Kathryn Knoester's (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) went in-and-out with 1.7 seconds left as DePaul left Valparaiso with a 47-44 victory on Saturday evening at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
Knoester grabbed an offensive rebound off of a Jeanette Gray (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.) miss in the left corner and fired a three attempt trailing by two as the Crusaders looked for the upset.
DePaul's Khara Smith grabbed the rebound and made one of two free throws at the other end. Valpo's final attempt from three-quarters court came up short.
Both schools struggled to open the game. The Blue Demons got on the scoreboard in their first possession of the game, then went five minutes without a point. Valpo need 5:52 before it got on the board on a Gray lay-in.
The first half went back and forth with Knoester driving to the basket and laying the ball in at the buzzer to give the Crusaders a 25-23 halftime lead. Knoester scored the Brown and Gold's final 12 points of the half.
DePaul (7-2) scored the first seven points of the second half and led until the 8:49 mark when Gray's jumper gave Valpo the lead. The lead then see-sawed back-and-forth until Smith tied the game at 44 with 2:50 to play.
Neither team could find the basket until Smith scored with 23 seconds left to put the Blue Demons on top, setting the stage for the final seconds.
Both teams struggled from the floor, as Valpo (3-5) shot just 30.4% (17-of-56), compared with DePaul's 31.0% (18-of-58). Valpo hit 6-of-8 free throws, while the Blue Demons made just 7-of-13.
Knoester led the Crusaders with 15 points, while Gray added 13 and eight rebounds.
Khara Smith tallied ten points and 11 boards for DePaul, while Laura Sobieszczyk also chipped in ten points. Jamie Smith grabbed 12 boards and blocked four shots.
Valpo will return to action on Sunday afternoon when the Crusaders travel to Chicago to battle Loyola. Tip-off is slated for 1 p.m.