Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Bench Sparks Comeback Victory

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Trailing by seven at halftime, Valparaiso's bench scored 26 of the Crusaders' 37 second half points and tough defense allowed the Brown and Gold to rally for a 58-46 victory over Western Illinois on Saturday afternoon at the Athletics-Recreation Center.

Launa Hochstetler (Berlin, Ohio/Hiland H.S.) scored a career high 21 points, including 16 in the second half, while Whitney Farris (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo H.S.) added career best 13 points in the contest to pace the Crusaders.

Both teams started the game slow offensively, with Valpo holding just a 9-7 lead nine minutes into the contest. Western Illinois picked up the pace late in the first half, finishing the half on a 12-4 run to take a 28-21 advantage into the locker room.

The Crusaders shot just 27.6% over the first 20 minutes while allowing the Westerwinds to connect on 44% of their attempts.

Valpo's defense came out of halftime energized, not allowing their guest to score a field goal over the first 8:35 of the second half while cutting into the deficit. A 10-2 run, keyed by Hochstetler, allowed the Crusader to tie the game on her conventional three-point play and then take the lead 36-33 on her triple at the 10:24 mark .

After Western Illinois retied the game at 36, Valpo went on another 10-0 run, capped by a Betsy Rietema (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) bucket at the 5:33 mark. The Westerwinds cut the lead to six, 52-46, with 1:27 to play, but Valpo made six free throws in the final 1:09 to secure the victory. The Crusaders, the top free throw shooting team in the Mid-Continent Conference coming in, made 16-of-17 (94.1%) from the stripe for the game.

Hochstetler, who's previous career high was 16 points, was 7-of-11 from the floor, including a pair of triples, while making 5-of-5 from the line. Farris, who had a previous best of five points, went 4-of-5 from the floor and also grabbed four rebounds and dished out two assists. Rietema scored 11 points and added a team high nine rebounds.

Amanda Walker led Western Illinois (9-17, 5-7 Mid-Con) with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. Gina Hugelier added 12 points while Stephanie Lovingood grabbed a game high 11 rebounds.

Valpo finished the game with just 11 turnovers while forcing 17 from the Westerwinds, including 12 in the second half. The Crusaders shot 52.4% in the second half while limiting Western Illinois to just 20.8%.

Valparaiso (16-10, 9-3) has now assured itself of its 16th winning season in the last 17 years with the victory, and continued to solidify the Crusaders in second place in the Mid-Continent Conference standings.

The Crusaders will return to the hardwood on Monday evening, stepping out of conference play to battle Chicago State. Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m. with all the action carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.
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 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. #21/21 Notre Dame
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
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
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
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Green Bay
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Valpo