Valparaiso 72

(3-6, 1-1 away)

Liberty 54

(3-9, 2-4 home)

    7:00 PM ET, December 30, 2003

    McKale Center, Tucson, Arizona

    1 2 T
    VALP 37 3572
    LIB 37 1754

    Valparaiso 72, Liberty 54

    TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Dan Oppland had 13 points and 11 rebounds, leading Valparaiso to a 72-54 win over Liberty in the consolation game of the Fiesta Bowl Classic on Tuesday night.

    No. 4 Arizona went after its 18th title in the tournament's 19 years in the next game, playing Louisiana-Lafayette.

    Ali Berdiel led the Crusaders (3-6) with 17 points, and Ron Howard scored 14.

    Liberty's Larry Blair had 20 points, but couldn't prevent the Flames (3-9) from losing their fourth straight.

    Oppland scored the first nine points in a 15-4 run that carried the Crusaders to a 52-41 lead with 12:33 remaining in the second half.

    Jimmie Miles extended the lead to 58-43 with two free throws at the 9:04 mark.

    In the next two minutes, Liberty's Ryan Mantlo made two layups but missed the front end of a one-and-one, and Oppland's two free throws with 6:51 to go got Valparaiso's lead back to 60-47.

    Berdiel, who had 12 points in the first half, punctuated the win when he stole a pass, beat a defender with a behind-the-back move and scored with 1:37 to go, increasing the lead to 67-52.

    The Flames led by as many as eight points in the first half before Valparaiso came back.

    The Crusaders went ahead 34-33 on two free throws by Berdiel with 3:17 to go,and 36-33 on Oumar Sylla's baseline jumper with 2:25 left.

    But Blair made a 3-pointer with 1:48 to play, and the teams were tied at 37 at halftime.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2003-04 Season

    » Dec 30, 2003 VALP 72, @LIB 54Recap