Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Down Colorado State for Best Start in School History
Ashley Varner (41) had a career-high 11 rebounds while Skler Gick (2) had four assists. (Ray Acevedo)
Ashley Varner (41) had a career-high 11 rebounds while Skler Gick (2) had four assists. (Ray Acevedo)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Double-doubles by Lauren Kenney (Mooresville, Ind./Mooresville H.S.) and Ashley Varner (South Bend, Ind./Washington H.S.) helped Valparaiso overcome a nine-point second half deficit and defeat Colorado State 68-58 at the Athletics-Recreation Center on Saturday afternoon.  With the victory, the Crusaders improve to 3-0 for the first time in school histor.

Kenney finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds for her second straight double-double while Varner had 13 points and a career-high 11 boards for her first collegiate double-double as the duo spearheaded a 26-4 second half run.

“I’m tickled to death with the win,” head coach Keith Freeman said after the game.  “For two years I’ve been waiting for a win like this where we shot poorly but found other ways to win.”

Leading 28-27 at intermission, the Crusaders missed their first 13 shots of the second half, while being shutout over the first seven-and-a-half minutes.  Colorado State scored the first nine points of the stanza to take a 36-28 lead, an advantage that grew to 41-32 at the 12:03 mark.

“I was disappointed we weren’t running the floor harder in the first seven minutes of the second half,” Freeman added.

Varner had nine points on the run, including a triple with 9:35 left to tie the game at 41 before finding Kenney down low to give the Brown and Gold the lead.  Kenney had six points during the outburst as well while Skyler Gick (Otterbein, Ind./Benton Central H.S.) scored all seven of her points during the span as well.

Varner’s lay-in off of an out-of-bounds play from Gick made it 58-45 Crusaders, as Valpo wrapped up its longest season-opening homestand in program history perfect for the first time in 39 seasons of women’s basketball at the school.

“We finally locked down defensively and got some transition buckets in the run,” said Freeman.

Valpo struggled shooting the ball in the first half as well, making just 23.3% of its attempts from the floor.  However, the Crusaders forced 11 Ram turnovers on the way to taking a 28-27 lead into the locker room.

The cold shooting continued out of intermission, as Valpo made just seven of its first 43 field goal attempts (16.3%).  The Crusaders heated up with the run though, finishing the game at 30.3%.  Valpo forced 27 turnovers in the game, 13 on steals, and got to the free throw line 31 times while Colorado State (2-2) attempted just nine charity tries.

Betsy Adams (Monticello, Ind./Twin Lakes H.S.) added 14 points for the Crusaders while playing 38 minutes, including a perfect 10-of-10 night from the free throw stripe.  The effort is the fourth most made without a miss in a single game in program history.

“We were driving the ball hard all night,” added Freeman.  “Most of our shots were inside four feet of the basket and we drew fouls.  We didn’t turn the ball over (just 11 times).”

Kim Stestdagh led the Rams with 20 points while Bonnie Barbee added 15 more.  Meghan Heimstra had a double-double for Colorado State with 12 points and a game-high 12 boards.

Valparaiso will take to the road for the first time this season on Tuesday evening as the Crusaders head to Muncie, Ind. to take on instate foe Ball State.  Tip-off is slated for 6 p.m. CST.

Game Notes: Valpo leads the all-time series 2-1 having won in Fort Collins, Colo. 64-54 last season … the Crusaders shot 92.3% (12-of-13) from the free throw line in the second half … Adams is 18-of-19 (94.7%) from the free throw line this season … the Crusaders have made 19 more free throws than their opponents have attempted this year … Kenney and Adams have tallied double figures in all three games this season … Kenney had seven offensive boards.

M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana