Niki Reams scored 20 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to lead Grand Valley State to a 71-59 victory over Valparaiso in exhibition action on Saturday evening at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
Reams was a large presence on the boards, helping the Lakers to a 49-25 advantage on the boards. Grand Valley State grabbed 18 offensive rebounds leading to 20 second chance points.
Valpo jumped in front early, building a 19-12 advantage at the 11:24 mark of the first half. The Crusaders made eight of their first 11 shots from the floor in building the lead, but cooled off and finished the game shooting just 40.4% from the field.
Grand Valley State, a team the went to the Elite Eight of the Division II NCAA Tournament last year, returned seven of its top eight scorers and made a run. A 14-2 spurt over seven and a half minutes gave Grand Valley State a 36-21 lead and the Lakers never trailed from there on out, taking a 41-30 advantage into the locker room.
Valpo made a run early in the second half, cutting the lead to seven, 45-38, with 13:47 left after a Launa Hochstetler (Berlin H.S./Hiland H.S.) lay-up. Grand Valley State pushed the lead back to 15, 57-42, with 9:08 left and never trailed by less than eight the rest of the way.
Betsy Rietema (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) led Valpo with 11 points and five assists while Tamra Braun (Savage, Minn./Prior Lake H.S.) added ten points and eight boards.
Erika Ryskamp scored 15 points for the Lakers while Erin Cyplik added 11 points and eight rebounds.
Valpo committed 15 turnovers and forced 20 from the Lakers.
Valparaiso will conclude the exhibition portion of the schedule next Saturday, November 12, as the Crusaders host Saint Joseph's (Ind.) at the ARC. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. and the game can be heard live on WVUR (95.1-FM) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.
Valpo-Grand Valley State box