Valparaiso saw its five-game winning streak against Oral Roberts come to an end, while dropping its third game in a row overall for the first time since the beginning of the 2003-2004 season as the Crusaders fell to the Golden Eagles 53-31 on Monday night in Tulsa, Okla. to end the regular season for both teams.
Valpo finished the night shooting 24.0% from the floor, including 18.5% in the second half. The Crusaders also turned the ball over 16 times in the game.
Marianna Camargo scored the first nine points of the game for Oral Roberts as the Golden Eagles took a quick 9-2 lead. After the lead grew to ten, Valpo went on an 8-2 spurt to close within 18-14 after Sanna Helenius (Vantaa, Finland/Makelanrinteen Lukio H.S.) scored down low. The Golden Eagles took control though, allowing just one field goal in the final 2:32 to take a 25-16 lead into the half.
Valpo shot just 30.4% from the floor in the first half, led by Krystal Taylor's (Minneapolis, Minn./North H.S.) six points on 3-of-5 shooting. The rest of the Brown and Gold connected on just 4-of-19 in the first half.
Oral Roberts was 42.3% from the floor while grabbing nine offensive rebounds in the opening stanza.
The Golden Eagles pushed the lead to 14 immediately out of the locker room. After Valpo got it back to within 11, 34-23, Oral Roberts scored seven straight points to make it 41-23 with 7:47 to play in the game. Two free throws at the 6:23 mark stopped a 6:16 scoring draught for the Crusaders.
Valpo never got the deficit below 15 though the rest of the way as the Golden Eagles earned the third seed in the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament this weekend with the win.
Mayella Kuikhoven (Almelo, Netherlands/Saint Canisius H.S.) and Taylor led Valpo with six points while Kuikhoven also grabbed seven boards.
Camargo led the Golden Eagles with 15 points while Elisha Turak added 12 points and ten boards to go along with five steals. Jenny Hardin also scored ten points and grabbed eight boards for Oral Roberts (16-11, 10-6 Mid-Con).
Valparaiso (15-12, 9-7) will be either the fourth or fifth seed in the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament next weekend back in Tulsa, Okla. The official pairings will be released on Tuesday.