Oakland, Mich. 64, Valparaiso 61
ROCHESTER, Mich. (AP)—Johnathan Jones scored 19 points and Oakland added four free throws in the final 26 seconds to hold off Valparaiso 64-61 Saturday afternoon in the final Mid-Continent Conference meeting between the teams.
After losing their first 16 meetings with the Crusaders, Oakland (15-11, 8-2 Mid-Con) won the last three, including a season sweep this year.
Valparaiso (13-13, 6-5) is moving to the Horizon League next season.
Vova Severovas added 13 points and seven rebounds for Oakland, while Derick Nelson had 12 points and nine rebounds.
Urule Igbavboa and Shawn Huff led the Crusaders with 14 each, while Jarryd Loyd added 13 off the bench.
Oakland led by nine points midway through the second half, but the Crusaders rallied to within 56-54 with 3:15 left.
Nelson’s free throw and a 3-pointer by Jones gave Oakland some breathing room, but Valparaiso got the margin back to two with a minute left.
This time, Nelson hit both shots from the line, and even after Brandon McPherson’s off-balance 3-pointer, Brandon Cassise made two more fouls shots. Huff missed a long tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.
In Oakland’s previous game, a 64-63 upset loss to Western Illinois, Nelson had missed the front end of a one-and-one that could have clinched the game with 21 seconds to play.