Betsy Adams (Monticello, Ind./Twin Lakes H.S.) tied a career-high with six three-pointers on her way to 22 points on Saturday afternoon, leading Valparaiso to a 59-52 victory over Wright State at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
Adams scored 14 of her points after the intermission as the Crusaders snapped a two-game losing skid. She made 6-of-9 from downtown on the afternoon on her way to an 8-of-12 shooting day from the floor overall while also grabbing four rebounds and three assists.
“They were keying on Betsy,” Valpo head coach Keith Freeman said. “When we got the ball reversed she got some open shots.”
Valpo never trailed in the game, but had to hold off a late Raider run which saw Wright State cut a 13-point lead down to one before Valpo responded.
“I was proud of our kids,” Freeman said of withstanding the rally. “We got that monkey off of their back. We did a good job of playing with poise down the stretch.”
The Crusaders led 27-20 at intermission and saw the lead gradually grow to 45-32 with 10:56 to play before the Raiders made their spurt. An 11-0 run over four minutes saw the lead shrink to 47-46 before Adams responded with a triple. Lauren Kenney (Mooresville, Ind./Mooresville H.S.) followed with a lay-in and all of a sudden the advantage was back to six with 3:45 to play.
Adams hit another triple and Laura Richards (Connersville, Ind./Connersville H.S.) scored on a back-door layup to push the lead to 57-50 heading into the final minute, giving Valpo its third Horizon League victory of the season.
Valpo jumped out to a seven-point lead in the first half as well following an Ashley Varner (South Bend, Ind./Washington H.S.) triple at the 10:09 mark only to have the Raiders fight back and tie the score at 17 with 5:03 to play before halftime. The Crusaders closed the half with a 10-3 run though to take the seven-point lead into the break.
Kenney just missed a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds while Kelly Watts (Gary, Ind./East Chicago Central H.S.) also pulled down nine boards for the Crusaders.
“Watts and Kenney have a nose for the ball,” Freeman added. “They were playing with a lot of passion going after rebounds.”
Valpo shot nearly 58% from the floor in the second half, including 5-of-6 from three-point range, finishing the game shooting 46.7% from the floor for the night.
LaShawna Thomas led Wright State (5-12, 1-6 Horizon) with 13 points while Ta-myra Davis added a double-double with 12 points and 11 boards. Maria Bennett added 12 points for the Raiders, all on three-pointers.
Wright State managed to make just 3-of-9 from the free throw line.
Valparaiso (6-12, 3-4) heads to the road on Thursday evening as the Crusaders travel to Milwaukee, Wis. to battle the Panthers of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
Game Notes: Valpo leads the all-time series with Wright State 10-5, including a 7-2 advantage at the ARC … the Raiders had won four of the last five meetings prior to Saturday … Valpo, which was +7.2 in rebounding margin in Horizon League play entering the game, outrebounded Wright State 35-28 … Valpo shot 53% from three-point range in the game.