Valparaiso struggled from both ends of the floor and dropped a 66-52 decision at Southern Utah on Saturday evening.
The Thunderbirds jumped out to a quick 10-0 start and eventually built a 32-13 advantage at the 4:27 mark. The Crusaders closed the deficit to 14, 34-20, by intermission.
The closest Valpo would get was 13, 41-28, with 14:59 remaining. A 17-5 run over the next 8:42 would be all the hosts would need, building a 25-point advantage.
Valpo closed the game on a 10-0 run to close within 14.
Mayella Kuikhoven led all scorers with 15 points, 11 in the second half for Valpo. She also had a team-high five rebounds. Betsy Rietema added nine points and Kathryn Knoester added eight.
Casey Cooke led Southern Utah with 14 points, while Katy Cooke added 13 and Sarah Hutton chipped in ten more. Lacey Yates grabbed 12 boards for Southern Utah (16-8, 7-6 Mid-Con).
Valpo (15-11, 10-5) will return to action next Saturday hosting IPFW in a 2:05 p.m. Senior Day contest.