KINGSTON, R.I. (AP) — Vashil Fernandez’s layup gave Valparaiso the lead for good early in the second half, and the Crusaders held off Rhode Island for a 58-55 win on Tuesday.
Alec Peters’ 3-pointer put Valparaiso up 56-50, but Four McGlynn’s 3-pointer and Jared Terrell’s layup after he blocked Fernandez’s shot at the other end pulled the Rams within a point with 34.1 seconds left.
Peters’ two free throws made it a three-point game with 9.6 seconds to play, and McGlynn missed two 3-pointers before the buzzer.
Peters finished with 14 points and Fernandez, Keith Carter and Tevonn Walker added 12 apiece for Horizon League favorite Valparaiso (3-0).
The Rams (1-1) got 13 points from McGlynn, 11 apiece from Jarvis Garrett and Terrell and 10 from Hassan Martin.
Rhode Island played its first full game without standout guard E.C. Matthews, who sustained a season-ending knee injury in the first half of a game against American last Friday.