Outside Shooting and Strong Defense Leads Valpo Past Oral Roberts
Monday, January 09, 2006
Valparaiso shot 59.1% from three-point range, making 13-of-22 attempts beyond the arc, and held Oral Roberts to 24 points fewer than its season average as the Crusaders downed the Golden Eagles 81-54 on Monday evening at the Athletics-Recreation Center.

Carrie Myers (Stickleyville, Va./Lee H.S.) went 6-of-9 from beyond the arc, including draining her first four during the game's opening ten minutes while Jamie Gutowski (Crown Point, Ind./Andrean H.S.) added five triples in nine attempts.

A 12-0 run over three minutes midway through the first half, keyed by two Myers triples gave Valpo a 24-11 lead at the 9:49 mark. Another 7-0 spurt late in the half made it 37-21 and the Crusaders eventually took a 43-30 lead into the break.

Valpo finished the first half shooting 8-of-13 (61.5%) from long range as Myers had 15 at the break.

After Oral Roberts cut the lead to nine on a 7-0 run, Valpo went on a 14-2 run that put the game out of reach. Back-to-back threes by Gutowski started the spurt and Valpo led 60-39 with 11:31 to play and never looked back.

Gutowski finished with a season-high 19 points in 21 minutes off of the bench while Myers added 18 to pace the Crusaders. Betsy Rietema (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) added 14 points and six rebounds while Tamra Braun (Savage, Minn./Prior Lake H.S.) just missed a double-double with nine points and ten rebounds. Lauren Bechtold (Hebron, Ind./Hebron H.S.) scored seven points and dished out seven assists as Valpo had 19 helpers and committed just ten turnovers against a team that entered the game forcing 25.1 miscues per night.

Elisha Turek led Oral Roberts (8-7, 2-2 Mid-Con) with 14 points and nine boards as the Golden Eagles, who entered the game averaging more than 78 points per contest were held to just 54.

Valparaiso (9-5, 4-0) has now won four straight overall, nine straight at home, and nine straight in the Mid-Con dating back to last season. The Crusaders will return to the hardwood on Thursday night for their final non-conference tilt of the season. Valpo will host IPFW at the ARC with tip-off set for 7:05 p.m.