Betsy Rietema (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) became the 11th Crusader in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark as she scored 13 points and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds leading Valparaiso to a 60-46 victory over Saint Francis (Ind.) on Saturday afternoon at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
Rietema reached 1,000 points with 9:32 left in the first half on a jumper to tie the game at 17. Valpo had trailed early 7-2 before going on a 10-0 run to take a 12-7 advantage. The Cougars retook the lead 17-15 before Rietema tied the contest, beginning a 12-3 run late in the half. Valpo led 27-22 at the break.
After the Brown and Gold extended its lead to eight, 38-30, at the 13:12 mark, Valpo went more than six minutes without a field goal as the Cougars scored nine straight points to take a one-point advantage with under eight minutes to play.
Aimee Litka (South Bend, Ind./Saint Joseph's H.S.) gave Valpo the advantage for good with a 15-foot jumper at the 7:15 mark to ignite a 14-0 spurt over three minutes that broke the game open for the Crusaders. The Cougars would get no closer than 11 the rest of the way as Valpo snapped its five-game losing skid with the victory.
Rietema also dished out eight assists on the afternoon, two shy of her second triple-double of the season. Tamra Braun (Savage, Minn./Prior Lake H.S.) registered her sixth double-double in the last seven games with 13 points and 10 boards while rejecting three shots. She is now just four blocks away from Michelle Mader's (1988-1992) school record of 166 for career stuffs. She also moved into third place on Valpo's career rebounding list, surpassing 700 for her career, with 705 total.
Carrie Myers (Stickleyville, Va./Lee H.S.) added four three-pointers for Valpo on her way to 12 points.
Defensively, the Crusaders held Saint Francis (15-3) to just 25.9% shooting for the game. Jessica Hathaway led the Cougars with 16 points and nine rebounds.
Valparaiso (5-7) will close out its four-game homestand on Wednesday evening at the ARC as the Crusaders entertain Huntington. Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m. with all the action carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.