A 10-point run to end the first quarter proved to be too much for the Valpo women’s basketball team to overcome Friday evening at the ARC, as the Brown and Gold battled in an attempt to rally over the final three quarters before succumbing to visiting Illinois State, 72-60.
How It Happened
Sophomore Shay Frederick (Greenville, Wis./Hortonville) knocked down a 3-pointer to open the scoring before ISU came back with six straight points to claim the lead.
Valpo tied the score on three occasions in the middle stages of the opening quarter, the last coming on a fast-break layup by Frederick following a steal to make it 11-11 with 4:14 to play in the period.
But the Redbirds scored the final 10 points of the quarter over the final four minutes to take a 21-11 lead at the end of the first.
Illinois State extended the run to 12-0 with the first basket of the second quarter, but Valpo kept ISU off the board for over five minutes, scoring seven straight to close to within 23-18.
A 12-3 run for the Redbirds out of the media timeout extended their lead to 14 points, and Illinois State eventually took a 37-24 lead into halftime.
Valpo cut the Redbird advantage to seven points three times in the third quarter, the last with just seconds remaining in the period. But Illinois State’s TeTe Maggett hit a buzzer-beating jumper to give ISU a 54-45 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Senior Grace Hales (Cromwell, Ind./Westview) sandwiched a pair of driving layups around a third-chance basket from junior Addison Stoller (Cissna Park, Ill./Cissna Park) for a 6-0 spurt approaching the midway point of the fourth period, bringing Valpo within 59-53 – as close as it had been in the second half.
But Illinois State answered with nine points over its next four possessions to extend its lead to 15 points – its largest advantage of the night – with four minutes to play to put the game away.
Inside the Game
Valpo is now 0-3 at the ARC in MVC play so far this season after going 4-0 at home in non-conference action.
The 10-point deficit at the end of the first quarter was Valpo’s worst performance in the opening 10 minutes this season.
Valpo finished the game shooting just 37.9% from the field.
The Brown and Gold were 10-for-31 from the 3-point line, making double-digit 3-pointers for the third time in the last four games and the ninth time overall this year.
Valpo was limited to just eight steals as a team, just the second time in the last 10 games it has failed to reach double figures in the category.
Stoller led Valpo with 13 points, one of three Crusaders to score in double figures.
Frederick and sophomore Carie Weinman (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South [Denver]) each knocked down three 3-pointers en route to 12-point nights. Frederick also dished out five assists without committing a turnover, while Weinman followed up her six-steal effort on Sunday with a game-best four steals Friday.
Valpo was out-rebounded 41-26 by the Redbirds, who improved to 11-4 overall this year with the win. But after trailing in the category 27-8 at intermission, the Brown and Gold out-rebounded ISU in the second half, 18-14.
Thoughts From Coach Evans
“We weren't executing offensively in the first quarter. We were making mistakes defensively as well, but most of it was just our inability to run our offense the way we've been running it recently. To put up only 11 points in that quarter, we just weren't executing well. I think we came back out the rest of the game and executed better offensively.
“[Illinois State guard] TeTe [Maggett] just got hot in the second half, and it's hard to stop her when she gets hot. She's a really, really talented player. Our game plan was to try to shrink the floor on her, try to get it out of her hands, but it's hard to do that.”
“I think the thing I’m proud of about this group is they took a challenge at halftime. We gave up 11 offensive rebounds in the first half, and they took the challenge of being better at that and held them to no offensive rebounds in the second half.”
Valpo (10-6, 2-3 MVC) turns around to host Bradley on Sunday afternoon at the ARC at 1 p.m. The game can be seen live on ESPN+.