Valparaiso used a 10-2 run to start overtime on Saturday afternoon to catapult the Crusaders to a 78-72 victory over IUPUI at the Athletics-Recreation Center and improve to 3-0 in Mid-Continent Conference play.
Betsy Rietema (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) scored a season-high 23 points while grabbing 12 rebounds for a double-double while Tamra Braun (Savage, Minn./Prior Lake H.S.) added 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting and Carrie Myers (Stickleyville, Va./Lee H.S.) tallied 16 points as the Crusader seniors scored 57 of the 78 points for the Brown and Gold in the win.
IUPUI jumped out to a 22-15 lead at the 7:16 mark of the first half, but would not make another field goal before halftime as Valpo closed the half on a 12-2 run to take a 27-24 edge into the locker room.
The Jaguars tied the contest five minutes into the second half, one of eight ties and six lead changes in the stanza. IUPUI twice built a five-point advantage, the last coming 59-54 with 5:14 to play in regulation.
Valpo fought back both times to tie the game, the second on a Launa Hochstetler (Berlin, Ohio/Hiland H.S.) three-point play with 3:43 remaining. Braun gave the Crusaders a two-point lead scoring in low only to see the basket answered by IUPUI's Jernisha Cann at the 2:56 mark.
Rietema then tallied a conventional three-point play on the next possession, but Amy Cook's triple with 1:42 left tied the contest at 64. Neither team could score in the final minute, with IUPUI ?s Tiffany Finkton getting two looks in the lane in the final five seconds that would not fall, sending the game to overtime.
In the extra session, Myers drained her fourth three of the game two minutes in to put Valpo up 67-64. With the lead still at three, 69-66, with 1:31 left, Rietema found the bottom of the bucket from 27-feet as the shot clock expired to push the lead to six. Hochstetler followed with free throws to make it an eight-point lead before back-to-back threes by Brittany Mingo and Tanika Mays cut the advantage to three, 75-72, with 31 seconds left. Hochstetler made 5-of-6 free throws in the final 1:11 though to seal the win for the Crusaders.
Valpo shot 47.5% from the floor for the game, including 51.9% in the second half. Rebounding and turnovers kept the Jaguars in the game though. IUPUI collected 18 offensive boards which lead to 16 second chance points and forced 19 Crusader turnovers that led to another 25 points.
Rietema moved into ninth place on Valpo's career scoring list with 1,079 after her 23-point effort while Myers also posted a career-best seven assists.
Cann led IUPUI (6-9, 1-1 Mid-Con) with 18 points and 11 rebounds while Mays also tallied a double-double scoring 17 points and grabbing 10 boards.
Valparaiso (9-7, 3-0) has now won five straight games overall, tying its longest winning streak since 2001-2002. The Crusaders will look to remain unbeaten in the league while striving for their sixth straight victory on Monday night as Valpo entertains Oakland at the ARC. Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m. with the game carried live online in both video and audio at www.valpo.edu/athletics.