Peters, Valpo top Florida St., 81-69, move into NIT quarters
VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) Alec Peters scored 16 of his 26 in the first half and finished with nine rebounds, while Shane Hammink added 18 points to help top-seeded Valparaiso beat No. 4 seed Florida State 81-69 in the second round of the NIT on Thursday night.
Keith Carter added 13 points and six assists, while Jubril Adekoya scored 11 with five rebounds and five assists for Valparaiso.
Malik Beasley scored eight-straight points to pull Florida State (20-14) within three with 12:53 to play, but Valpo answered with a 12-3 run to push its lead to 63-51. Peters converted a 3-point play before Adekoya hit a 3 to start the spurt, and Victor Nickerson scored the final six – capped by his dunk with 9:12 left. The Seminoles trailed by at least seven the rest of the way.
The Crusaders (28-6) will play the winner of Sunday's game between third-seeded Georgia and No. 2 seed Saint Mary's on March 22.
A 3-pointer by Peters sparked a 7-0 run to open the game and Valpo, which led from wire-to-wire in its first-round win over Texas Southern, never trailed.
The Crusaders shot 54.2 percent in the first half and took a 39-29 lead into the break.
Xavier Rathan-Mayes led Florida State with 19 points. Beasley scored 14.