VALPARAISO, Ind. -- Richie Edwards had 19 points and Matt Kenney added 14 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two blocks as Valparaiso heated up after halftime to beat Illinois-Chicago 74-65 on Tuesday night.
Kevin Van Wijk scored 11 points for the Crusaders (19-9, 12-4 Horizon League), who in the second half shot 13 of 18 (72.2 percent) from the floor and made 8 of 9 3-point attempts.
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Valpo is closing in on the conference regular-season title thanks to second-place Cleveland State's loss at Milwaukee on Tuesday. The Crusaders, who hold the tiebreaker against Cleveland State (20-7, 10-5) can clinch first place with a victory against Loyola Chicago on Feb. 21.
Gary Talton and Hayden Humes scored 15 points each for the Flames (7-18, 3-12).
Valpo trailed 37-27 at halftime. A 20-9 run over a 7:22 stretch of the second half was culminated when Jay Harris hit a 3-pointer to give the Crusaders their first lead, 48-47, with 11:03 remaining.
Darrin Williams had 13 points and seven rebounds for Illinois-Chicago.