Launa Hochstetler (Berlin, Ohio/Hiland
H.S.) became the sixth Crusader in school history to reach the 300-assist
plateau for her career while also scoring a game-high 18 points as Valparaiso won its third straight Horizon League game on
Saturday afternoon, defeating Loyola (Chicago)
69-52 at the Athletics-Recreation
Hochstetler, who had six
assists in the game, reached the 300 assist mark with a feed down low to Whitney Farris (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo
H.S.) with 13:53 to play in the game to start a 10-3 Valpo run that put the
Crusaders in front by double figures.
The senior point guard now has 303 helpers for her career.
“Launa’s getting her rhythm
back shooting the ball,” head coach Keith Freeman said. “She’s a heck of a player with her mid-range
jump shot. That allows her to be a
multi-dimensional player, shooting and passing.”
(South Bend, Ind./Saint
Joseph’s H.S.) added 17 points, including making 7-of-8 from the free throw
line, and Valpo as a team shot nearly 61% in the second half to move into sole
possession of third place in the Horizon League standings.
The first half was one of
runs, with Valpo jumping out to an early 8-2 lead and using another 10-0 spurt
to build a 21-10 lead with just under seven minutes to play in the stanza. Loyola answered with a 9-0 run of their own
over two-and-a-half minutes to close within two, before Valpo eventually took a
28-25 lead into the locker room.
After the Ramblers cut the
Valpo lead to one and had the basketball with under 16 minutes to play in the
game, Farris scored on a lay-in and Litka hit her second triple of the
game. Hochstetler followed with another
lay-in inside to push the Crusader advantage back to eight, 39-31.
Loyola would cut the lead
back to four, but Hochstetler’s assist started the run that extended the lead
to 12. One more 10-1 Crusader spurt
pushed the lead to 17, 59-42, with just under six minutes to play on another
jumper by Hochstetler and Valpo maintained a 13 to 19 point lead the rest of
Sylwia Zabielewicz (Warsaw, Poland/Generala Wladyslawa Andersa
H.S.) added 10 points for the Crusaders on 5-of-8 shooting as three Valpo
players tallied double figures on the afternoon. Farris had eight points and a game-high eight
rebounds for the Brown and Gold.
“Slywia had a good second
half inside,” added Freeman. “We did a
good job going at them after we got them in foul trouble.”
Valpo finished the game shooting
47.2% from the floor after making just 32% of its shots in the first half. The Brown and Gold made 6-of-13 from
The Ramblers turned the ball
over 26 times in the game, leading to 29 points for Valpo.
“I really like us winning the
transition from defensive to offense,” said Freeman. “We did a good job of putting pressure on
them to get back on defense.”
Loyola (5-10, 0-5 Horizon
League) was led by Shannon Finnegan, who scored 11 points and had seven
rebounds. The junior center was the only
Rambler to tally double figures on the afternoon.
Valparaiso (9-7, 4-2) will
hit the road for a three-game road trip beginning with instate rival Butler
(11-6, 6-0) on Friday evening in Indianapolis, Ind. Tip-off against the first place Bulldogs is
set for 6 p.m. CST, with all the action carried live on the Horizon League
Network. The game can also be heard on
WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso).
Game Notes: Students
from Parkview Elementary School were recognized for
their art work and writing prior to the game as part of the Horizon League’s
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration … Litka’s two triples moved her past
Heidi Diefenthaler (1992-1996) into seventh place all-time in school history
with 141 … Loyola outrebounded Valpo 29-28 but Valpo had a 6-3 edge on the
offensive end … Valpo is 13-1 all-time against the Ramblers including a perfect
7-0 at home … this is Valpo’s first three-game winning streak since winning
four straight from December 16, 2007-January 10, 2008.