The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team fell 67-54 to Indiana State on Sunday afternoon at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Senior Dani Franklin (Cedar Rapids, Iowa / George Washington) squeezed a career-high 16 rebounds and finished with her second double-double of the year. Valpo battled back late, closing the game on an 11-0 run.
How It Happened
- Both teams were cold shooting in the first quarter. Indiana State missed all seven of its 3-point attempts in the opening period, while the Crusaders shot 18.8 percent from the floor (3-of-16). Franklin racked up six boards in the opening quarter.
- The game was tied at 17 midway through the second quarter, but then Indiana State went on a 9-0 run capped by an Alexis Delgado 3-pointer with 3:55 to go until halftime. The lead reached double figures with 1:29 to go in the first half after AJ Thomas buried a 3. Valpo trailed 31-23 at halftime.
- The Crusaders did not score for the first 5:38 of the second half. Franklin made a layup with 4:22 to go in the third, bringing the Sycamores’ 10-0 run to an end. The Crusaders shot 16.7 percent in the third quarter and were outscored 14-6, causing a 46-29 Indiana State edge after three quarters.
- The fourth quarter was a positive one for the Crusaders, who finished the game on an 11-0 run and outscored Indiana State 25-21 in the final period. Valpo’s shooting returned to normal levels in the fourth, as the Crusaders shot 40 percent down the stretch.
Inside the Game
- Franklin’s 16 boards shattered her previous season high of 11, which came on Dec. 10 vs. Chicago State. It matched a career watermark that she hit twice previously – Feb. 9, 2017 at Wright State and Nov. 30, 2016 vs. Evansville.
- Franklin’s double-double was her second of the season and first in Missouri Valley Conference play. The team has four double-doubles this year, two apiece for Franklin and freshman Bryce Blood.
- Valpo shot 29.9 percent from the field, outshooting the Sycamores, who were held to 29.2 percent.
- The Crusaders also won the rebounding battle 33-32.
- Many of the team statistics were even or slightly in Valpo’s favor, but perhaps the most significant statistical difference was at the free throw line, where Indiana State went 23-of-32 and Valpo had 10 makes in 12 attempts. In addition, the Sycamores outscored the Crusaders in points off turnovers 20-4.
- Indiana State was led in scoring by Ashli O’Neal with 22 and in rebounding by Wendi Bibbins with 10.
Thoughts From Head Coach Tracey Dorow
On the Shooting Performance: “We had a ton of great looks, and they didn’t go in. We had layups that rolled off the rim. It seemed like we couldn’t buy a basket for the longest time. In the fourth quarter, we did a strong job of rebounding and getting second-chance opportunities, and the shots started to go in.”
On Finishing with an 11-0 Run: “That comes back to our senior leadership. Georgi (Donchetz) did a great job leading the way and we played within ourselves down the stretch. We didn’t turn the ball over as many times late, and that allowed us the chance to get some points.”
On Franklin’s rebounding: “Dani pursued the ball hard. She held their players off the block well. She went up high and hard and ripped it away from people a few times. I was very pleased with Dani’s rebounding today.”
On Going Forward: “Working through a shooting slump is all about practicing in-game speed and making sure we enjoy each other and relax. This is a game. We have to remember that and get out there and have a little bit of fun.”
The Crusaders will hit the road this weekend for a Friday date with Bradley in Peoria, Ill. Valpo will attempt to avenge a loss to the Braves from earlier this season. The game can be seen on The Valley on ESPN3 and heard on 95.1 FM Valparaiso with Ben Ariano (play-by-play) and Brandon Vickrey (color commentary).