Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Rice Spoils Valpo’s Home Opener
Play Video Ashley Varner drives the lane for two of her 12 points. (Ray Acevedo)
Ashley Varner drives the lane for two of her 12 points. (Ray Acevedo)
Rice (3-2)
at
Valparaiso (0-2)
11/20/2011 | Valparaiso, Ind. - ARC | Attendance: 438
1st2ndFinal
Rice361854
Valparaiso232346
Stats at a GlanceRICEVALPO
FG Percentage.390 (23-59) .317 (19-60)
3P FG Percentage.385 (5-13) .133 (2-15)
FT Percentage.300 (3-10) .857 (6-7)
Offensive Rebounds1317
Defensive Rebounds2428
Total Rebounds3745
Turnovers1317
Steals97
Bench Points179
Statistical LeadersRICEVALPO
PointsKUSTER - 15
LANGE - 15
ReboundsPORTER - 12
LADD - 11
AssistsSMART - 3
GOSWITZ - 3
RICHARDS - 4
StealsSMART - 2
SHAFER - 2
KUSTER - 2
LADD - 3
BlocksKUSTER - 3
GERARDOT - 1
VARNER - 1
Gina Lange knocks down a three-pointer in the first half. (Ray Acevedo)
Gina Lange knocks down a three-pointer in the first half. (Ray Acevedo)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Valparaiso cut a 13-point halftime deficit to three late in the game on Sunday afternoon, but Rice hit a pair of big shots and the Owls spoiled the Crusaders’ home opener with a 54-46 win over the Brown and Gold at the Athletics-Recreation Center.

Gina Lange (Wyoming, Minn./Forest Lake H.S.) scored a career-high 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting while Ashley Varner (South Bend, Ind./Washington H.S.) added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Crusaders.

The Crusaders trailed 36-23 at halftime, and the deficit was still 12, 47-35 with 11:24 to play in the game.  Valpo’s defense stiffened, holding the Owls scoreless for nearly eight-and-a-half minutes was slowly climbing back into the game.

“We did a very good job defensively in the second half,” head coach Keith Freeman said after the game.  “Our rebounding was very good and we did a much better job as the game went along being more patient on offense.”

Mallory Ladd (Evansville, Ind./Memorial H.S.) scored four straight points to close within eight at the 7:24 mark, and two minutes later Lange scored inside, making it a six-point game.  After the Crusader defense forced a five-second violation by Rice, Ladd drained a triple from the top of the key, bringing Valpo within three, 47-44, with 4:53 to play in the game.

“We got some really nice looks down the stretch,” Freeman added.  “We took care of the ball much better and defensively we did a better job of controlling the game in the second half.  We really fought on the boards.”

The Crusaders forced a pair of missed shots by the visitors, but were unable to capitalize, and D’Frantz Smart scored on back-to-back possessions, including a triple, to push the Rice lead back to eight and put the game out of reach.

Valpo held Rice (3-2) to just 18 second half points and forced eight turnovers during the final 20 minutes to help close the deficit.

“I liked the fact that they scored just 18 points in the second half,” Freeman said.  “When the ball was on the ground we had the players going after them.  They may have been bigger than us, but we gave great hustle and effort.  They can really put points on the board.  I’m proud of where we have come from last week, and look for continued improvement moving forward.”

The Owls built their advantage with a 17-4 run over 10 minutes in the first half.  The Crusaders committed 11 first half miscues and shot just 31% from the floor before halftime.

Ladd scored all nine of her points, and had seven of her team-high 11 rebounds, in the second half while Tabitha Gerardot (Fort Wayne, Ind./Canterbury H.S.) added eight points and eight rebounds for the Crusaders.  Valpo outrebounded Rice 45-37.

Jessica Kuster led the Owls with 15 points and 11 boards while Smart added 10 points.  Christal Porter came off of the bench to score eight points and grabbed a game-high 12 boards.

“Kuster is a great player,” Freeman concluded.  “There’s a reason she was the Newcomer of the Year in Conference USA last year.”

Valparaiso (0-2) will close out its brief two-game homestand on Tuesday evening, hosting former Mid-Continent Conference rival Western Illinois.  Tip-off is slated for 7:05 p.m.

Game Notes: This was the first meeting ever between Valpo and Rice … the Owls were a WNIT participant last season and are picked second in Conference USA this year … Lange’s previous career high was 13 points in the season opener at SIU Edwardsville … Laura Richards (Connersville, Ind./Connersville H.S.) played all 40 minutes … Valpo was 6-of-7 from the free throw line and is now 26-of-32 (81.3%) on the season … Ladd had three steals.

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 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