Valparaiso (13-9, 5-6 MVC)
Game #23 - Friday, February 14 - 7 p.m.
at Bradley (17-4, 8-2 MVC)
Renaissance Coliseum (4,200) - Peoria, Ill.
Next Up in Valpo Basketball: Having won both of its games last weekend to complete season sweeps of Evansville and Indiana State, the Valpo women’s basketball team prepares to begin a gauntlet of games to close out regular season play, starting with a Friday night game at Bradley, which sits in second place in the MVC standings and owns a top-50 RPI. Six of Valpo’s last seven regular season games are against teams currently among the top-100 in the RPI, while five of the last seven are on the road.
Previously: The term shutout isn’t one used in the sport of basketball very often, but when it does get bandied about, you know something unique has happened. That’s what took place Saturday at the ARC, as the Valpo women’s basketball team posted a shutout of Indiana State in the second quarter, out-scoring the Sycamores 17-0 to turn a four-point deficit into a 13-point halftime lead en route to a 61-45 victory.
Following Valpo Basketball: Streaming Video: ESPN+
Radio: WVUR (95.1 FM, Valparaiso)
Live Stats/Streaming Audio: Available via ValpoAthletics.com
Head Coach Mary Evans: Mary Evans (21-33) is in her second season as head coach of the Valpo women’s basketball program in 2019-20. Evans’ impact on the program was immediately clear in her first year, as Valpo shattered its previous program record of 224 made 3-pointers in a single season by knocking down 276 trifectas - a mark which ranks seventh in MVC history. Valpo ranked among the top-25 nationally in both total 3-pointers and 3-pointers per game in Evans’ first season at the helm of the Valpo program.
Series Notes: The Braves lead the all-time series over Valpo, 10-2, and are 4-1 in five matchups since Valpo joined the MVC prior to the 2017-18 season. Earlier this season, Bradley pulled away for a 75-61 win at the ARC in the first meeting of the year. Valpo trailed by just four, 33-29, at halftime, but the Braves out-scored Valpo by 10 in the second half. Bradley shot 57.8% from the field in that game, while the Brown and Gold shot just 39% and were just 4-for-22 from 3-point range. Caitlin Morrison led Valpo’s effort with a career-best 15 points.
- Valpo has been selected to finish in eighth place in the MVC preseason poll, totaling 126 points.
- Valpo is in its third season as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference in 2019-20.
...looking back at last year
- Valpo posted an 8-24 record last season in head coach Mary Evans’ first year at the helm and went 3-15 in MVC play.
- Last year’s Valpo squad was ravaged by injuries, many times dressing just nine scholarship players.
- Valpo shattered its program record for 3-pointers in a season in 2018-19, knocking down 276 triples to race past the previous record of 224.
- Valpo also moved into seventh place in a single season in MVC history in 3-pointers made.
- Shay Frederick was named to the MVC All-Freshman Team, while Meredith Hamlet was an Honorable Mention MVC Scholar-Athlete.
...versus Indiana State
- The Sycamores carried an 18-14 lead into the second period.
- ISU’s last basket of the first quarter came with 1:04 to play in the period, while its final point came with 44 seconds remaining. But as the second quarter opened, little did anybody know those would also be the final occurrences in the first half.
- Valpo held the Sycamores scoreless in the second quarter, as ISU shot 0-of-12 from the floor – including 0-of-6 from 3-point range – and committed eight turnovers. The second quarter proved to be the final 17 points of a 19-0 run for Valpo to close the first half with a 31-18 advantage.
- After the scoreless quarter, Indiana State came out and hit its first shot of the third quarter to cut Valpo’s lead to 10. But the Crusaders out-scored the Sycamores 12-4 over the next seven minutes, with five different players scoring for Valpo during the run which extended the lead to a peak of 18 points. Valpo carried a 45-31 lead through three periods.
- Indiana State scored the first five points of the fourth quarter, but a 3-pointer by Addison Stoller pushed the edge back to 48-36 with 6:53 to play. The lead remained in double figures the rest of the game and reached as many as 17 points.
- Valpo scored 28 points off of ISU’s 31 turnovers, a season-best output in MVC play.
- Beyond the turnovers, Valpo limited ISU to 36.2% shooting and just a 2-of-16 effort from the 3-point line.
- The defensive effort enabled Valpo to emerge victorious despite shooting just 35.3% for the game and just 8-of-24 from the 3-point line.
- Valpo’s stellar recent free-throw shooting continued in the win, as the Brown and Gold finished the game 17-of-18 (94.4%) from the charity stripe. It is the second time in program history Valpo has posted a 17-of-18 line on free throws (Evansville; February 1988), tied for the sixth-best single-game percentage in program history.
- Senior Grace Hales was honored before the game for surpassing 1,000 career points last week, and then proceeded to pace Valpo in the scoring column for the third time in the last four games, finishing with 14 points, including a 6-of-6 mark from the free throw line.
