Meredith Baugher (Berea, Ohio/Berea H.S.) scored a career-high 22 points to lead three Crusaders in double-figures as Valparaiso defeated IUPUI 70-54 on Monday evening in Indianapolis.
Baugher scored 16 of her points in the second half and grabbed 11 rebounds, eight on the offensive glass, on her way to her second double-double of the season.
Katie Boone (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove H.S.) added 12 points, six assists, six steals, and five rebounds while directing the Brown and Gold's offense.
The first 12 minutes of the game were tight as the two schools traded leads seven times and were tied on three different occasions before Valpo exploded on a 17-3 run over 5:44 near the end of the half to open up a 36-27 lead at the intermission.
The Crusaders opened the second half scoring the first nine points of the stanza to build an 18-point lead with 16:42 left. The lead was extended to 22, 53-31, with 13:18 remaining after Baugher scored six straight points for the Brown and Gold.
The Jaguars cut into the Crusaders lead with an 8-0 run to close within 12 at the 9:13 mark. Valpo's lead remained at 12, 59-47, with 4:48 remaining before a quick 6-0 spurt capped off by a Boone lay-in helped to cap off the Brown and Gold's victory.
Jeanette Gray (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.) added 11 points while grabbing eight boards, while Dawn Vander Meer (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew H.S.) came off of the bench to contribute nine points for Valpo.
Tiffany Kyser led IUPUI with 21 points and 12 rebounds, while Kia Hayes added 16 points and seven boards.
Valpo forced 26 Jaguar turnovers, 15 on steals, and turned the miscues into 27 points. The Crusaders also held a 46-37 advantage on the boards, including a 23-13 mark on the offensive glass. Valpo tallied 21 second chance points and outscored the Jaguars 46-26 in the paint.
With the victory, the Crusaders improve to 10-8 overall and 3-2 in the Mid-Continent Conference, moving within a game of first place in the conference standings. IUPUI falls to 7-11 overall, 2-3 in the Mid-Con.
Valpo will return to action on Saturday afternoon when the Crusaders entertain UMKC. Tip-off is slated for 2:05 p.m. at the Athletics-Recreation Center.