Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Drop First Mid-Con Game at Western Illinois

Monday, January 16, 2006

Valparaiso trailed by 14 with less than four minutes to play and cut the deficit to two, but could never get the lead as the Crusaders fell 61-57 to Western Illinois at Western Hall in Macomb, Ill. on Monday evening.

Aimee Litka (South Bend, Ind./Saint Joseph's H.S.) hit a three-pointer and scored on a backdoor lay-in to cut the Valpo deficit to eight, 41-33, with 9:04 to play. The Westerwinds answered with six straight points to push the lead back to 14. The Crusaders scored on three straight possessions, but the defense could not hold and Western Illinois answered each time.

Valpo made a late run after trailing 51-37. A three-point play by Braun and a steal and score by Agnieszka Kulaga (Tarnow Poland/Liceum Ogolnoksztalcace I H.S.) cut it to six, 55-49, with 1:34 to play. After two Westerwind free throws, Carrie Myers (Stickleyville, Va./Lee H.S.) drained a triple to cut it to 57-52. Another free throw pushed the lead to eight, but Jamie Gutowski (Crown Point, Ind./Andrean H.S.) hit another three from the left corner to cut it to three with 36.2 seconds to play.

DeeDee Murphy hit one of two free throws with 30.2 seconds left. Tamra Braun (Savage, Minn./Prior Lake H.S.) scored inside with 13.5 left to cut it to 59-57 but Murphy went and hit two free throws with 11.0 to play to seal the victory.

Western Illinois (13-2, 5-0 Mid-Con) scored their final ten points from the free throw line as they went 23-of-27 for the game from the stripe to improve their nation's longest homecourt winning streak to 46 straight games.

The match-up of the top two defensive teams in the Mid-Con appeared to be anything but in the first few minutes. Valpo made seven of its first 11 shots from the floor while the Westerwinds hit seven of their first 13. Western Illinois scored on its first two possessions of the game and led throughout the early going.

The Crusaders tied it at 15 at the 8:55 mark on a jump shot by Krystal Taylor (Minneapolis, Minn./North H.S.). Taylor, who entered with a season-high five points, scored six in the opening 11 minutes for the Brown and Gold.

Western Illinois scored six straight points to build a 21-15 lead heading inside of four minutes before the break as Zane Teilane, the Mid-Con's preseason Player of the Year, scored ten first half points. The lead remained between four and six points the rest of the half heading into the locker room as the Westerwinds took a 27-21 lead at the break.

Samantha Greer scored 11 for Western Illinois on 5-of-6 shooting as the two posts combined for 21 of Western Illinois' 27 first half points.

Braun led Valpo with eight points at intermission as the Crusaders committed seven turnovers, including a pair of shot clock violations, in the first 20 minutes.

The hosts lead grew to 12 seven minutes into the second half as Teilane hit back-to-back turnarounds from ten feet to make it 37-25 and the lead grew to 14 before Valpo's late comeback attempt.

Braun finished the game with 20 points and seven rebounds as the only Crusader in double figures. Taylor added a career-high eight points for the Brown and Gold as Valpo finished shooting 42.9% from the floor.

Teilane led Western Illinois with 18 points and 12 rebounds while Greer added 15 more on 6-of-9 shooting. Rachel Reed also scored 13, including 9-of-10 from the line.

Valparaiso (10-6, 4-1) will return to action on Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders return to the Athletics-Recreation Center to battle Southern Utah. Tip-off against the Thunderbirds is slated for 2:05 p.m.
Softball Northern Illinois 6 VU Softball Field
Apr 8 Valpo 8
Baseball Valpo 5 Evanston, Ill.
Apr 8 Northwestern 12
Softball Northern Illinois 3 8 inn.
Apr 8 Valpo 4
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 11:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
W Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 5:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26 Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo