A wild affair Sunday afternoon at the ARC saw the Valpo women’s basketball team rally from a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit, tying the game within the final 30 seconds on a 3-point play off an offensive rebound from junior Grace White (Redby, Minn./Red Lake [Denver]), and score the first five points of overtime on its way to a 95-90 victory over Bowling Green State University. Senior Grace Hales (Cromwell, Ind./Westview) and sophomore Shay Frederick (Greenville, Wis./Hortonville) tied for team-high honors with 21 points each, both matching their respective career high.
How It Happened
- The situation looked bleak for Valpo when BGSU’s Caterrion Thompson got her own rebound and laid it up and in to give the Falcons a 69-57 advantage with 8:32 to play in the fourth quarter.
- Valpo came right down and got a 3-pointer from sophomore Carie Weinman (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South [Denver]) on its next possession, and then had a four-point trip the next time down the floor courtesy of two free throws by Frederick and an offensive rebound and putback by junior Addison Stoller (Cissna Park, Ill./Cissna Park).
- Stoller connected on a jumper on Valpo’s next possession as well, as within a span of 1:40, the Brown and Gold sliced the 69-57 BGSU lead to just 69-66.
- But it would take Valpo another rally to eventually level the score, as it went without a point for the next three and a half minutes. The Falcons scored five points during that stretch to extend their lead back to 74-66 with less than 3:30 to play.
- Hales broke the schneid with an offensive rebound and layup for a 3-point play with 3:11 remaining, and after the Falcons came up empty on their next possession, freshman Cara VanKempen (Coopersville, Mich./Coopersville) drilled a 3-pointer to bring Valpo within 74-72 with 2:44 left.
- A split at the foul line inside of two minutes cut Valpo’s deficit to one point, and then the teams started trading blows. BGSU got a deep jumper from Madisen Parker with 1:38 to go, but Valpo responded with a nice feed from Weinman to a cutting Frederick for a layup.
- What looked like a potential dagger came from the Falcons’ Morgan McMillan with 45 seconds to go to make it a four-point game. But Valpo would not go quietly into the night, racing the ball right back down the court and getting a quick hoop from Frederick.
- An intentional foul led to BGSU splitting a pair of free throws, and with the score 80-77, White grabbed Valpo’s 3-point miss and laid it back up and in while being fouled for the game-tying 3-point play with 20 seconds remaining in regulation. The Falcons had one last look for the win, but the attempt came up short as the game went into overtime.
- The lid lifted on the scoring in overtime 1:21 into the extra period, as Frederick hit junior Ella Ellenson (Rice Lake, Wis./Rice Lake) for a 3-pointer which gave Valpo the lead for good. A circus layup by White on the next trip pushed the advantage to five points.
- BGSU had the advantage down to two points with less than 90 seconds remaining, but Frederick continued her stellar night at the foul line by knocking down a pair with 1:19 to go.
- VanKempen then came up with a big defensive play, blocking a shot to keep it a four-point game, and Valpo took advantage on the other end, running the shot clock most of the way down before Hales drove and finished through contact for a three-point play, putting the Crusaders ahead 90-83 with 39 seconds to go.
- BGSU came down and got a quick bucket to cut the lead to five and called a timeout. All the timeout did, however, was allow Valpo to set up a full-court out-of-bounds play which worked to perfection, as White hit Frederick for an uncontested layup.
- The Falcons raced down and hit a triple with 16 seconds to go to make it a four-point game, but Frederick iced the game with a pair of free throws.
- Valpo’s last lead before overtime came thanks to a basket from Hales with 5:15 to play in the first quarter, which put Valpo ahead 11-9. BGSU scored 11 straight points to pull ahead, 20-11, and led 23-15 at the end of one.
- Valpo cut the deficit to four points at 29-25 at the halfway mark of the second quarter before the Falcons went on an 11-2 run to claim their largest lead at 40-27 with 30 seconds to play in the half. The deficit would be just 10 for the Brown and Gold at intermission, however, as Weinman banked home a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it 40-30 at halftime.
- Valpo battled to cut into the BGSU lead throughout the third quarter and finally got it down to a one-possession game on a Weinman triple with 1:54 remaining in the period, slicing the lead to 57-54. The Falcons ended the quarter with a 6-1 spurt and then out-scored Valpo 6-2 over the first 90 seconds of the fourth quarter.
Inside the Game
- Sunday’s win was already Valpo’s second of the year over a team it lost to last season, as it previously had flipped the result against North Dakota State.
- Valpo’s 95 points marked its highest point total since dropping 101 on Evansville in January 2018.
- This was Valpo’s first overtime win since defeating Detroit Mercy in the 2016 Horizon League Tournament, 94-91. That was also the last time Valpo won a game in which it surrendered at least 90 points.
- Valpo last overcame a 13-point deficit just two victories ago, as it also erased that margin in last season’s MVC Tournament win over Indiana State.
- Valpo shot 43.9% from the field for the game (29-of-66) and was 10-of-33 from 3-point range – its second game of the year reaching double figures in 3-pointers. After going just 3-for-16 in the first half from deep, Valpo was 7-for-17 from the 3-point line over the final 25 minutes.
- The Crusaders also excelled from the free throw line, knocking down 27-of-32 (84.4%) from the charity stripe on Sunday.
- Leading the effort from the foul line was Frederick, who finished 13-of-14 – tied for the fifth-most free throws made in a single game by a player in Valpo history, and the most since Ashley Varner connected on 13 at Cleveland State in February 2012.
- Frederick’s 13 free throws propelled her to a 21-point night to tie her for team-high honors and match her career high. The sophomore also dished out a game-high six assists.
- Hales enjoyed a very efficient afternoon to end up with 21 points to match her career best as well. The senior was 7-of-10 from the field and a perfect 7-for-7 from the foul line. She also pulled down seven rebounds in the win.
- Weinman rounded out the Valpo trio in double figures with her high in the Crusader uniform, tallying 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the floor. The sophomore went 4-for-8 from 3-point range after going just 4-for-20 from deep over the first four games.
- VanKempen, who had totaled zero points and one rebound in her first two appearances with Valpo, finished with nine points and four rebounds on Sunday as she connected on three 3-pointers.
- White paced Valpo on the glass with eight rebounds, her high in a Valpo uniform and matching her overall career best.
Thoughts From Coach Evans
“I'm just really proud of the overall team effort today. Every single player was key to us winning - 11 people played and all 11 brought something to the table today.”
“I think we came out today a little flat and weren't making our 3-pointers early one. We could have very easily given in and given up, but our players continued to fight. I challenged them a bit at halftime, and they came out and fought and fought and fought, and they put themselves in a position to win the game.”
“We made some adjustments offensively in the second half - Bowling Green was sagging in off of some of our players, and we talked about how we could use that to our advantage. Defensively, I challenged our players to be a bit tougher, and then we also started mixing in a bit of zone in the second half to keep Bowling Green from gaining a rhythm. I thought we did a tremendous job in that zone through the end of the 4th quarter and into overtime.”
“Our team did a great job making their free throws today - I'm really pleased with that. I thought that all of our guards did a great job continuing to drive the ball throughout a physical game. They continued to go and go, and when they had opportunities to go to the free throw line and make foul shots, they did.”
Valpo (2-3) heads right back on the road Wednesday evening as it faces its second consecutive MAC foe, playing at Toledo. The 6 p.m. CT tip can be seen live on ESPN+.