Suzie Hammel (Lafayette, Ind./Lebanon H.S.) tied a school-record with eight three-pointers, including seven straight in the second half, as Valparaiso defeated Ball State 88-82 on Saturday afternoon in the Hoosier State Classic held at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
The game was close throughout, with the Crusaders leading by two, 42-40, at halftime. Ball State led most of the first half, but never by more than six points. Mayella Kuikhoven (Almelo, Netherlands/St. Canisius H.S.) tied the game at 35 with a lay-in with 2:17 left, and the Crusaders took the lead on the next possession with a pair of Jamie Gutowski (Crown Point, Ind./Andrean H.S.) free throws.
Valpo came out the second half and maintained the slight lead until the Cardinals went on a 12-2 run over 2:23 to build a 68-62 lead with 7:47 to play after a Jessica Reiter three-pointer.
Hammel cut the lead in half with her fifth triple of the half, and moments later gave Valpo the lead for good, 74-71 with 4:16, with her sixth of the stanza and seventh of the game. Moments later Kathryn Knoester (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) drained a three, and Hammel drilled on final triple as the Brown and Gold increased the lead to nine, 82-73, with 2:54 to play. Valpo made six free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
Hammel's eight three-pointers Lynda Kukla's school record for treys in a game, finishing with a game-high 24 points. The junior made 8-of-11 from long range. Jeanette Gray (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.) added 18 points, including ten in the second half, while Gutowski added 13 points, making 7-of-8 from the free throw line. Jenna Stangler (St. Michael, Minn./St. Michael-Albertville H.S.) grabbed a career-high nine rebounds.
Dana Collins led Ball State (4-3) with 23 points, while Tamara Bowie added 19 points and nine boards, and Kate Endress chipped in 18 points and eight rebounds.
Valpo will return to action on Friday, December 13, when the Crusaders host DePaul. Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m.