Bechtold Leads Five in Double-Figures as Valpo Downs Oral Roberts
Saturday, March 01, 2003
Lauren Bechtold (Hebron, Ind./Hebron H.S.) scored a career-high 15 points and Jeanette Gray (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.) recorded her fourth double-double of the season as Valparaiso snapped its three-game road losing streak defeating Oral Roberts 80-65 on Saturday afternoon in Tulsa, Okla.

The Crusaders took control of the game midway through the first half. With the Brown and Gold trailing 9-8, Valpo went on a 15-0 run keyed by three-pointers from Katie Boone (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove H.S.) and Bechtold.

Valpo held the Golden Eagles scoreless for 6:33 and without a field goal for 8:32 in building the lead which eventually reached 18, 40-22, with 1:34 to play in the first half.

Oral Roberts ended the half on an 8-0 run as Shayne McKenzie scored six of the points to close to 40-30 at halftime. The Golden Eagles scored first in the second stanza to close within eight, but would not get any closer the rest of the way.

A 13-4 Valpo spurt, again keyed by three's from Jamie Gutowski (Crown Point, Ind./Andrean H.S.) and Bechtold pushed the lead to 17, 55-38 at the 12:17 mark.

The Golden Eagles closed to the gap to 12 in the final two minutes, but Valpo made free throws down the stretch to guarantee the Crusaders their 12th winning season in the last 13 years.

Bechtold went a perfect 4-for-4 from beyond the arc on the way to her career best, while also dishing out six assists. Gray scored 12 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, adding five assists and two blocks for the Brown and Gold. Gutowski also scored 12 for the Crusaders. Meredith Baugher (Berea, Ohio/Berea H.S.) and Boone each added ten points for Valpo.

Cori Williston led all scorers with 26 points for Oral Roberts, while McKenzie added 12 more. Claudia Louis led the Golden Eagles with seven boards.

For the game, Valpo shot 49.1% (26-of-53) from the floor, including 8-of-15 from three-point range, compared with Oral Roberts 36.9% (24-of-65). The Crusaders also knocked down 20-of-23 (87.0%) free throws.

Valparaiso (15-11, 8-5 Mid-Con) will close out the regular season on Monday evening trying to secure the second seed at the upcoming Mid-Continent Conference Tournament as the Crusaders head to Kansas City. Tip-off against UMKC is slated for 7 p.m.