H.S.) tallied her fourth career double-double with 21 points and 16 rebounds
while Betsy Adams (Monticello,
Ind./Twin Lakes H.S.) also scored 21 points as
Valparaiso started the season 2-0 for the first time since the 1985-1986 season
with a 64-55 victory over Southern Illinois Edwardsville on Wednesday evening
at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
Kenney’s 16 boards were a new
career high, with eight coming on the offensive end. She finished the game
shooting 7-of-10 from the floor.
“Kenney played an
unbelievable game,” head coach Keith
Freeman said afterwards. “She was
the difference in the game.”
Adams made three three-pointers and went 8-of-9 from the
free throw line while notching her career-best, and second straight 20-point
outing of the season. She also had five
assists and four rebounds.
“Betsy Adams was a coach on
the floor for us tonight,” Freeman added.
“She took it as a challenge defensively as well.”
The Crusaders jumped out to
an early 16-9 lead midway through the first half before going 7:23 without a
field goal. The Cougars cut the Valpo
advantage to one, but the Brown and Gold would never relinquish the lead in
posting the wire-to-wire victory.
An 11-0 spurt by the
Crusaders after SIU Edwardsville cut the lead to 18-17 helped Valpo provide a
28-20 lead at the break.
The lead hovered in the 7-12
point range throughout the first eight minutes of the second half until Adams scored eight consecutive points over a 51-second
span to push the lead to 50-31.
The Cougars fought back late
with an 8-0 run of their own to pull within 57-47 at the 4:30 mark, and eventually
got within six with 1:11 to play, but would get no closer.
“I was really impressed with
how Edwardsville came back and how hard they played,” Freeman commented.
SIU Edwardsville kept the
game close by forcing 24 Crusader turnovers, including 16 in the first
half. They were able to score just 16
points off of the turnovers though, as the Valpo defense was strong most of the
“I thought we needed to take
care of the ball better,” said Freeman.
“They get after it with their pressure.
I thought the freshmen (Skyler
Gick and Laura Richards) did a
pretty good job handling the pressure.
Betsy handled the ball well with five assists and one turnover, but we
had some problems with the posts.”
Valpo held a decisive
advantage on the boards though, outrebounding SIU Edwardsville 44-29, including
a 16-10 advantage on the offensive end. Whitney Farris (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo
H.S.) pulled down six boards to aid in the cause.
“We did a nice job on the
boards and only turned the ball over eight times in the second half,” Freeman
added. “Those are some positives.”
H.S.) had five assists in the game as well as Adams.
Melia Duncan led SIU
Edwardsville (1-2) with 17 points while Raven Berry added 10 points and a team-high
Valparaiso (2-0) will look
for its first 3-0 start in program history on Sunday afternoon as the Crusaders
conclude the three-game season-opening homestand hosting Colorado State. Tip-off is set for 1:35 p.m. with all of the
action carried live on the Horizon League Network.
Game Notes: This
was the first meeting ever between the two schools … the 2-0 start is Valpo’s
first since going Division I in 1987-1988 … the Crusaders have pulled down 44
rebounds in each of the first two games after averaging 34.0 per game last year
… Kenney’s previous high in rebounds was 15 last season against Notre Dame …
Adams previous scoring best was 20 in the opener this year against Indiana Tech
… Ashley Varner (South Bend,
Ind./Washington H.S.) added eight points and five boards on the night.