Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusader Women Win Second Straight, Down Detroit 57-46
Tabitha Gerardot led the Crusaders with a double-double, 15 points and 10 boards. (Ray Acevedo)
Tabitha Gerardot led the Crusaders with a double-double, 15 points and 10 boards. (Ray Acevedo)

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Valparaiso got 29 points from its bench on Saturday afternoon and utilized a 16-0 second half run to defeat Detroit 57-46 at the Athletics-Recreation Center for the Crusaders’ second straight victory.

With the win, the Crusaders have now won back-to-back games for the first time since November of 2009.

“I am really pleased with our kids,” head coach Keith Freeman said.  “They are really trying hard.  It’s difficult when you’ve been struggling like we have been, but we battled today and made plays.  It really shows the character of our kids.  Our bench gave us a lot of energy when they came in the game and I think we’ve played well in four of our last five games.”

Tabitha Gerardot (Fort Wayne, Ind./Canterbury H.S.) registered her sixth double-double as a Crusader, scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, and Valpo’s defense limited the Titans to just 15.6% (5-of-32) shooting in the second half to rally from a seven-point deficit.

“Tab really wants to do so well,” Freeman added.  “She is a warrior getting to rebounds.  I like her tough-mindedness.” 

Trailing 28-25 at the break, Detroit scored the first four points out of the locker room to take the seven-point advantage, their largest of the afternoon.  The Crusaders began to fight back, scoring 16 straight points after trailing 36-31, shutting out the Titans for seven-and-a-half minutes.

Six straight points by Gina Lange (Wyoming, Minn./Forest Lake H.S.) during the run, as well as five points by Gerardot paced the offense.  Meanwhile, the defense held Detroit scoreless from the floor for more than 11 minutes as the Titans missed 16 straight shots from the field.

By the time the run ended, Valpo held a 47-36 lead with 6:13 to play.  The advantage was still 10, 49-39, before the Titans made one late spurt.  Seven straight points, capped by three straight free throws by Dominique Dixon after she was fouled shooting from long range, pulled Detroit within 49-46 with 1:59 to play.

“They are a good team, a scary team,” Freeman said.  “We were fortunate we gave enough help and they never got in a rhythm in their offense.”

Skyler Gick (Otterbein, Ind./Benton Central H.S.) then found Gerardot down low as the shot clock was winding down made it a two possession game and the Valpo defense would not surrender another point the rest of the way.  Rashida Ray (Fort Wayne, Ind./Harding H.S.) made three free throws down the stretch and Gerardot added three more points as Valpo finished the game on an 8-0 run.

“Our kids battled,” Freeman commented.  “Down the stretch we got the ball inside and finished.”

Detroit jumped out to an early 14-8 lead before the Crusaders scored six straight points to knot the game midway through the first half.  After the Titans again built a five-point lead, Valpo answered a second time.  A 9-0 run by the Brown and Gold, capped by a jumper from Gick, gave the Brown and Gold a 25-21 lead.

As was the case in the first half though, the Titans answered with one more run, scoring the final seven points of the stanza to build the three-point halftime advantage.

Valpo shot 41.2% from the floor for the game, including a 47.8% clip in the second half, to help offset a 2-of-15 afternoon from three-point range.  Detroit finished just 23.1% from the floor overall and 13.8% (4-of-29) from outside the arc.

“We’re still a long way from being a good offensive team,” Freeman added.  “But our defense is getting better.  I thought we did a good job controlling penetration and got back in transition.”

Lange added nine points and six rebounds for the Crusaders, as Valpo outrebounded Detroit 43-41, including a 27-19 advantage in the second half.  Gick and Stefanie Lang (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.) each added eight points while Ray has seven more.  Gick also had six assists on the day.

“Skyler had a great floor game,” Freeman said.  “She ran the team well.”

Dixon led Detroit (10-12, 4-7 Horizon) with 12 points while Yar Shayok pulled down 13 rebounds.

Valparaiso (6-17, 3-8) will take to the road on Thursday evening as the Crusaders head to Cleveland, Ohio to battle Cleveland State.  Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. CST.

Game Notes: Gerardot’s double-double was her sixth of her freshman campaign but just her first in Horizon League play … the 46 points allowed were the fewest the Crusaders have surrendered all season … Gick’s eight points matched a season high … Valpo’s starters scored just five points in the first half and were 1-of-12 shooting from the floor … the win snaps a four-game losing streak against Detroit … the Titans still lead the all-time series 7-5 and hold a 4-2 edge at the ARC.

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 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
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 Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25 Horizon League Tournament
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
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