- Evansville scored the game’s first five points and led by as many as eight in the first quarter. A 7-0 spurt for Valpo tied the game at 15-15 with 1:39 to play in the opening perio, but Evansville responded with the final six points of the quarter to lead 21-15 at the end of the first.
- The Purple Aces opened the second quarter by scoring six of the first seven points, earning their largest lead at 27-16 with 7:52 to play in the half.
- Valpo came back immediately with consecutive 3-point plays from Addison Stoller and Shay Frederick 26 seconds apart, quickly slicing the 11-point deficit to just five points.
- Evansville enjoyed a seven-point lead with three minutes to play in the half, but Frederick scored the final five points of the half to pull Valpo to within 34-32 at intermission.
- Evansville extended its lead to five points at 40-35 two minutes into the third quarter before Valpo rattled off 10 consecutive points to take the lead for good.
- Valpo saw its advantage cut down to one point with three minutes to play in the third before the Crusaders ended the quarter on a 10-2 run. Grace Hales connected on a triple in the final seconds of the period to make it a 55-46 lead with 10 minutes to play.
- A 3-pointer for the Purple Aces on their first possession of the fourth quarter cut Valpo’s lead to 55-49, but the Brown and Gold held Evansville scoreless for the next 5:54. Over that stretch, Valpo rattled off 14 consecutive points – including three 3-pointers from Hales – to pull out to a 20-point lead.
- The win gave Valpo a sweep of the season series with Evansville, its third sweep since joining the MVC. The 2017-18 team swept both Evansville and Loyola in Valpo’s first season of competition in the Valley.
- Valpo did most of its damage from behind the arc on Thursday, scoring 42 of its 72 points from deep as it went 14-of-34 (41.2%) from 3-point range. The 14 triples tie a season high for the Brown and Gold for the third time and are tied for the sixth-most in a single game in program history.
- Leading the downtown barrage was Hales. After scoring just three points in the first half, the senior exploded for 17 second-half points, connecting on five triples in the final 20 minutes alone. For the game, Hales went 6-of-9 from deep, setting a career high with the six 3-pointers made.
- This weekend of play concludes for Valpo Sunday afternoon at Illinois State.
- Next weekend is the travel partner weekend for the Brown and Gold, as the lone contest of the weekend will be Saturday afternoon at Loyola.
...on the road
- Valpo is 6-4 in true road games this year. The Brown and Gold went 4-2 in non-conference road play and swept the Indiana State/Evansville road trip before falling at Drake and at UNI
- Valpo has won six road games this season, the most road victories in a single season since 2006-07.
- Valpo has earned its three largest road wins in the last decade this season - a 22-point win at Evansville and 19-point wins at Detroit Mercy and at Indiana State.
- The 22-point win at Evansville was Valpo’s largest road win since a 66-41 win at Youngstown State on Jan. 14, 2010.
- Three of Valpo’s four road non-conference victories came by double figures - the first time the program won three road non-conference games by 10+ points since 1999-2000.
- Prior to Friday, Valpo’s five-game winning streak earlier this year was its longest since had won five straight road games and had not dropped a game away from home since Nov. 21. The five-game streak on the road was the program’s longest since the 2004-05 team won five straight road contests Dec. 18-Jan. 5.
- Bradley enters Friday’s meeting at 17-4 overall this year and 8-2 in MVC play.
- The Braves snapped a two-game losing streak last time out with a 66-62 win at Illinois State.
- Lasha Petree leads three players averaging in double figures with 17 points/game, while Gabi Haack posts 13.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per contest.
Getting It Done With Defense
- The effort on the defensive end helped lift Valpo to its pair of wins last weekend.
- First, Valpo limited Evansville to 54 points, at that point the fewest points it had allowed in MVC play this year.
- The Crusaders then one-upped themselves against Indiana State, keeping the Sycamores to just 45 points. The 45 points were the second-fewest by a Valpo opponent this year (UIC, 37) and were the fewest points allowed by Valpo in an MVC game since joining the conference.
- Valpo forced 31 turnovers by the Sycamores, a season high for a Valpo opponent. In fact, the 31 miscues match the most by a Valpo opponent since St. Francis (Ind.) committed 33 turnovers in November of 2003. Wright State also committed 31 turnovers in a January 2009 matchup.
- The highlight of the defensive effort against the Sycamores was the scoreless second quarter, as ISU shot 0-of-12 from the floor – including 0-of-6 from 3-point range – and committed eight turnovers.
- The scoreless quarter was the first for Valpo defensively since the women’s game moved to quarters prior to the 2015-16 season.
- In all, Valpo held ISU without a point for a span of 11:17.
- The most comparable stretch in recent history came against Loyola in January of 2010, when Valpo kept the Ramblers off the scoreboard from 14:01 of the first half until 3:05 - a span of 10:56.
- A January 2014 game against Detroit featured a span of 16:36 in which the Titans scored just two free throws.
Racking Up the Wins
- The win over Indiana State was Valpo’s 13th of the season, matching the 2017-18 team for the most wins by a Valpo team in the last decade.
- Two of the wins in 2017-18 came over non D-I opponents, however, meaning that this year’s 13 D-I wins is the program’s highest total since the 2008-09 team picked up 16 D-I wins.
- The win over the Sycamores was also Valpo’s fifth in Valley play this year, matching the most league wins by a Valpo team since the 2009-10 team won six Horizon League games.
- Last weekend gave Valpo a pair of season sweeps in MVC play, as Valpo took down Evansville by a 72-54 final before defeating Indiana State, 61-45.
- Valpo now owns four season sweeps since joining the Valley, as the 2017-18 team posted perfect marks against Evansville and Loyola.
- Saturday’s win capped a perfect 4-0 mark for this year’s squad against teams from the Hoosier State.
- It is the first Valpo team to go undefeated against fellow Indiana schools since the 2011-12 team went 5-0, beating IU Northwest, IPFW, Ball State, and Butler twice.
Hales Leads the Way
- Senior Grace Hales led all players in both wins last weekend, scoring a game-high 20 in the win over Evansville - her high in an MVC game this year - and following with a game-high 14 against Indiana State.
- Hales set a career high in the win over the Purple Aces by making six 3-pointers.
- Hales moved up into eighth place on Valpo’s career 3-pointers made chart last weekend, as she currently owns 154 career triples.
- Hales became the 16th player in program history to reach the 1,000-point milestone for her career with a basket in the final minute Jan. 31 at Drake and currently ranks 15th in program history with 1,049 career points.
- Hales reached the mark thanks to her consistency, as she has played in all 116 Valpo games since she stepped on campus. She has seen her scoring average go up year by year and is averaging a team-best 12.8 points/game this year.
- Hales also ranks among Valpo’s all-time best in a pair of shooting categories, as she sits second in free throw pct. (.866) and tied for fourth in 3-point pct. (.373).
- In the MVC record book, which will only count years played in the Valley, Hales currently ranks fifth all-time in free throw pct. (171-of-194; .881) and tied for 20th in 3-point pct. (132-337; .392).
A Helping Hand
- Sophomore point guard Shay Frederick handed out eight assists in Thursday’s win over Evansville to match her career best in the category.
- Frederick then followed that up on Saturday with eight assists in the win over Indiana State to again match her career best for the fourth time in her career.
- Frederick is currently second in the conference with 4.6 assists/game and currently leads all players in MVC-only play with 5.3 assists/game.
- Frederick owns an assist rate of 34.5%, good for 30th nationally.
- The sophomore has led Valpo in assists in 16 of its 22 games this season.
- With 102 assists already this year, Frederick is just four assists shy of her freshman year total and is just 22 helpers away from Valpo’s single-season top-10 in the category.
- Valpo has trotted out the same starting five through each of its first 19 games of the season: Shay Frederick, Carie Weinman, Grace Hales, Addison Stoller and Caitlin Morrison.
- Hales and Stoller were regular starters a season ago, while Frederick joined the starting lineup midway through last year. Morrison was a regular starter each of her first two years as well before missing last season due to injury.
- Within MVC play, the quintet has played 152:54 together and has out-scored the opposition 278-261 (72.7-68.3 per 40 minutes). That includes a 33-30 advantage in 17:58 of playing time together against Missouri State, and a 24-23 edge in 12:42 together at Drake.
- Valpo has never had a season where the same five players started every single game. The 2007-08, 1997-98 and 1983-84 Valpo squads had four players who started every game of the season.
- All five starters scored in double figures in the game at UNI, the first time that has happened for Valpo this season.
- One area in which Valpo has been consistent all year long has been coming up with steals on the defensive end.
- Valpo has recorded at least six steals in all but one game this season and is averaging an MVC-best 10.5steals/game, good for 29th nationally.
- The team is currently on pace to finish with its highest single-season steals total in nearly two decades.
- Valpo took the thefts to another level in the win at Evansville.
- The Brown and Gold recorded 21 steals in the win over the Purple Aces, tied for the seventh-most in a single game in MVC history.
- 21 steals also is tied for 10th-most in a single game in program history and matches the most in a single game since 1995.
What A Rally
- The 13-point comeback in the fourth quarter against Loyola was Valpo’s largest final-quarter rally since the women’s game moved to four quarters.
- Ironically, the last time Valpo rallied from that kind of deficit within the game’s final 10 minutes came at Loyola on Feb. 17, 2011. The Crusaders trailed that day by 14 points with 8:45 to play (and later 8 points with 2:45 to play) and went on to a 72-68 victory.
- Valpo’s largest deficit in the win over the Ramblers was a 14-point deficit late in the third quarter, the largest deficit it has come at any point in a game to win since rallying from down 15 for a 67-59 win at Youngstown State on Jan. 12, 2013.
- It was the second rally of that type this year for Valpo, as in non-conference play against BGSU, it trailed by 12 in the fourth quarter and by 8 with 3:30 to play before coming back to force overtime and eventually win.
- In the home win over Evansville, Valpo recovered from a double-figure deficit to win for the third time this year, but this deficit came early in the second quarter, as Valpo trailed 27-16 with 7:52 to play in the first half.