Valparaiso took a nine-point lead into intermission, but the Hoosier Lady Stars scored 44 second half points to defeat the Crusaders 71-65 at the Athletics-Recreation Center on Sunday afternoon in exhibition play.
Jamie Gutowski (Crown Point, Ind./Andrean H.S.) scored 16 points, including three three-pointers in the first half, helping Valpo build a 35-20 lead with four minutes remaining in the opening stanza. The Hoosier Lady Stars scored seven of the final eight points of the half to cut the Crusader lead to 36-27 at intermission.
Valpo held a 46-35 lead with under 16 minutes to play, but the Hoosier Lady Stars went on a 10-2 run to cut the lead to three. Another 14-0 run midway through the second half gave the visitors the lead, which they would not relinquish the rest of the way.
Gutowski led the Crsuaders with 19 points while Katie Boone (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove H.S.) added ten for the Brown and Gold. The Valpo point guard also grabbed eight rebounds, a team-high. Tamra Braun (Savage, Minn./Prior Lake H.S.) and Betsy Rietema (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) added nine points each.
Mfon Udoka led the Hoosier Lady Stars with 24 points, 16 in the second half, making 9-of-14 shots from the floor for the game. Monica Maxwell added 17 points, while Heather Cusick grabbed 12 rebounds.
Valpo shot just 31.0% from the floor in the game, but connected on 7-of-18 (38.9% from beyond the arc. The Hoosier Lady Stars shot 46.6% for the contest, including 18-of-30 (60%) in the second half. Valpo did shoot 88% (22-of-25) from the free throw line, including a perfect 11-of-11 in the second half.
The Crusaders turned the ball over just 11 times, while forcing 14.
Valparaiso will open the regular season on November 19 at the Subway Classic in Minneapolis, Minn. The Crusaders will face Virginia Tech in the opening game beginning at 6 p.m.