Four players scored in double figures for Valparaiso as the Crusaders jumped out to a big first half lead and cruised to a 67-49 victory over IUPUI on Tuesday evening at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
Valpo trailed 7-5 with 12:44 remaining the in the opening half before going on a 24-5 run over the next 7:38 to take control of the game. Jaime Gutowski (Crown Point, Ind./Andrean H.S.) drained four three-pointers and the Crusaders made six during the spurt as the Brown and Gold held the Jaguars to just 23.1% shooting in the first half on the way to a 31-16 advantage at intermission.
The lead increased to as many as 24, 40-16, at the 16:46 mark of the second half after a Katie Boone (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove H.S.) lay-in. Valpo's lead never fell below 15 the rest of the way as the Crusaders won their second straight Mid-Continent Conference game.
Gutowski led all scorers with 14 points while Kathryn Knoester (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) added 11 more off of the bench. Suzie Hammel (Lafayette, Ind./Lebanon H.S.) and Betsy Rietema (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) added ten points a piece for the Crusaders. Boone dished out six assists while Tamra Braun (Savage, Minn./Prior Lake H.S.) led Valpo with seven rebounds.
Angela Dancy was the only Jaguar to find double-figures, as she scored ten points. Jessica James grabbed 12 boards while Brooke McAfee pulled down ten more to go along with five blocks.
Valpo shot 37.3% for the game while holding IUPUI (3-9, 0-2 Mid-Con) to 31.1% shooting. The Crusaders also force 19 Jaguar turnovers, committing just 13 of their own, but IUPUI won the rebounding battle 44-41.
Valparaiso (7-6, 2-0) will head back to the road on Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders travel to Tulsa, Okla. for a 2:05 p.m. contest at Oral Roberts. The game will mark Valpo's fourth road contest in their last five outings.