H.S.) scored a career-high 20 points to pace four Crusaders in double figures,
but Valparaiso came up on the short end of a
71-68 decision against Cleveland State on Saturday afternoon at the Wolstein Center
in Cleveland, Ohio.
“Raegan has a lot of talent,”
head coach Keith Freeman said. “Today she showed glimpses of what she can
be. I am really proud of her defense. When she went into the game (Kailey) Klein
had 11 points, and she only finished with 18.”
Klein was a factor early,
scoring 11 of Cleveland
State’s first 20 points
as the Vikings too a 20-14 lead just seven-and-a-half minutes into the
contest. Valpo fought back, and a triple
by Betsy Adams (Monticello, Ind./Twin
Lakes H.S.) tied the game at 27 with 6:27 to play in the half.
(South Bend, Ind./Washington H.S.) followed with a three of her own, to
give the Crusaders the lead, and Adams second trey of the run caps Valpo’s 12-0
spurt to push the advantage to 36-27 with 4:31 to play before
intermission. The Brown and Gold started
6-of-9 from three-point range in the game.
The Crusaders eventually
pushed the lead to 12, 44-32, with just under a minute to play in the half on a
Moore three, but Cleveland State scored the final two baskets of the half, and
Valpo took an eight-point advantage into the locker room.
“We were making shots, got
the ball in the lane, and made open threes,” Freeman commented on the first
half. “It was a carry over from the
second half at Youngstown.”
The Vikings came out of the
locker room, cutting the Valpo advantage to five four minutes into the
stanza. A pair of Moore free throws pushed the advantage back
to nine with 14:36 to play before Valpo went cold from the floor. The Crusaders went seven minutes between
field goals, and the hosts cut the lead to one, 51-50, at the 10:16 mark.
Shalonda Winton gave the
Vikings the lead 54-53 with just under seven minutes to play, and an Angel
Roque triple capped a 19-4 Cleveland State run, making it 59-55.
Valpo kept its deficit
between four and six until the final minute when Adams
hit a three with 1:08 to play to pull the Crusaders within 69-66. After a defensive stop, Kelly Watts (Gary, Ind./East Chicago Central H.S.)
scored on a lay-in with 34.4 seconds remaining to pull the Crusaders within
one. Following a timeout, Cleveland State threw the ball out of bounds,
giving Valpo one final chance.
“We did a great job denying
the ball inbounds twice and then they threw it away,” Freeman said.
H.S.) had her shot roll out with just over 10 seconds to play and Shawnita
Garland raced down floor for a lay-in with 7.7 seconds to play. Adams had a
chance to tie at the buzzer, but came up short.
“They did a good job
defending,” Freeman said of Farris’ attempt.
“They took away our angle.”
After shooting 53% from the
floor in the first half, the Crusaders connected on just 31% over the final 20
minutes to finish at 42% for the game.
Valpo made 8-of-13 first half threes and finished 9-of-18 for the night.
“We missed an awful lot of
layups and three to four foot shots,” Freeman said. “The biggest thing in the second half was
rebounding. They were aggressive and we
seemed to be watching.”
Adams made four triples to
finish with 14 points for the Brown and Gold while Watts
scored 12 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Farris scored 11 points, one off of her
Valpo finished with a 35-32
edge on the boards, but held a 21-8 advantage in the first half.
Shawnita Garland led Cleveland State (9-8, 4-2 Horizon) with 24 points
while Klein had six rebounds in addition to her 18 points. The Vikings finished shooting 46% from the
floor for the game.
“I’m proud of our kids,”
Freeman concluded. “We did some really
good things. We need to continue to work
Valparaiso (5-11, 2-3) will return home to the Athletics-Recreation Center
on Thursday evening as the Crusaders host Detroit. Tip-off against the Titans is set for 7:05
Game Notes: Valpo’s
44 first half points were them most in an opening 40 minutes this season …
Moore’s previous career high was 16 points at Notre Dame … Laura Richards
(Connersville, Ind./Connersville H.S.) tied a career-high with seven assists
and had just one turnover … this was Cleveland State’s first home win against
Valpo in nine games … the Crusaders lead the overall series 12-5.