Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Timmerman’s Three Lifts Valpo Past Eastern Illinois
Ashley Timmerman's triple in the final 30 seconds lifted Valpo to the win. (Ray Acevedo)
Ashley Timmerman's triple in the final 30 seconds lifted Valpo to the win. (Ray Acevedo)
Eastern Illinois (7-3)
at
Valparaiso (4-7)
12/20/2011 | Valparaiso, Ind. - ARC | Attendance: 661
1st2ndFinal
Eastern Illinois262450
Valparaiso322153
Stats at a GlanceEIUVALPO
FG Percentage.367 (22-60) .500 (22-44)
3P FG Percentage.222 (4-18) .462 (6-13)
FT Percentage.250 (2-8) .500 (3-6)
Offensive Rebounds164
Defensive Rebounds2026
Total Rebounds3630
Turnovers1620
Steals138
Bench Points53
Statistical LeadersEIUVALPO
PointsOROSZOVA - 14
VARNER - 19
ReboundsPRESSLEY - 8
KING - 8
VARNER - 12
AssistsNIXON - 5
RICHARDS - 7
StealsNIXON - 4
PRESSLEY - 4
RICHARDS - 5
BlocksPRESSLEY - 2
RICHARDS - 1
Ashley Varner drives around a Panther defender on her way to a double-double. (Ray Acevedo)
Ashley Varner drives around a Panther defender on her way to a double-double. (Ray Acevedo)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas came early for Valparaiso on Tuesday evening as Ashley Timmerman’s (Pontiac, Ill./Pontiac H.S.) three-pointer with 29.8 seconds to play broke a tie and pushed the Crusaders past Eastern Illinois 53-50 at the Athletics-Recreation Center in the team’s final game before the holiday.

“I’m really proud of these kids,” head coach Keith Freeman said afterwards.  “One of the biggest definitions of success is grit and character and we showed it again today.  We had kids making effort after effort all game.  We played smart, stayed out of foul trouble, and kept moving our feet even when we were tired.”

Timmerman delivered the game-winning triple as the shot clock was beginning to wind down from the top of the arc.  Just 34 seconds earlier the senior guard hit a pull up jumper from the right elbow to tie the game at 50.

“She’s a smart player,” Freeman said of Timmerman.  “Her ability to shoot it really helped us at the end, and she got open for that big shot.  She’s had limited practice all year.  That’s the longest (29 minutes) she’s been on the floor, playing or practicing all year because of her shin injury.  She really stepped up.”

Laura Richards (Connersville, Ind./Connersville H.S.) came up with her fifth steal of the game on the Panthers’ next possession, but Valpo’s defense had to force two more missed shots by Eastern Illinois in the final 11 second after missing a pair of front ends of one and ones.  When Jordyne Crunk’s triple try was off the mark just before the buzzer, the Crusaders had their third victory in their last four games.

The Crusaders started the game hot from the floor, making seven of their first eight shots and nine of their first 12 to build a 22-17 lead with nine minutes to play before intermission.

After the Panthers cut the lead to one, Valpo went on a 10-1 run, holding the visitors without a field goal for six minutes while forging a 32-22 advantage.  Eastern Illinois scored the final four points of the stanza though and the Crusader lead was six at the break.

Valpo scored the first four points of the second half to push the lead back to 10, and still had a seven point lead with 11 minutes to go when the Panthers made a run.  Kayla Payne’s triple at the 8:01 mark pulled the Panthers within one.  The Crusaders made just one field goal over a seven-and-a-half minute span, and when Chantelle Pressley hit a jumper with 2:26 to go, the Panthers had a 50-46 lead, capping a 16-5 run.

Ashley Varner (South Bend, Ind./Adams H.S.) answered Pressley’s basket with a jumper in the paint and added a steal on Eastern Illinois’ next possession, setting up Timmerman’s tying jumper.

“Varner has such a passion for playing,” Freeman added.  “She’s everything you want in a student-athlete.  We were able to put her in isolation situations and that’s how she scored a majority of her points.”

The Crusaders, who dressed just six players for the contest, each of whom saw at least 22 minutes of action, shot a season-high 50% from the field, including 6-of-13 (46.2%) from three-point range. 

“There’s no room for error when you have six,” Freeman said.  “Everyone has to come to play every night.  We’re quite a bit different of a team in the last two to three weeks.  We really have some tough kids.”

Varner registered her second straight double-double, and third of the season.  She scored a season-high 19 points and tied a career high with 12 rebounds.  Tabitha Gerardot (Fort Wayne, Ind./Canterbury H.S.) added 12 points while Timmerman finished with nine.  Richards handed out seven assists, pulled down six rebounds, and registered the five steals while not leaving the court for the 40 minutes.

Eastern Illinois (7-3), which entered the game ranked 23rd in the latest Mid-Major poll, shot 36.7% from the floor, including just 4-of-18 (22.2%) from three-point range.  The Panthers, which were averaging 77.1 points per game entering the contest, outrebounded Valpo 36-30, including 16-4 on the offensive end, but managed just five second chance points in the contest.

“The bottom line is we defended very, very well,” Freeman concluded.  “We’re playing smart and as a team.  This is the best defensive team we have had in about eight years.  They didn’t hurt us in the transition game like they have against a lot of other teams.  That’s a big part of their offense.”

Sabina Oroszova led the Panthers with 14 points while Ta’Kenya Nixon added nine points and five assists.

Valparaiso (4-7) will have eight days off before returning to the hardwood on Wednesday, Dec. 28, to open Horizon League play at Wright State.  Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. CST in Dayton, Ohio.

Game Notes: Valpo leads the all-time series 8-4 and has won four straight meetings between the two schools … Gerardot has scored in double figures in seven straight games … Varner has had double figure rebounding efforts in six of her last seven contests … five of Valpo’s last six opponents have scored 53 points or fewer … the Crusaders committed just nine fouls in the game … Richards six rebounds were a season high and her five steals tied a career high … Richards played all 40 minutes for the third time this year and has played 37 or more in each of the last five contests.

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 Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25 UIC
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
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