A 3-point shooting contest broke out on Friday evening at the Athletics-Recreation Center as the Valparaiso University women’s basketball team matched a school record that had stood for 14 years with 17 triples in a 79-72 defeat to Bowling Green. The Falcons hit 14 3s of their own to help offset Valpo’s record-tying night, which featured 11 3s before halftime and nine in the second quarter.
How It Happened
- Valpo got off to a slow start as Bowling Green jumped ahead 7-0 before an Ella Ellenson (Rice Lake, Wis. / Rice Lake) layup accounted for her team’s first points with 5:47 left in the first quarter. The Falcons (6-4) scored the next five points to make it a 12-2 advantage.
- Meredith Hamlet (McBain, Mich. / McBain) drilled a 3-pointer with 2:52 left in the first quarter, and Shay Frederick (Greenville, Wis. / Hortonville) knocked in a triple with four seconds to go in the quarter to cut the lead to 17-10. Valpo trailed by seven despite shooting 3-of-13 in the opening quarter.
- After Valpo hit two late 3-pointers in the first quarter, the floodgates opened from beyond the arc in the second period. Grace Hales (Cromwell, Ind. / Westview), Ilysse Pitts (Aurora, Ill. / Montini) and Frederick all connected from distance in succession to start the quarter, putting Valpo ahead 19-17 after the team had trailed by as many as 10.
- Hannah Schaub (Brooklyn Park, Minn. / Park Center) got in on the act with 6:11 remaining, followed by two more from Frederick then three 3s by Hales in the final 3:04 of the half. In all, Valpo knocked down nine 3s in the second quarter to take a 37-30 lead into halftime. Hales hit four triples in the second quarter alone. All nine of Valpo’s first-half made baskets were 3s and 14 of the team’s 15 attempts came from beyond the arc.
- The third quarter saw Bowling Green outscore Valpo 25-10 while outrebounding the Brown & Gold 14-4. That put the Falcons ahead 55-47 going into the fourth.
- The deficit fluctuated between five and nine for the bulk of the fourth quarter until Schaub buried a 3 with 3:29 remaining to shrink the margin to two. That trey was the 17th of the night, tying the school record.
- Bowling Green’s Sydney Lambert and Pitts traded buckets, then a steal by Pitts set up Valpo’s first lead of the fourth quarter. Frederick converted a basket despite being fouled and knocked down the and-one, putting Valpo in front 72-71 with 2:30 to play.
- The game finished the same way it started – with a run by Bowling Green. The Falcons scored the final eight points of the game to secure the seven-point win.
Inside the Game
- The school record of 17 made 3-pointers in a game was established on Dec. 8, 2004 vs. Central Michigan.
- All seven players who saw the floor for Valpo knocked down at least one 3 on a night where the two teams combined for 31 triples. The 17 Valpo 3s tied for the fourth-most in the history of the Missouri Valley Conference.
- Valpo also became just the 14th team in the nation to knock down 17 3s or more in a single-game this season.
- Valpo had 38 3-point attempts on Friday, a number that ranks second in program history. The school record for 3-point attempts in a game is 41, set on Feb. 27, 1992 against Wright State.
- Frederick and Schaub each knocked down four triples, while Hales led the way and matched a career high with five. This marked the third time in her collegiate career Hales buried five 3s.
- Schaub achieved a season high with her 13 points, eclipsing her previous best of 11 at Morehead State on Nov. 16. She also dished out five assists, equaling a season best set on Nov. 14 at Illinois.
- Ellenson led the team with six rebounds to go along with seven points.
- Valpo dished out 19 assists, the team’s most since Jan. 26 of last season, when Valpo handed out 20 in a 101-59 rout of Evansville.
Thoughts from Head Coach Mary Evans
“Our players’ willingness to attack and willingness to pass to each other led to all of the 3s. We played our most unselfish game of the year. We had an aggressive mindset of driving and then finding players on the perimeter, and then those players made shots. We talk every day about their ability to shoot open catch-and-shoot 3s and do it at a high percentage, and they did that tonight.”
“I’m really liking Hannah’s progression. She has missed significant practice time, and now she’s starting to come into her own. She’s doing a tremendous job of facilitating for others while also being aggressive and looking for her shots. I expect her to continue to grow and get better and better throughout the season.”
“Both times Bowling Green went on a run, we didn’t match their intensity. During those stretches, they were beating us to a lot of loose balls. Both times we pointed it out, and our players did a nice job of toughening up and playing harder. It’s a learning and growing process, and I think that was a tremendous team effort with seven people including two freshmen out there. I told them: ‘Let this hurt, but don’t hang your heads.’ I thought the effort was solid.”
“We’re heads and shoulders above where we were on opening night. Our offense is getting better and our understanding of what we’re trying to do is getting better. Tonight in the first half we had a number of steals and took a number of charges defensively. We played a really good first half of defense, then in the second half we lost our focus and couldn’t make those same plays. We’re going to continue to grow in that facet. I’m excited to get a couple kids back from injuries after Christmas so we’ll be a deeper, more experienced team."
Valpo (4-8) will compete in one final tune-up before conference play – an exhibition against IU Northwest on Dec. 31 at noon at the Athletics-Recreation Center. There will be no video broadcast of the game, but it will air on 95.1 FM Valparaiso, WVUR. Links to live audio and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.