE
MIA
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
HOU
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
PHO
 
Final
LAMON 62
LOYC 63
7:00pm Tonight
EVAN
NARZ
 
9:00pm Tonight
MIAMI
STAN
 
Final
BUF 4
TOR 3
Final
PIT 1
PHI 4
3rd
ANA 5
EDM 1
 
2nd Intermission
SJS 1
COL 0
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
NYI
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
BOS
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
 
7:30pm Tonight
OTT
TAM
 
7:30pm Tonight
MON
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
NYR
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
VAN
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
EDM