For the first 35 minutes on Sunday afternoon, Valparaiso led Ball State, but the Cardinals made a late 12-0 run to defeat the Crusaders 68-59 in Fort Wayne, Ind. as part of Hoopla: A Celebration of Women's Basketball.
The first 10 minutes of the contest were closely contested before Valpo went on an 11-0 run. Carrie Myers (Stickleyville, Va./Lee H.S.) made three straight triples in a minute span to ignite the offense as Valpo took a 23-12 lead at the 8:48 mark. Foul trouble hampered the Crusaders late in the half, however, and the Cardinals clawed back to within three, 35-32, at the break.
Ball State scored the first basket out of the locker room, but Valpo's defense then held the Cardinals without a field goal for more than six minutes, building a 42-34 advantage. The lead increased to as many as nine, 48-39, with just over 10 minutes to play before Ball State began its rally.
Seven straight points by the Cardinals cut the lead to two at the eight minute mark, but Valpo again pushed the advantage back up. Free throws kept the Crusaders afloat, while the team made just one field goal in a 12-minute span. Valpo pushed the lead to seven, 55-48, with 6:19 to go after a pair of free throws by Sarah Ott (Chippewa Falls, Wis./Chippewa Falls H.S.).
Ball State (6-1) scored the next 12 points, capped off by a lay-up by Kelsey Corbin with 2:35 to play, to give the Cardinals a five-point lead, their first since 4-3. A Tamra Braun (Savage, Minn./Prior Lake H.S.) would follow, but that was as close as the Crusaders would get the rest of the way.
Myers and Betsy Rietema (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) led Valpo with 12 points each while Braun and Ott added 10 a piece. Braun also grabbed 10 rebounds for her third straight double-double. The senior moved into 16th place on Valpo's career scoring list with 882 points while moving into fifth place on the career rebounding charts with 667 boards. Myers made four three-pointers in the contest, moving into fourth place all-time with 154 triples.
Porchia Green led Ball State with 21 points and 11 rebounds while Corbin added 15.
Valpo shot just 34.7% from the floor for the game compared with the Cardinals' 42.3% clip.
Valparaiso (4-4) will look to snap its two-game losing skid on Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders travel to Northern Iowa to battle the Panthers. Tip-off is set for 4:05 p.m. with all the action carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.