La Crosse, WIS. – The Valley City State men’s basketball team snapped a 9-game losing streak against Viterbo University on Saturday, going on the road and defeating the V-Hawks 76-73.
Caden Grinde made four 3’s and poured in 16 points to lead four Vikings who scored double figures in the road victory. It was VCSU’s first win against Viterbo since the 2018-19 season and just the third road win since 2009 at Viterbo, where the V-Hawks have been notoriously tough to beat on their home court. Saturday’s contest was a non-conference game as the teams will meet twice during conference play after the New Year.
Valley City State improves its overall record to 5-3. Viterbo drops to 5-4.
The Vikings put together a strong first half on Saturday, leading by as many as 16 points and taking a 44-31 lead into the locker room. The V-Hawks chipped away in the second half and eventually took the lead at 57-56 midway through the second half.
Trailing 64-61, the Vikings put together a 10-2 run to take the lead for good. Grinde made a 3-pointer to tie the game at 64-64 and then LaDarious Stanfield scored on a fastbreak layup to put the Vikings up 66-64. The V-Hawks tied the game at 66-66 but Hunter Lyman scored the next five points on a three-point play and a pair of free throws to give VCSU a 71-66 lead they would not give up.
Odier Olange made 1-of-2 free throws with 24 seconds to go for a 76-73 lead, and then VCSU survived a Viterbo 3-point attempt in the final seconds to hand on for the win.
Grinde scored 16 points to lead four Vikings in double figures. Grinde made four 3-pointers and added five rebounds and three assists in the victory. Odier Olange scored 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting, and Hunter Lyman had 14 points (5-for-7 shooting) and seven rebounds. Cleveland Bedgood added 11 points and eight rebounds.
The Vikings shot 49 percent from the field (27-55), 44 percent on 3’s (8-18) and 74 percent at the line (14-19). VCSU had nine steals and forced 14 turnovers by the V-Hawks. The Vikings held a slight advantage in ball security, turning it over 12 times themselves.
Viterbo shot 40 percent from the field (27-67), 37 percent on 3’s (13-35) and went 6-for-7 on free throws. Ben Olson led the V-Hawks with a 24-point, 11-rebounds double-double.
Up next: Valley City State hosts Oak Hills Christian College on Wednesday, Nov. 22, at 6 p.m.