From the moment it was announced just minutes before the Tuesday game that Nick Davidson would start for the Crusaders at point guard, one thing was very clear: it was senior night at the ARC.
For Davidson, it was just his second career start and his first against an NCAA opponent. It didn’t take long for him to start cooking, however, as he drove in and scored on a smooth layup on the Crusaders’ first possession.
Davidson would play the game’s first nine minutes and help the Crusaders build an early 18-12 lead, one in which Valpo would hold on to en route to a 67-61 win over Milwaukee. He would finish with four points, one rebound and one assist.
Milwaukee would put up a fight however, keeping it close for the majority of the game. Sophomore guard Brock Stull put on a shooting clinic, knocking down 6-of-7 three pointers, good for 22 points.
It wasn’t until the final minutes when Valpo started to finally pull away. Up 56-53 with 3:20 remaining, Alec Peters would bury a big one from behind the arc, kindling a Valpo run. A couple of big stops from the Crusaders’ defense would be the nail in the coffin for the Panthers.
Seniors Jason Karys, Jubril Adekoya, Shane Hammink, Davidson and Peters were all honored prior to the start of Tuesday’s game and given the chance to speak upon the game’s completion.
Each senior was given the opportunity to leave their fingerprints on their last win at the ARC.
Though Adekoya, who is serving the remainder of a season-long suspension, was unable to play, his presence was still felt.
For the fourth straight game, Peters wore Adekoya’s No. 23 jersey. Peters, who intends to wear 23 for the remainder of the season, would finish with 23 points and come out of the game with roughly 23 seconds remaining (22.9 to be exact). The win was the Crusaders’ 23rd of the season.
Hammink would add eight points of his own. Karys would score one on a late trip to the free throw line, securing the win for Valpo.
After the game, each was given the microphone and offered an opportunity to give a speech.
“As we stand here today and we play our last game in front of everybody here I just want to let you all know that this has been one hell of a ride,” Peters said.