Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Suffers Setback to Cleveland State
Rashida Ray scored nine points off the bench for Valpo. (Ray Acevedo)
Rashida Ray scored nine points off the bench for Valpo. (Ray Acevedo)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Despite being within three points at intermission, Valparaiso dropped an 82-59 decision to Cleveland State on Thursday evening at the Athletics-Recreation Center.

Kailey Klein and Shawnita Garland combined for 46 Viking points and Cleveland State used a 31-12 second half run to break the game open.

The Crusaders hung close in the first half, shooting 48.1% from the floor while forcing nine Cleveland State turnovers to help offset 60% shooting by the visiting Vikings.

After trailing by as many as five in the opening half, a Betsy Adams (Monticello, Ind./Twin Lakes H.S.) three-pointer at the 1:41 mark gave Valpo a 33-30 advantage, its largest lead of the game.

“We made a lot of shots in the first half,” head coach Keith Freeman said.  “But we gave up 60% shooting, so would you say that is good defense?”

Cleveland State scored eight of the final 10 points of the stanza, including a jumper at the buzzer by Stephaine Crosley to take a 38-35 lead into the break.

The Vikings scored the first six points of the second half, increased the lead to 55-42 six minutes into the period.  The lead extended to 67-48 with 9:37 to play, and slowly grew from there.

“We came out and played with a lack of energy in the first five minutes of the second half,” Freeman added.  “I thought we were well rested as we substituted a lot in the first half.”

Garland finished the game 10-of-13 from the floor while Klein made 12-of-14 from the free throw line.

“Kailey Klein is the best player in the league,” Freeman concluded.  “She is incredibly difficult to guard.  She moves so well.”

Lauren Kenney (Mooresville, Ind./Mooresville H.S.) and Ashley Varner (South Bend, Ind./Saint Joseph’s H.S.) led Valpo with 11 points each while Rashida Ray (Fort Wayne, Ind./Harding H.S.) came off the bench to add nine points.

Cleveland State (12-11, 7-5 Horizon) outrebounded Valpo 38-26, and forced 18 Crusader turnovers, 12 coming in the second half.

Valparaiso (6-16, 3-8) will look to snap a four-game losing skid on Saturday afternoon, hosting Youngstown State  The day is “Pack the House” and Pink Zone in support of the WBCA’s breast cancer initiative. at 1:35 p.m. at the ARC.

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