VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) Alec Peters scored 28 points and Valparaiso, one of four No. 1 seeds in the NIT, defeated Texas Southern 84-73 in an opening-round game on Tuesday night.
Keith Carter added 17 points and Darien Walker had 14 for the Crusaders (27-6), who got their first NIT win in their third appearance. Vashil Fernandez matched his career high with eight blocks.
Peters had 17 points in the first half when Valparaiso made 6 of 9 3-pointers and shot 50 percent for a 41-35 lead.
Texas Southern stayed with the Crusaders as the second half opened, making 8 of 12 shots. Then the Tigers went 1 of 10 from the field and fell behind by 11.
The lead reached double figures when Malcolm Riley received a technical for arguing a non-call on his missed 3-pointer. Peters made both free throws and on the ensuing possession, Darien Walker cut backdoor to throw down Shane Hammink's lob for a 66-55 lead with 9:56 to play.
Chris Thomas had 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Tigers (18-15). Derrick Griffin scored 18 on 7-of-9 shooting and Riley had 12 points with 11 rebounds.