The Valpo women’s basketball team earned its first victory in Missouri Valley Conference play this year and extended its road winning streak to four straight games Friday in Terre Haute, Ind., leading start-to-finish in a 75-56 victory over Indiana State.
How It Happened
- Valpo led from before the opening tip on Friday evening, as an administrative technical foul was issued to Indiana State pre-game as the host for equipment failure. Senior Grace Hales (Cromwell, Ind./Westview) stepped up and hit both free throws to give the Brown and Gold a lead they would not relinquish.
- The early free throws propelled Valpo to a fast start, as it hit its first six field goal attempts into the first media timeout to race out to a 15-4 lead. Junior Addison Stoller (Cissna Park, Ill./Cissna Park) and sophomore Shay Frederick (Greenville, Wis./Hortonville) had two baskets apiece during the run to start the game, while Hales knocked down a 3-pointer as well.
- Valpo eventually led 20-12 at the end of the first quarter.
- Indiana State scored the first basket of the second period, but Valpo came back with nine straight points – including another triple by Hales – to pull out to a 29-14 advantage 3:10 into the quarter.
- Valpo’s lead reached as many as 17 points in the second quarter, and after Indiana State had cut the advantage to 11 with 80 seconds to play in the half, the Brown and Gold scored the final two baskets of the half – including a drive and finish from Frederick in the waning seconds – to take a 39-24 lead into the locker room.
- Hales drove for an inside basket and Stoller knocked down a 3-pointer as Valpo scored the first five points of the second half, holding Indiana State scoreless for the opening 3:50 of the quarter as the lead extended to 20 points.
- Valpo led by as many as 21 points in the third quarter, but the Sycamores scored the final six points of the quarter to cut the lead to 51-36 with 10 minutes to play.
- Valpo scored on five of its first six possessions of the fourth quarter, a stretch which included 3-pointers from Stoller, Frederick and sophomore Carie Weinman (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South [Denver]), to push the lead back to 20 points and put the game away.
Inside the Game
- The win was Valpo’s first of the Missouri Valley Conference slate, after starting conference play with a pair of losses last weekend.
- It was the program’s first win in the regular season over Indiana State since 2001, as the Sycamores had entered Friday with five consecutive wins in regular season matchups.
- Friday’s win was already the team’s fifth road victory of the campaign. Valpo has won at least five road games in a season for the first time since 2008-09.
- Moreover, the win over the Sycamores was the fourth straight road win for Valpo. Valpo last won four straight road games Jan. 6-24, 2007, and will aim for its first five-game road winning streak since the 2004-05 campaign next time out.
- Stoller led the way for Valpo on Friday, finishing with a game-high 16 points on an efficient 6-of-8 effort form the field. The junior knocked down both of her 3-point attempts, tied for game-high honors with five rebounds and led Valpo with three steals as well.
- Hales added 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting, giving her 943 career points – just one point shy of Aimee Litka for 19th place on Valpo’s career scoring chart.
- Frederick rounded out the Valpo trio in double figures with 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting, and handed out five assists while committing just one turnover.
- In all, the Valpo starting quintet combined to shoot 22-of-31 from the floor in Friday’s win.
- Valpo ended the game hitting a season-high 56.9% from the floor and connected on seven 3-pointers despite attempting a season-low 16 shots from deep. 44 of Valpo’s points came in the paint, just two shy of a season best as the Crusaders held an 18-point advantage in the paint over the Sycamores.
- Meanwhile, on the defensive end, Valpo limited ISU to 38.3% shooting from the field, including just a 3-for-11 clip from the 3-point line. Valpo forced 22 turnovers by the Sycamores, 10 of which were Valpo steals – the seventh time in its last eight games that Valpo has tallied double figures in the steals column.
Valpo (9-5, 1-2 MVC) takes aim at its first two-game sweep of a Valley weekend since joining the conference on Sunday when it plays at Evansville at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN+.