Despite double-doubles from Lauren Kenney (Mooresville,
Ind./Mooresville H.S.) and Kelly Watts (Gary, Ind./East Chicago Central H.S.), Valpo came up short
against Milwaukee 54-48 on Thursday evening at the Klotsche Center in
Kenney tied a career-high
with 26 points, 21 in the second half, while grabbing 13 rebounds. Watts tallied
12 points, eight in the first half, and pulled down 11 boards.
“Kenney and Watts
did a good job scoring inside and rebounding well,” head coach Keith Freeman
said. “Offensively we didn’t have
effective movement or screens though, and it took us a long time to get into
The Crusaders struggled
shooting the ball, connecting on just 30% of its tries from the floor,
including just 22% in the opening half.
Valpo went 0-for-16 from three-point range, scoring all but two of its
points either in the paint or at the free throw line.
Valpo opened up missing its
first 12 shots, being held scoreless for six minutes, but the defense kept the
Brown and Gold in the game, as the Crusaders trailed just 4-0. Trailing 8-2, Valpo cut the lead to two,
10-8, at the 9:14 mark following back-to-back baskets by Watts.
After the Panthers pushed the
lead back to seven, Watts answered with two
more hoops to bring Valpo within 15-12 with 7:10 to play before intermission.
The Crusaders would not score
from the floor again for nearly seven minutes, as Milwaukee opened up a 10-point advantage
before a Kenney cut the lead to eight at the break, 23-15.
“In the first half we missed
a lot of easy shots,” Freeman added.
The Crusaders made just 3 of
their first 12 shots in the second half, falling behind 38-25 with 10:13 to
A Kenney three-point play
followed by a full-court press steal and lay-in by Laura Richards (Connersville, Ind./Connersville
H.S.) pulled Valpo within four, 38-34, with 6:58 to play, capping a 9-0
Milwaukee scored the next five points to push the lead back to
nine, before Watts and Kenney scored inside to
pull within five, 47-42, with 1:17 to play.
The Panthers made 12 straight
free throws down the stretch to offset the fact they made just one field goal
in the final 11:11 to secure the victory.
Lindsay Laur led Milwaukee (9-10, 4-4
Horizon) with 19 points and seven rebounds while Jodie McClain added 11
points. The Panthers finished the game
shooting 19-of-22 from the free throw line.
“When you look at the stats we outscored them
38-10 in the paint, 14-11 off of turnovers, 12-5 on second chance points, 14-0
on fast break points, and 26-9 off of the bench,” concluded Freeman. “I’ve never seen anything like that where you
Valparaiso (6-13, 3-5) will wrap up the first half of Horizon
League play on Saturday afternoon, staying in the state of Wisconsin
to face #24/22 Green Bay. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.
Game Notes: Milwaukee
leads the all-time series 9-4 … Valpo committed just two second half turnovers
and 11 total for the game … the Panthers became just the second Horizon League
team to outrebound Valpo, doing so 40-37 … eight of Kenney’s 13 boards were
offensive … Kenney’s double-double was her fourth of the year while Watts’ was
her second … Kenney tied a career-high with four steals.