GVSU keeps pace in opener at Valpo

The Grand Valley State University men’s basketball team got off to an impressive start in the 2014-15 campaign with a strong showing in a 60-52 exhibition loss Thursday night at Division I Valparaiso University.

After Valparaiso took a slim 23-20 lead into halftime, the second half saw six ties and nine lead changes.

GVSU took a 36-25 lead with 10 minutes left, but Valpo went on a run and took the lead for good. A Ryan Sabin 3-pointer with 5:53 left brought GVSU to within five points, but Valpo pulled away down the stretch.

Sabin, Darren Kapustka and Ricky Carbajal led the offensive charge, notching 13, 11 and 10 points, respectively. Sabin turned in a double-double, adding a game-high 10 rebounds.

The game was largely a defensive struggle, as GVSU shot 33 percent from the field compared to Valpo’s 35 percent. The Lakers won the turnover battle, giving away 12 and forcing 20 Crusader turnovers.

Ernijs Ansons led GVSU with four assists.

The Lakers head to Hope College for a second exhibition contest Tuesday at 7 p.m.