Allowing the fewest points in school history, Valparaiso cruised to an 80-28 victory over Youngstown State on Saturday afternoon at the Athletics-Recreation Center, posting the largest margin of victory for a Crusader team in 32 years.
The Crusaders limited the Penguins to just 8.3% (2-of-24) shooting in the second half and just 16.7% (9-of-54) for the game while holding the visitors without a three-point field goal for the contest.
Valpo’s previous school record for points allowed in a game was 31, set against UMKC on December 30, 2005. The 52-point margin of victory is second in school history, only behind a 54-point win, 88-34, at Grace on February 1, 1978.
Lauren Kenney (Mooresville, Ind./Mooresville H.S.) led the Crusaders with 21 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the floor while playing just 18 minutes. She also grabbed a game-high eight rebounds. Laura Richards (Connersville, Ind./Connersville H.S.) added a career-high 11 points, making 5-of-6 from the floor, and registered a collegiate-best five steals as well.
Betsy Adams (Monticello, Ind./Twin Lakes H.S.) added nine points while Gina Lange (Wyoming, Minn./Forest Lake H.S.) tallied a career-best eight points. Lange also pulled down seven boards.
The Crusaders jumped on top quickly, outscoring the Penguins 20-4 over the game’s first 7:23. Valpo continued to play strong the rest of the half, taking a 40-16 lead into the locker room.
“We are a team that needs to play with passion and everything came together today,” head coach Keith Freeman said.
After Youngstown State (0-24, 0-13) scored four of the first six points of the second half, Valpo surged with a 22-0 run over six minutes to take a 64-20 lead and never looked back.
“I was pleased because at halftime we had a big lead,” Freeman added. “We came out the second half and said we wanted to allow less than 32 points for the game. On the defensive side we did a good job today. We got a lot off of our press.”
Valpo shot 60% (15-of-25) from the floor over the final 20 minutes on the way to season-high 53.3% for the game. The Crusaders outrebounded Youngstown State 46-32 and finished with 18 assists to just 11 turnovers. The Penguins committed 17 turnovers.
Brandi Brown led Youngstown State with 12 points and six rebounds, making 8-of-10 from the free throw line.
Valparaiso (7-16, 4-8) will return to the court on Thursday evening as the Crusaders head to Dayton, Ohio to face Wright State. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. CST.
Game Notes: Valpo has won four of the last five against Youngstown State … the Penguins hold a 14-13 all-time advantage but Valpo is 9-4 against YSU at the ARC … Lange entered the game with six career rebounds before grabbing seven on the afternoon … Stephanie Thomas (Avon, Ind./Avon H.S.) pulled down a career-best five boards … Kelly Peller (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton H.S.) tied a career-high with four assists … Valpo outscored the Penguins 14-2 on fast break points, 38-12 in the paint, and 27-9 off turnovers.