Valparaiso jumped out to a 46-11 halftime lead and never looked back on its way to a 91-48 victory over Concordia (Wis.) on Saturday afternoon in the Crusaders home opener at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
Kathryn Knoester (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) led Valpo with 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including 3-for-3 beyond the arc, as three Crusaders found double-figures on the afternoon.
The Falcons scored the first basket of the game, but that would prove to be the lone lead on the day for the visitors. Holding a 12-7 lead with 13:11 to play in the opening half, Valpo went on a 34-4 run to close the stanza, led by Jeanette Gray's (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.) nine points.
Valpo held Concordia to just 17.9% (5-of-28) from the floor in the first half and forced 19 Falcon turnovers.
The Falcons came out of halftime and cut the lead to 56-29 with 13:58 to play in the game, but would not get much closer the rest of the way.
Ten Crusaders found the scoring column in the contest. Suzie Hammel (Lafayette, Ind./Lebanon H.S.) scored 15 points while adding nine rebounds and six assists, while Gray added 13 points and three steals. Meredith Baugher (Berea, Ohio/Berea H.S.) added a career high nine points.
Jamie Diehl was the lone Falcon in double-figures with ten points and four steals.
Valpo shot 45.5% (30-66) for the game from the floor and outrebounded Concordia 44-33. It marked the first time this season the Brown and Gold had won the battle on the boards. Concordia committed 32 turnovers compared with the Crusaders 15 and the hosts also blocked five shots.
Valpo will return to action tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon when Navy visits the ARC for a 2:05 p.m. contest.