Recap: Valparaiso vs. Wright State
Valparaiso, IN (Sports Network) - Erik Buggs scored a game-high 22 points to lead Valparaiso to its first ever Horizon League championship with a 62-54 win over Wright State on Tuesday.
Will Bogan scored 14 points and Kevin Van Wijk added 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Crusaders (26-7), who lost in the Horizon League title game to Detroit last season.
It will be Valparaiso's first trip the NCAA Tournament since 2004.
Reggie Arceneaux was the only Raiders (21-12) player in double figures with 14 points.
The Crusaders trailed 50-44 following Matt Vest's three at the 5:37 mark, but exploded for a 7-0 run.
Van Wijk got things started with a layup before Buggs scored five straight to hand Valparaiso a 51-50 edge.
Ryan Broekhoff, who nailed a buzzer-beat to send the Crusaders to the title game on Saturday, hadn't made a field goal since just over four minutes into the game, but drilled a trey with 1:52 left to give Valparaiso a 54-50 lead.
Coming into the game, Broekhoff led the Crusaders in scoring, averaging 16.2 points per game. He was also shooting 44 percent from 3-point range, but struggled to find his stroke all night. Broekhoff finished with seven points on 2-of-8 shooting, including 1-for-6 from 3-point range, but came through when his team needed it the most.
Valparaiso would score six more points before Tavares Sledge tipped in an Arceneaux miss with 13 seconds left.
Van Wijk knocked down a pair of free throws with six seconds left, and Jerran Young's dunk accounted for the final margin.
Wright State trailed by 11 to start the second half, but quickly tied the game, 40-40, following a pair of Miles Dixon free throws.
Arceneaux's trey with 9 1/2 minutes left gave the Raiders a 45-42 lead, Wright State quickly pushed the spread to 50-44.
Valparaiso held a 36-25 lead at the break.Game Notes
The Crusaders set a school record for wins in a season. The previous record of
25 was set in 2001-2002 ... Valparaiso was efficient from the floor, shooting
a 53.8 percent clip, but turned it over 25 times ... The Crusaders evened up
the all-time series at 11-11 ... Sledge, Young and A.J. Pacher each finished
with seven points for Wright State.