The Valparaiso University women's basketball team dropped its exhibition game against the Reebok Lady Start 80-77 in overtime on Sunday afternoon at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
The Reebok Lady Stars took the lead early in the opening half and took a 35-29 lead into the locker room. Jeanette Gray (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.) scored 11 points and added seven rebounds in the opening half to keep the Crusaders close.
In the second half, the Reebok Lady Stars increase its lead to 12, 53-41, before Valpo fought back. Meredith Baugher's (Berea, Ohio/Berea H.S.) with 46 seconds left tied the contest at 65, the first tie since Valpo fell behind at the 13:31 mark of the opening half. Suzie Hammel (Lafayette, Ind./Lebanon H.S.) had a chance to win the game at the buzzer of regulation, but it missed the mark, forcing overtime.
In the extra session, the Reebok Lady Stars scored first and Valpo never had the lead as the guests went on to the victory.
Gray led the Crusaders with 26 points and 14 rebounds, while freshmen Lauren Bechtold (Hebron, Ind./Hebron H.S.) and Jamie Gutowski (Crown Point, Ind./Andrean H.S.) each added 14 points. Suzie Hammel (Lafayette, Ind./Lebanon H.S.) added 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
Bechtold also dished out seven assists, while Kathryn Knoester (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) added five helpers.
Mfon Udoka led the Reebok Lady Stars with 30 points and 17 rebounds, while Monica Maxwell added 19 points. Amy Watson-Amstutz grabbed eight boards.
The Crusaders will open the regular season on November 23 when the Brown and Gold face Miami (Ohio) in the opening round of the Spartan Chevrolet Classic in East Lansing, Mich. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. CST.