Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Score Defensive Victory to Open Horizon League Tournament
Play Video Ashley Varner drives to the basket for two of her 10 points. (Runtao Wang)
Ashley Varner drives to the basket for two of her 10 points. (Runtao Wang)
Valparaiso (10-20)
at
Milwaukee (9-21)
3/5/2012 | Milwaukee, Wis. - Klotsche Center | Attendance: 407
1st2ndFinal
Valparaiso242347
Milwaukee132639
Stats at a GlanceVALPOUWM
FG Percentage.370 (17-46) .276 (16-58)
3P FG Percentage.250 (3-12) .188 (3-16)
FT Percentage.667 (10-15) .667 (4-6)
Offensive Rebounds813
Defensive Rebounds3025
Total Rebounds3838
Turnovers1918
Steals106
Bench Points03
Statistical LeadersVALPOUWM
PointsTIMMERMAN - 20
LINDFORS - 13
ReboundsVARNER - 13
LINDFORS - 10
AssistsCARR - 5
WILSON - 6
StealsGERARDOT - 4
GREEN - 3
BlocksVARNER - 1
LANGE - 1
GERARDOT - 1
GREEN - 2
Tabitha Gerardot battles for a loose ball. (Runtao Wang)
Tabitha Gerardot battles for a loose ball. (Runtao Wang)

Monday, March 05, 2012

Valparaiso seniors Ashley Timmerman (Pontiac, Ill./Pontiac H.S.) and Ashley Varner (South Bend, Ind./Washington H.S.) made sure their careers in a Valparaiso University uniform did not come to an end on Monday evening, leading the Crusaders to a 47-39 victory over the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the first round of the Horizon League Championship held at the Klotsche Center in Milwaukee, Wis.

“One of our goals we set was that I wanted our seniors to do something they hadn’t done yet in their careers, and that was win a first round Horizon League Tournament game,” head coach Keith Freeman said after the game.  “We didn’t win on Senior Day and I wanted something special to happen for these kids, especially with what we’ve been through as a team this year playing most of the way with just seven kids.”

Timmerman scored a career-high 20 points, making 6-of-9 shots from the floor and all six of her free throws while Varner registered her ninth double-double of the season with 10 points and 13 rebounds, despite sitting most of the final 11 minutes in foul trouble.

The Crusaders, the tournament’s ninth seed, held the eighth-seeded Panthers to just 27.6% shooting for the game, and just 3-of-16 from three-point range after the Panthers went 9-of-16 from long range just two weeks ago against Valpo.

“We made some adjustments to our half-court trap,” Freeman added.  “They didn’t get as many open threes as they did last time we were here and we got some deflections today.”

Milwaukee’s defense forced four Valpo turnovers and limited the Crusaders to just two shots over the first four minutes of the game, but the Panthers missed five of their first shots to keep the game knotted at two.

Gina Lange (Wyoming, Minn./Forest Lake H.S.) scored six of Valpo’s eight points and ignited a 7-0 Crusader run, which was capped by a Tabitha Gerardot (Fort Wayne, Ind./Canterbury H.S.) three-point play following a Varner steal.

The Crusader defense was stingy throughout the opening half as Milwaukee started just 2-of-14 from the floor in the game’s first 10 minutes.

A Gerardot triple and a Varner put back as the shot clock expired increased the Crusader lead to 10, 18-8 at the 5:33 mark.  Valpo held the Panthers without a field goal for nearly five minutes before Shamia Green scored Milwaukee’s fourth field goal of the game at the 4:30 mark.

Timmerman scored Valpo’s final six points of the half as the Crusaders took a 24-13 lead into the locker room, holding Milwaukee to just 5-of-21 (19.2%) shooting in the opening stanza, including 0-of-7 from beyond the arc.

Varner scored on Valpo’s first possession out of the locker room as the Crusaders doubled up the Panthers, 26-13.

Milwaukee made three of its first five shots from the floor though, all by Courtney Lindfors, and after a Sammy Theut triple, the Panthers were within six, 28-22.

Varner hit another jumper to put the Crusaders back in front by eight and Timmerman drained a triple in transition to increase the lead to 33-22 with 13:22 to play.

With 11:11 to play and the Crusaders holding a seven-point advantage, Varner picked up her fourth foul and was forced to the bench for most of the duration.  A 6-0 Panther run, capped by a Sami Tucker put back on a fourth chance attempt brought the hosts to within five, 33-28, with 10:14 5o play.

Valpo went nearly five minutes without scoring before Timmerman connected on another three.  Lange then scored inside after Gerardot picked up a loose ball following a scrum at midcourt and the lead was back to 10, 38-28, as the Panthers went 5:15 without scoring.

A Tucker triple with 1:10 to play made it a six-point game, and Angela Rodriguez pulled Milwaukee to within four, 40-36, with a bucket with 52.3 seconds to play, the closest the Panthers were since 8-4 at the 12:12 mark of the first half.

Timmerman went 4-for-4 from the free throw line and Laura Richards (Connersville, Ind./Connersville H.S.) added three more in the final 47 seconds to secure Valpo’s first Horizon League Tournament victory since joining the conference prior to the 2007-2008 season.

“I’m so proud of our kids,” Freeman added.  “This was our third game in five days.  We were dragging and it became evident as the game went along that it was going to be a grinder to the end.”

Lange finished with eight points while Gerardot had six points, seven rebounds, a career-high four steals, and three assists.  Richards also pulled down six boards and added three steals.

Lindfors led Milwaukee (9-21) with 13 points and 10 rebounds, the lone Panther  to register double figures.

Valparaiso (10-20) advances to the quarterfinal round of the Horizon League Championship on Wednesday evening, heading north to Green Bay, Wis. to battle the top-seeded University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix. 

“I told our kids that if we were headed to Green Bay tonight I’d be one happy guy,” Freeman concluded.  “I’m quite happy to be headed to Green Bay.”

Tip-off at the Kress Events Center is set for 7 p.m.

Game Notes: Milwaukee leads the all-time series 14-6 and had won five straight meetings prior to the contest, including the two regular season meetings this year … Varner now has 10 career double-doubles … the win, Valpo’s 10th of the year, marks the most since posting 16 victories in 2008-2009 … Varner’s 13 rebounds give her 276 for on the year, moving her into second on the Crusaders’ single season charts … Richards had three steals, giving her 80 on the year, tying her with Sharie Toelke (1992-1993) for fifth on the single season charts.

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 2 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24 #21/21 Notre Dame 7
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
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
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
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
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Green Bay
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Valpo