Freshman Jamie Gutowski (Crown Point, Ind./Andrean H.S.) scored 24 points Jeanette Gray (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.) added 20 as Valparaiso defeated Fresno State 57-51 on Sunday afternoon in the consolation game of the Spartan Chevrolet Classic held in East Lansing, Mich.
The Crusaders jumped out to a 17 point halftime lead, 40-23, only to see the Bulldogs rally and tie the contest with under two minutes to play.
Valpo jumped out to an early 16-5 lead just six minutes into the game after Gray drained a three-pointer. The Crusaders extended the lead to as many as 20 in the opening stanza, 34-14, with 3:22 left before Fresno State closed to within 17 at the intermission.
Gray and Gutowski each scored 16 points in the opening half, shooting 7-of-10 and 6-of-8 from the floor respectively. The Brown and Gold’s defense forced 18 Bulldog turnovers in the first half, eight on steals.
A Gutowski lay-in at the 15:26 mark of the second half made the score 46-29 Crusaders before Valpo went into a scoring draught. One field goal over an 11:28 span allowed Fresno State to claw back into the ball game, and the Bulldogs eventually tied the game at 51 on a Lindsay Logan three-pointer with 2:33 to play.
Gray, who was named to the All-Tournament Team, and Gutowski each hit field goals in the final two minutes, and Suzie Hammel (Lafayette, Ind./Lebanon H.S.) added pair of free throws as Valpo pulled out the victory.
Logan led Fresno State (0-2) with 15 points and six assists as the only Bulldog to reach double-figures in the scoring column.
Gray and Meredith Baugher (Berea, Ohio/Berea H.S.) each grabbed six rebounds for the Brown and Gold, while Tiffany Simon pulled down and game-high eight boards for FSU.
Valpo committed 17 turnovers for the game, while the Bulldogs coughed the ball up 25 times in the game. The Crusaders shot 35.6% (21-59) for the game from the floor compared with Fresno State’s 38.6% (22-57).
The Brown and Gold will return to the hardcourt on Wednesday evening when the Crusaders travel to Lubbock, Texas to battle Texas Tech. Tip-off against the Lady Raiders, ranked 13th in the nation this past week, is set for 7:30 p.m.