VALPARAISO, Ind. – Alec Peters scored 29 points and No. 4 seed Valparaiso topped ninth-seeded Illinois-Chicago 73-63 Tuesday in the first round of the Horizon League tournament.
Peters scored eight points during an 18-5 run as Valparaiso (18-14) opened a 31-18 lead, en route to a 39-28 halftime advantage.
Illinois-Chicago (6-25) cut the deficit to 59-56 with 6:29 remaining. But the Crusaders scored the next four points as Peters made a free throw before LaVonte Dority added three free throws less than a minute later for a 63-56 lead.
Valparaiso made 8 of 10 free throws in the final minute to preserve the win. Dority joined Peters in double figures with 12 points.
Marc Brown led Illinois-Chicago with 16 points. Jordan Harks added 14 points and nine rebounds while Kelsey Barlow had 11 points and nine rebounds.
Valparaiso will play fifth-seeded Milwaukee in a quarterfinal matchup Friday.