Despite being within three
points at intermission, Valparaiso dropped an
82-59 decision to Cleveland State on Thursday evening at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
Kailey Klein and Shawnita
Garland combined for 46 Viking points and Cleveland State
used a 31-12 second half run to break the game open.
The Crusaders hung close in
the first half, shooting 48.1% from the floor while forcing nine Cleveland State turnovers to help offset 60%
shooting by the visiting Vikings.
After trailing by as many as five in the opening half, a Betsy Adams (Monticello, Ind./Twin Lakes H.S.) three-pointer at the 1:41 mark gave
Valpo a 33-30 advantage, its largest lead of the game.
“We made a lot of shots in
the first half,” head coach Keith
Freeman said. “But we gave up 60%
shooting, so would you say that is good defense?”
Cleveland State scored eight of the final 10 points of the stanza,
including a jumper at the buzzer by Stephaine Crosley to take a 38-35 lead into
The Vikings scored the first
six points of the second half, increased the lead to 55-42 six minutes into the
period. The lead extended to 67-48 with
9:37 to play, and slowly grew from there.
“We came out and played with
a lack of energy in the first five minutes of the second half,” Freeman
added. “I thought we were well rested as
we substituted a lot in the first half.”
Garland finished the game 10-of-13 from the floor while Klein
made 12-of-14 from the free throw line.
“Kailey Klein is the best
player in the league,” Freeman concluded.
“She is incredibly difficult to guard.
She moves so well.”
H.S.) and Ashley Varner (South Bend, Ind./Saint Joseph’s H.S.) led Valpo with 11 points each while Rashida Ray (Fort Wayne, Ind./Harding
H.S.) came off the bench to add nine points.
Cleveland State (12-11, 7-5 Horizon) outrebounded Valpo 38-26, and
forced 18 Crusader turnovers, 12 coming in the second half.
Valparaiso (6-16, 3-8) will look to snap a four-game losing skid
on Saturday afternoon, hosting Youngstown
State The day is “Pack the House” and
Pink Zone in support of the WBCA’s breast cancer initiative. at 1:35 p.m. at the