Valpo vs Northwestern Preview

Valpo vs Northwestern

The last time the Valparaiso Crusaders (8-2) played a Big Ten team they were embarrassed right off the court. An 80-50 drubbing at the hands of Purdue gave Valpo their first loss of the season, and they haven’t been able to rebound since. After their 30-point blowout loss, the Crusaders fell to a very good Ball State team 71-70 (Ball State beat Notre Dame earlier in the year).

Northwestern started the season ranked in the Top 25, but have not been able to duplicate the success they found last season when they made their first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history.

Northwestern comes into tonight’s game with a 6-4 record, but have alternated wins and losses after starting the season 2-0. Their latest victory was one for the ages as the held Chicago State to eight first half points and dominated every single minute in a 96-31 blowout victory.

If the Wildcats want to get a winning streak going they will need their best players to step up.

Senior guard Scottie Lindsey leads the team with 15.7 PPG, but in their losses he is shooting a miserable 34 percent from the field and has gone long stretches without impacting the game.

Lindsey’s backcourt-mate senior Bryant McIntosh is the team’s second leading scorer with 13.8 PPG, but he has gone cold as of late. In his last two ball games he has totaled 13 points on 2-of-9 shooting with 11 assists. He is a great passer, but he needs to look for more shots in order for the Wildcats to be a force in Big Ten play. Tonight is a non-conference game, but McIntosh should use this game to get back to his old ways.

The Crusaders have a size advantage in this contest with two seven-footers on the roster: former NBA-er Rik Smits’ son Derrik plays 17 minutes a night and averages 7.5 points and 4.4 rebounds. Valpo’s other big man Jaume Sorolla chips in 5.5 points and 4.3 rebounds in 16.5 minutes a night.

This will be a guard dominated game however, the Crusader’s leading scorer Tevonn Walker missed their last game against Ball State and his status is unknown for tonight’s game. Walker averages 16.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per night.

Prediction

LINE: -9 Northwestern

If Walker misses tonight’s game I like the Wildcats to cover the points and win by double-digits. If Walker suits up it could be closer than the -9 line would suggest and I would still pickthe Wildcats to win outright, but Valpo to cover the points.

Northwestern 77 Valpo 70

https://i2.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/usa_today_10466764.0.jpg?fit=1024%2C683&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/usa_today_10466764.0.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Dan SchalkBig TenNCAABRecent PostsCollege Basketball,Northwestern Wildcats,Valparaiso Crusaders,Valpo vs NorthwesternValpo vs Northwestern Preview The last time the Valparaiso Crusaders (8-2) played a Big Ten team they were embarrassed right off the court. An 80-50 drubbing at the hands of Purdue gave Valpo their first loss of the season, and they haven't been able to rebound since. After their 30-point...