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Youngstown State Penguins vs. Valparaiso Crusaders Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/23/14

Valparaiso Crusaders (11-9) at Youngstown State Penguins (12-8)

College Basketball: Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 7:05 pm (Beeghly Center)

The Line: Youngstown State Penguins -4 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds


The Valparaiso Crusaders visit the Youngstown State Penguins with 3rd place in the Horizon league on the line Thursday at 7:05PM.

Valparaiso is 11-9 on the year and 3-2 in conference play after their second straight conference win this past weekend -- a 75-62 win over Milwaukee.  LaVonte Dority led all scorers with 27 and scored 19 of his points in the first half as Valpo built up a nice 10 point lead before the break.  Dority’s backcourt mate Lexus Williams added 12 and 4.  Valpo was 43% from the field and shot a rock solid 84% from the line.  Down low, Valpo won the battle of the glass 47-30 and Gueye was a big reason -- the big man reserve led all rebounders with 12.

Youngstown State Penguins vs. Valparaiso Crusaders Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/23/14

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Youngstown State has recovered from a 0-2 conference start to reel off three straight, including a very solid win over a good Detroit team this past week 77-63.  The player of the game by a wide margin was Youngstown’s DJ Cole.  Cole had 22 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds and hit two consecutive threes during a decisive second half run that left the Penguins with the lead for good.  Youngstown finished with 54% shooting for the game, large in part to Cole’s accuracy and the Penguins were once again strong from the line with 71.4% for the game.

These two teams are pretty evenly matched and both are playing well in the conference.  Youngstown State ranks in the top 35 in the country in points per game and assists -- I like the Penguins to ride the hot hand of guard DJ Cole and pull away late for the cover and sole possession of 3rd place in the conference with the cover and win over Valpo.

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