For 20 minutes Valparaiso hung tough with Indiana, the Crusaders' second straight opponent from the Big Ten, but cold second half shooting doomed the Brown and Gold's fate as the Hoosiers defeated Valpo 85-51 on Wednesday night at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind.
The Crusaders trailed by just three at intermission, but made just two field goals after the break.
Valpo got out to a quick start over the first three minutes. Carrie Myers (Stickleyville, Va./Lee H.S.) and Sarah Ott (Chippewa Falls, Wis./Chippewa Falls H.S.) both hit triples as the Crusaders built a 10-4 advantage.
The Crusaders were hitting from the outside early in the first half, making five of their first seven beyond the arc, to maintain a three-point advantage, 23-20, with 10:26 to play.
Indiana answered with six straight points to retake the lead but Valpo hung tough. Aimee Litka (South Bend, Ind./Saint Joseph's H.S.) made four threes on her way to 14 first half points but the Crusaders trailed 43-40 at the break. The Brown and Gold nailed eight first half treys as both teams shot 50% from the floor in the opening 20 minutes.
The Hoosiers began the second half scoring the first five points to increase their lead to eight. The Crusaders were cold from the floor, making just one of its first 16 from the floor in the second half while committing seven turnovers during the first 10 minutes as the deficit grew to 15.
The Crusaders continued to struggle from the floor throughout the second half and Indiana extended the lead to 72-49 with five minutes to play and Valpo would not get any closer. Valpo shot just 2-of-30 (6.7%) from the field while making just 6-of-12 (50%) from the free throw line with 13 turnovers in the second 20 minutes of play.
Indiana (3-0), on the other hand, made 18 free throws to go along with 47.8% shooting from the floor on the way to the victory.
Litka led the Crusaders with a career-high 14 points, all in the opening half, while Myers added 11 on three triples. For the game, Valpo (0-2) shot 26.7% from the field.
Leah Enterline led five Hoosiers in double figures with 17 points while Whitney Thomas added a double-double with 16 point and 10 rebounds.
Valparaiso will return to the court on Friday evening for the Crusaders' home opener. Tip-off against Northern Arizona 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.