Valpo meets Evansville in MVC tourney

No. 10 seed Evansville (9-22, 0-18) vs. No. 7 seed Valparaiso (16-15, 9-9)

Missouri Valley Conference Tourney First Round, Enterprise Center, St. Louis; Thursday, 9:30 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: Evansville is set to face Valparaiso in the first round of the MVC tournament. In the regular season, Valparaiso won both of the head-to-head matchups. The teams last played on Jan. 26, when the Crusaders shot 43.1 percent from the field while holding Evansville to just 40 percent en route to a 67-65 victory.

SAVVY VETERANS: Senior leadership could play a big role in the outcome of this game. Donovan Clay, Mileek McMillan, Ryan Fazekas and John Kiser have collectively accounted for 40 percent of Valparaiso’s scoring this season. For Evansville, K.J. Riley, Sam Cunliffe and John Hall have scored 45 percent of the team’s points this season, including 57 percent of all Purple Aces points over their last five.DOMINANT DONOVAN: Clay has connected on 29.1 percent of the 103 3-pointers he’s attempted and has gone 2 for 11 over his last three games. He’s also made 63 percent of his foul shots this season.

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WINLESS WHEN: Evansville is 0-17 when scoring fewer than 66 points and 9-5 when scoring at least 66.

PERFECT WHEN: Valparaiso is a perfect 5-0 when it holds an opponent to 62 points or fewer. The Crusaders are 11-15 when opponents score more than 62 points.

DID YOU KNOW: Valparaiso is ranked second among MVC teams with an average of 72.4 points per game. The Crusaders have averaged 79 points per game over their last three games.

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