Offense Struggles as Crusaders Fall at Oakland
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Valparaiso shot just 25.4% and committed 23 turnovers as the Crusaders fell 65-44 to Oakland on Saturday afternoon in Rochester, Mich.

The Crusaders struggled shooting the ball all afternoon, making just 3-of-22 (13.6%) three-point attempts as Valpo's three-game winning streak came to an end.

Valpo jumped out early to a 10-4 lead five minutes into the contest following a Tamra Braun (Savage, Minn./Prior Lake H.S.) in the post. The Golden Grizzlies answered with the game's next six points to tie it up. Oakland then went on a 13-1 run over four minutes to build a 23-15 lead with 4:30 to play in the opening half.

The Crusaders continued to struggle offensively in the first half, committing 13 turnovers while shooting just 24.1% and Oakland took a 27-20 lead into the locker room.

Oakland scored 11 of the first 12 points out of the locker room, as the lead swelled to 17, 38-21, just four minutes into the second half. The lead grew to 21 as Valpo made just two of its first 12 shot attempts in the half.

The Valpo deficit remained over 20 the rest of the way as the Golden Grizzlies remained in first place in the Mid-Continent Conference with the victory.

Betsy Rietema (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) led the way for Valpo with 12 points and 11 rebounds while Braun added nine points and 14 boards.

Nicole Piggott led Oakland (13-10, 8-1 Mid-Con) with 18 points and seven rebounds while Jessica Pike added 14 points. The Golden Grizzlies shot 48.2% for the game in the win.

Valparaiso (14-10, 7-3) will close out the road portion of the 2006-2007 regular season on Monday evening as the Crusaders travel to Indianapolis, Ind. to battle IUPUI. Tip-off against the Jaguars is set for 6 p.m. CST.