With temperatures hovering below 20 degrees outside in Kansas City, Mo., Valparaiso's shooting was even colder on Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders shot just 16.1% (10-of-62) from the floor in a 47-35 loss to UMKC.
Valpo struggled just as much from the free throw line, shooting just 47.4% (9-of-19) while dropping their third straight game at UMKC in as many years.
The Crusaders struggled from the floor from the start, missing their first 12 shots from the field. Valpo's defense kept the Brown and Gold in the game though, and Carrie Myers (Stickleyville, Va./Lee H.S.) three-pointer snapped Valpo's string, and gave the Crusaders a 6-4 advantage at the 12:27 mark. UMKC went on a 14-0 run over 5:18 before Jenna Stangler (St. Michael, Minn./St. Michael-Albertville H.S.) scored underneath with 6:01 remaining in the first half to end Valpo's 1-for-23 start from the floor.
Liz Obrecht and Alysa Klein were controlling the paint in the first half, scoring eight and seven first half points respectively inside as the Kangaroos opened a 24-12 lead with 3:47 left before break. Neither team scored from the floor the rest of the half, as UMKC took a 24-13 lead into the locker room.
Valpo finished the first half 3-of-32 (9.4%) from the field and was outscored in the paint 16-2.
Lauren Bechtold (Hebron, Ind./Hebron H.S.) knocked down a triple to open the second half, but the Kangaroos scored the next eight points to build a 32-16 advantage with 15:26 remaining in the game. Bechtold hit a pair of threes as part of an 8-0 Valpo run to cut the lead to eight at the 13:38 mark. UMKC pushed the lead back to 13, 46-33, after a Sammi Knapic jumper with 3:20 to play and Valpo never recovered.
Bechtold led Valpo with 15 points, 12 in the second half, while Tamra Braun (Savage, Minn./Prior Lake H.S.) added six while grabbing 12 rebounds. Valpo grabbed 25 offensive rebounds, but the boards led to just six second chance points.
Obrecht led UMKC (6-9, 3-2 Mid-Con) with 14 points and eight points and eight boards, while Klein added 13 and eight rebounds. UMKC shot 37% for the game from the floor and held a 30-6 advantage scoring in the paint.
The loss snapped Valpo's four-game winning streak and the 35 points were the fewest by a Crusader team since November 18, 2001 when Valpo fell 42-35 at Notre Dame to open the 2001-2002 season.
Valparaiso (9-6, 3-1) will return home on Monday evening to battle Chicago State. Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m. at the Athletics-Recreation Center.