Tamra Braun (Savage, Minn./Prior Lake H.S.) became Valparaiso's all-time career blocked shot leader on Monday evening as the Crusaders cruised to a 69-43 victory over Centenary at the Gold Dome.
Braun rejected a shot with 14:05 to play in the second half, her third of the game, to give her #167 for her career, breaking Michelle Mader's mark of 166 set from 1988-1992.
Early on it was all Valpo's defense. The Crusaders limited Centenary to just two points over the first seven-and-a-half minutes, racing out to an 11-2 advantage. The Ladies came back, cutting the lead to four, 15-11, midway through the first half.
Carrie Myers (Stickleyville, Va./Lee H.S.) drained three long three-pointers while the defense held Centenary without scoring for more than seven minutes, increasing the lead to 24-11 before the Crusader took a 27-14 lead into the locker room.
Valpo's defense limited the Ladies to just 20.7% (6-of-29) shooting in the first half, including a 2-of-13 mark from beyond the arc. Centenary also committed eight first half turnovers.
Launa Hochstetler (Berlin, Ohio/Hiland H.S.) scored eight points early in the second half as part of a 16-2 run as the lead swelled to 46-19 with just over 13 minutes to play and Valpo never looked back the rest of the way.
Every Crusader who dressed scored for the Brown and Gold, with Hochstetler leading the way with a career-high 16 points, all in the second half. The sophomore point guard made four three-pointers in just five attempts. Betsy Rietema (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) added 12 points while Myers had 11 for Valpo. Braun finished with a game-high nine rebounds and three blocks.
As a team, Valpo made 11-of-22 from three-point range, and committed just 12 turnovers for the contest.
Jelena Aleksic led Centenary (4-12, 0-2 Mid-Con) with 10 points as the Ladies shot just 30.5% from the floor for the game. Centenary also committed 20 turnovers.
Valparaiso (8-7, 2-0) will return home on Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders entertain IUPUI. Tip-off against the Jaguars is set for 1:35 p.m. with the game carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.