Carrie Myers (Stickleyville, Va./Lee H.S.) hit six first half three-pointers and Valparaiso's defense took over in the second half as the Crusaders defeated Oral Roberts 69-58 on Saturday afternoon in Tulsa, Okla. to spoil Senior Day for the Golden Eagles.
Turnovers hurt the Crusader in the first five minutes. Six miscues helped Oral Roberts jump out to an early 9-2 advantage. Oral Roberts started the game 11-of-15 from the floor, but Myers helped keep Valpo close. She drained three three-pointers in a span of just over two minutes to bring the Brown and Gold within 21-17 at the 9:36 mark. Myers fifth three in five minutes tied the game at 25 with 7:13 to play.
Lauren Bechtold (Hebron, Ind./Hebron H.S.) hit a triple from the top of the key to put Valpo in front for the first time 30-29. Krystal Taylor (Minneapolis, Minn./North H.S.) then scored inside and Tamra Braun (Savage, Minn./Prior Lake H.S.) had a put back to cap a 15-4 Valpo run and give Valpo a five-point advantage with 4:36 remaining in the half. Myers ended the half with her sixth three to put Valpo in front 44-38 at the intermission.
Myers led the Crusaders at intermission with 18 points, while Braun added 12. Valpo shot 60.7% (17-of-28) in the opening stanza, and made 8-of-13 (61.5%) from outside the arc. Oral Roberts shot 66.7% (16-of-24) in the first half.
Valpo scored the first five points of the second half to build the lead to 11 after Betsy Rietema (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) scored on a conventional three-point play inside. Oral Roberts answered with an 8-1 run to close within four, 50-46, at the 16:14 mark. The Crusader defense took over, holding the Golden Eagles without a field goal for 10:16. Valpo struggled offensively as well, as Leah Cannon snapped the draught to bring Oral Roberts within five, 59-54, with 4:21 left. With Valpo's lead down to four, Bechtold stepped back and drained a triple to push the lead to 63-56 with 2:42 left. Braun scored inside and Valpo's defense played strong down the stretch to secure the win.
Myers led the Crusaders with 21 points while Braun and Rietema each added 15. Braun was a perfect 6-of-6 from the floor ad grabbed a game high nine boards. Valpo shot 51% from the floor for the game and held a 30-19 rebounding advantage, including a 12-5 stronghold on the offensive end.
Claudia Louis led Oral Roberts (18-8, 9-6 Mid-Con) with 13 points while Turek and Katie Langford each added 12. The Golden Eagles shot just 35% in the second half, and finished shooting 52.3% for the contest.
Valparaiso (17-9, 11-4) will conclude the regular season on Monday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Tip-off against UMKC is set for 7:05 p.m. on Fan Appreciation Night. All tickets are $2.