Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Loses Heartbreaker to Notre Dame 60-59

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Valparaiso hung with region foe Notre Dame to the bitter end on Tuesday evening but Breona Gray's free throw with 1.2 seconds remaining gave the Fighting Irish a 60-59 victory at the Athletics-Recreation Center in front of 1,472 fans.

In a game that saw five ties and seven lead changes, Valpo's Betsy Rietema (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) capped a Crusader comeback attempt with an old-fashioned three-point play with 25.3 seconds to play to tie the game at 59. The Valpo defense was tough, not allowing a shot until Gray got open underneath and was fouled allowing the Fighting Irish to escape with the victory.

Valpo trailed by seven, 32-25, with just over 18 minutes to play before back-to-back triples by Carrie Myers (Stickleyville, Va./Lee H.S.) brought the Brown and Gold within one. A Rietema three with 14:24 to play gave Valpo the lead for the first time since 2-0 and another Myers three increased the advantage to two on the next possession.

Notre Dame answered with a 9-2 run to rebuild a five-point advantage, what would be their largest the rest of the way. The Crusaders again battled back, retaking the lead on a Rietema jumper with 8:26 to go, but that would be Valpo's last advantage.

With the Fighting Irish up three and with the ball, Rietema registered a steal and a score to cut the deficit to one, 57-56, with 1:15 to play. Melissa D'Amico answered in the paint to put Notre Dame back up three with 47 seconds left, setting up the thrilling finish.

Valpo started slow out of the gate in the first half, making just two of its first 18 shots from the floor. Solid defense, Valpo forced nine first half turnovers, kept the Crusaders in the game, but Notre Dame built a 15-7 advantage with nine minutes left in the first half. Back-to-back threes by Aimee Litka (South Bend, Ind./Saint Joseph's H.S.) and Rietema cut the deficit to two and Sanna Helenius (Vantaa, Finland/Makelanrinteen Lukio H.S.) tied the contest awith a runner in the lane.

The visitors built the lead back up though, and held an eight-point advantage with a minute to go before intermission before Valpo closed with a 4-0 run capped by a Helenius basket at the buzzer, cutting the Crusaders deficit to 28-24 at the break.

Rietema led Valpo with 22 points, moving into a tie for 11th place on Valpo's career scoring list with 992 points. She needs just eight more to become the 11th Crusader in school history to reach the 1,000 point plateau. Agnieszka Kulaga (Tarnow, Poland/I Liceum Ogolnoksztalcace H.S.) added 10 points and five rebounds while Sarah Ott (Chippewa Falls, Wis./Chippewa Falls H.S.) grabbed a team-high six boards for the Crusaders while playing all 40 minutes.

Charel Allen led Notre Dame (8-3) with 18 points and eight rebounds while D'Amico and Ashley Barlow each had 12 points. The Fighting Irish held a 34-18 advantage scoring in the paint.

Valparaiso (4-6) will return to action on Thursday as the Crusaders host Central Michigan at the ARC. 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.
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Apr 8 Valpo 8
Baseball Valpo 5 Evanston, Ill.
Apr 8 Northwestern 12
Softball Northern Illinois 3 8 inn.
Apr 8 Valpo 4
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 11:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
W Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
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Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 5:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26 Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
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Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo