Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo's Late Comeback Falls Just Short
Whitney Farris recorded her first collegiate double-double. (Ray Acevedo)
Whitney Farris recorded her first collegiate double-double. (Ray Acevedo)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Valparaiso rallied from 17 points down with 8:46 to play, cutting the deficit to one in the final minute, but could not complete the comeback, falling to Wright State 54-51 on Thursday evening at the Ervin J. Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio.

Whitney Farris (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo H.S.) registered her career double-double with a career-high 22 points while tying a career-best with 10 rebounds while Skyler Gick (Otterbein, Ind./Benton Central H.S.) tallied 10 points for her third collegiate double figure scoring game. 

“Whitney really tried to become an offensive threat for us tonight,” head coach Keith Freeman said.  “And Skyler Gick played better as well.”

The Crusaders fell behind 46-29 with 8:46 to play before trying to claw back.  Six straight points in just over a minute, four by Gick, brought Valpo within 46-35 as the Crusaders extended the defensive pressure full court. 

Kanisha Ward, who led the Raiders with 16 points, slowed the run momentarily with a triple to push the lead back to 14 with just over seven minutes to play.

“They made some tough shots at the end of the shot clocks tonight,” Freeman added.

Valpo continued to work, and a triple by Farris with 3:24 to play pulled the Crusaders within single digits for the first time since intermission, 51-44.  A 10-footer in the lane by Gick followed by a turnover and score from Farris made it 51-48 at the 2:33 mark.

Another forced turnover allowed Gina Lange (Forest Lake, Minn./Forest Lake H.S.) to knock one in off the window with 1:11 to play, making it a one-point deficit for the Brown and Gold, capping a 21-5 Valpo run.

“The group we had on the floor at the end of the game really competed hard,” Freeman said.  “We turned them over a lot and it created scoring opportunities.  I was really proud of how hard we played.”

Valpo forced a defensive stop and had a chance to tie in the final 20 seconds, but Wright State blocked the shot and made two free throws with 7.7 seconds to play.  Gick was fouled with 5.2 seconds remaining and split a pair of free throws.  Molly Fox made one of two at the other end with 2.4 seconds to play, and Valpo’s half court heave at the buzzer came up short.

Valpo’s defense forced turnovers on Wright State’s first two possessions of the game, turning them into a quick 4-0 Crusader lead.

With Valpo up 6-2, the Raiders scored 12 unanswered points over a six minute span to build a 14-6 lead at the 12:13 mark.  The Crusader defense stiffened once again, holding the hosts scoreless for 5:30, closing the gap to within two following a jumper by Farris.

Valpo was still within three, 21-18, with 1:20 to play before intermission, but two triples by the Raiders, including one by Maria Bennett as time expired, gave Wright State a 27-18 halftime lead.

“At the end of the first half we had two opportunities we botched and gave up a three at the buzzer,” said Freeman.

Both teams committed 13 first half turnovers but the Raiders shot 44% from the floor, including 5-of-11 from three-point range.  Valpo did grab seven offensive rebounds, but was only able to convert them into two second chance points.

The Raiders scored the first seven points of the second half, building the advantage to 34-18 before Kelly Peller (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton H.S.) scored Valpo’s first points of the second  half at the 14:40 mark.  Farris followed with a three, but Wright State pushed the lead out to 17 before the Crusaders made their late run.

Valpo finished the game forcing 27 Wright State (9-15, 5-9 Horizon) turnovers, converting them into 26 Crusader points.  The Raiders did shoot 45.5% from the floor though while holding Valpo to just 34.6%.

Valparaiso (7-17, 4-9) will close out its road trip on Saturday afternoon in the Motor City taking on Detroit.  Tip-off against the Titans is set for 12 p.m. CST at Calihan Hall.

Game Notes: Rashida Ray (Fort Wayne, Ind./Harding H.S.) made her first collegiate start … Valpo had three freshmen on the court during most of the comeback attempt, Lange, Gick, and Laura Richards (Connersville, Ind./Connersville H.S.) … Lange played 23 minutes after playing 20 against YoungstownState Saturday, her first back-to-back 20+ minute games as a collegian … Valpo leads the all-time series 10-6 but Wright State has won three straight in Dayton.

W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
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
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
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 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
M 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 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
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
W 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
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
M 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
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay