Valparaiso University head coach Keith Freeman became the winningest coach in Mid-Continent Conference history on Monday evening, notching victory number 164 with the Crusaders, as Valpo defeated IUPUI 75-52.
With the win, the Crusaders completed the season sweep against the Jaguars, and Freeman passed former Youngstown State coach Ed DiGregorio for the most victories in conference history.
Suzie Hammel (Lafayette, Ind./Lebanon H.S.) led all scorers with a season-high 22 points as the Crusaders broke the game open with a 9-0 run over the last 3:36 of the first half and cruised to the victory. Jamie Gutowski (Crown Point, Ind./Andrean H.S.) opened the run with a three-pointer, then closed the half with another in the final minute to give Valpo a 27-17 lead at intermission.
IUPUI never got closer than nine in the second half, and continually increased the lead throughout the stanza. Another 9-0 run over a 2:01 span midway through the half pushed a 15 point advantage up to 24 as the Crusaders improved to 9-8 overall and 4-2 in the Mid-Continent Conference, moving into a tie for second place in the league standings.
Hammel shot 8-of-12 from the floor, including 4-of-7 from three-point range, while Gutowski added 15 points for the Brown and Gold. Katie Boone (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove H.S.) added 13 points while dishing out seven assists and grabbing six rebounds, while Betsy Rietema (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) also poured in 13 points, all in the second half. She also grabbed six boards, added four assists, and registered a career-high five steals.
Kia Hayes led IUPUI (3-13, 0-5 Mid-Con) with 17 points, while Brooke McAfee added 14 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocked shots. Jessica James added ten points for the Jaguars.
For the game, Valpo shot 45.8% from the floor, shooting an identical percentage from three point range on 11-of-24 attempts. The Crusaders held IUPUI to 40.8% from the floor, and forced 22 Jaguar turnovers. The Brown and Gold also held a 38-28 advantage on the glass.
After concluding a stretch of six out of the last eight games on the road, Valpo will return to action at the Athletics-Recreation Center on Saturday evening to begin a three-game homestand. The Crusaders will entertain Southern Utah, beginning at 7:05 p.m.