Valparaiso jumped out to a 20-4 lead midway through the first half and never trailed the entire contest as the Crusaders picked up a non-conference victory over Chicago State 57-46 on Monday evening at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
Carrie Myers (Stickleyville, Va./Lee H.S.) and Whitney Farris (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo H.S.) each hit three-pointers during the opening run while the Crusader defense limited the Cougars to just one field goal in their first 12 attempts. Valpo maintained its lead throughout the remainder of the opening half, taking a 33-19 lead into the locker room.
Chicago State (9-20) made one run in the second half, closing to within eight, 47-39, with 6:03 to play in the game, but five quick points, a three-point play by Betsy Rietema (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) and a jumper by Farris, extended the lead back to 13 and the Crusaders coasted to the finish.
Farris led the Crusaders with a career high 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor, including 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. The freshman also tallied a career high seven rebounds in the contest.
Rietema added 10 points and nine boards, moving her into sixth place on Valpo's all-time scoring list with 1,219 career points. Tamra Braun (Savage, Minn./Prior Lake H.S.) added nine points and eight assists.
Ayesha Neasley led Chicago State (9-20) with 17 points, including 9-of-9 from the free throw line, while grabbing 10 rebounds. Chandra Timberlake added 11 points and Faith Buchanan scored 10 off of the bench for the Cougars.
Valpo shot 47.8% from the floor for the game, including 50% in the second half. Chicago State finished shooting just 32.7% from the field, but tried to hang in the contest making 13-of-16 from the free throw line.
Valparaiso (17-10, 9-3 Mid-Con) will return to Mid-Continent Conference action on Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders entertain UMKC for Senior Day. Tip-off is set for 1:35 p.m. at the Athletics-Recreation Center.