Valparaiso will head into the holidays after evening its record at 5-5 on the season with a 76-39 victory over Indiana Wesleyan on Saturday afternoon at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
With the game tied at two, the Crusaders went on a 12-4 run to open an early lead. The Crusaders continued to build upon the lead with a 19-4 spurt late in the half to take a 40-16 lead into the locker room.
Jeanette Gray (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.) and Suzie Hammel (Lafayette, Ind./Lebanon H.S.) each tallied ten first half points as Valpo held the Wildcats to just 25% (6-of-24) shooting.
The Crusaders came out of intermission scoring the first seven points to push the lead to 31 and never looked back.
Gray led the Crusaders with 16 points and five steals, while Hammel added 13 for the game. Meredith Baugher (Berea, Ohio/Berea H.S.) had three career highs on the afternoon. The sophomore tallied 11 points, grabbed eight rebounds (five offensive), and added four steals. Katie Boone (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove H.S.) pulled down a game high nine rebounds and dished out four assists.
Stephanie Gill and Julie Shirley each led Indiana Wesleyan (10-6) with ten points each, while Angela Newkirk added eight points and five rebounds.
The Crusaders held the Wildcats to 12 field goals for the game as the visitors shot just 28.6% (12-42) from the floor. Valpo outrebounded Indiana Wesleyan 44-27, holding a 21-8 advantage on the offensive boards.
Both teams shot well from the free throw line as Valpo connected on 13-of-14 (92.9%), while Indiana Wesleyan made 13-of-15 (86.7%). Valpo forced 30 Wildcat turnovers, 17 on steals, leading to 35 points.
The 39 points tie the fewest Valpo has allowed in a game since giving up 34 to Manchester to open the 1985-1986 season.
The Crusaders will return to action on December 29 to host Lehigh in a 2:05 p.m. contest at the ARC.