For 20 minutes
Valparaiso hung with Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon. However, for the Crusaders, it happened to be
the second half after a cold shooting first stanza as the Bearcats defeated
Valpo 65-51 at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
“I still believe in
these kids,” head coach Keith Freeman
said. “We have great chemistry and I
think they will continue to work on their game to become a good team. It just takes time.”
Valpo shot just
29.2% in the first half, falling behind 31-17 at the break before making a run
at Cincinnati. A 13-3 run over the first
five-and-a-half minutes out of the locker room pulled the Crusaders within
four, 34-30. Rashida Ray (Fort Wayne, Ind./Harding H.S.) scored seven points
during the spurt, beginning and ending the run with three-pointers.
responded though, making five of their first six three-point attempts of the
second half, including four during an 18-3 run that broke the game back open,
and gave Cincinnati a 52-33 lead with 11 minutes to play in the game.
The lead never got
larger than 19 for Cincinnati, but Valpo never managed to cut the deficit below
13 the rest of the way.
jumped out top quickly, scoring the game’s first nine points. The Bearcats slowly increased the lead to 14,
24-10, with four minutes to play in the half, and eventually to as many as 17
before taking the 14 point lead into the locker room.
“In the first half
we passed up very good shots in order to drive into traffic and created less
desirable shots,” Freeman said. “In the
second half we were much better. Tabitha
(Gerardot) was much better in her approach to playing.”
Tabitha Gerardot (Fort Wayne, Ind./Canterbury H.S.) recorded
her first collegiate double-double for the Crusaders, scoring all 10 of her
points in the second half while adding 10 rebounds, seven in the final 20
minutes. She pulled down five offensive
rebounds as the Brown and Gold had 17 second chance opportunities in the game.
Skyler Gick (Otterbein, Ind./Benton Central H.S.) added a season-high eight points
and five assists while Ray and Stefanie
Lang (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.) each had seven points.
Valpo finished the
game shooting just 34.5% from the floor and the Crusaders went just 4-of-11
(36.4%) from the free throw line.
“On a positive note,
there have been two areas we have not been so good in coming in, rebounding and
turning the ball over” Freeman added. “Today
we did a much better job in both areas.
The fact we had 17 offensive boards shows we were aggressive and we
committed just 11 turnovers.”
Shareese Ulis led
the Bearcats with 19 points while Kayla Cook added 15 points and five assists. Chanel Chisholm had 11 boards and three
blocks for Cincinnati.
will return to the hardwood on Friday evening as the Crusaders face host Evansville
in the first round of the Dunn Hospitality/UE Winter Classic. Tip-off is set for approximately 7:30 p.m. in
Game Notes: Valpo’s leading scorer Betsy Adams (Monticello, Ind./Twin Lakes H.S.) was held scoreless …
Gerardot’s 10 points tied a season high … Ray’s seven points also were a season
high … Valpo had 12 assists to just 11 turnovers, the first time this year the
Crusaders had a positive assist-to-turnover ratio … Cincinnati has won all
three meetings between the two schools.