Valparaiso, Indiana – Continuing an exciting journey from walk-on to starter, Gage Beauvais paced the University of Evansville men’s basketball team in an 81-69 loss to Valparaiso Saturday night inside the Athletics Recreation Center.
Bove had a career-high 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting against the Beacons. He robbed Evansville of his 3-pointer 6 of his make in his 9th inning in the game. Yacine Toumi finished with his 12 points and Marvin Coleman II added his 10 points. Ben Krikke paced his Valpo with his game-high 30 points. He had a double-double with 1 rebound and completed the game with 9.
Purple Aces head coach David Ragland said: “We had a great start and hoped it carried over into tonight. The way we prepared gives us a really good chance tonight. “They came out and punched us in the mouth. It’s hard to come back from there.”
Five of their first six attempts from the field found the bottom of the net, making Valparaiso 12-0 in the opening three minutes of the contest. Kenny Strawbridge, Jr., fed by Yacine Tumi, scored Evansville’s first basket at the 16:30 mark.
With the score up 15-8, the Beacons scored the next eight to push their lead to 23-8. Valpo’s biggest advantage in the half came with 7:26 left when Kobe King’s free throw made it a 31-12 game. Over the next four minutes, Evansville rallied for a 14-2 run to make the score 33-24. Bove emphasized stretching with his pair of 3-pointers.
Closing out the half with a basket of buzzers, Valparaiso went into the break with a 43-28 lead. The Beacons shot 51.7% of his shots in the half and he succeeded on 10 of his 11 tries from his throwing line. Ben Cricke scored 17 points in the first 20 minutes.
Evansville fell into the red in the first six minutes of the final period before Bove scored his third triple of the night to cut the gap to 54-42 at the 14:07 mark. On Valpo’s ensuing possession, Evansville’s defense came to the point of forcing a turnover, but the Beacons were able to call a timeout. That play was the start of a 7-0 run that saw Valpo tie his biggest lead at 19.
Playing a career-best game, Bove stole six points from Beacon’s lead to record back-to-back triples. Preston Phillips hit both ends of the 1-1 making him a 65–54 game as the Aces fought to get back within single digits of him. As the game moved past the final minutes, UE couldn’t get over the hump, with the Beacons closing out the night with his 81-69 win.
Both teams saw Valpo finishing with 50.9% and UE shooting with 43.3%. Beacon recorded a 38-28 advantage with him on the board.
UE will return home on Wednesday to face Indiana State University at 7pm at the Ford Center.