Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusader Women Close 2010 with Win at Eastern Illinois
Betsy Adams led Valpo with 20 points in the victory over the Panthers. (Ray Acevedo)
Betsy Adams led Valpo with 20 points in the victory over the Panthers. (Ray Acevedo)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Valparaiso closed out the non-conference portion of the schedule on Thursday evening with a 65-58 road victory over defending Ohio Valley Conference champion Eastern Illinois at Lantz Arena in Charleston, Ill.

Betsy Adams (Monticello, Ind./Twin Lakes H.S.) scored 20 points and Tabitha Gerardot (Fort Wayne, Ind./Canterbury H.S.) registered a double-double as the Crusader overcame 25 turnovers to earn the road win over a Panther team that entered the game 37-4 at home over since the midway point of the 2007-2008 season.

“We didn’t handle the ball like we wanted to which is something we need to get better at,” head coach Keith Freeman said.  “That said, I did see improvement in our rebounding, defense, and the way we competed though which is a big positive and helped us get a big win on the road.”

Valpo took an early 11-7 lead as the Panthers connected on just two of their first 12 shots from the floor, and maintained its advantage throughout most of the first half.  Ten Crusader turnovers in the first 13 minutes though limited the lead to just two, 17-15 with seven minutes to play.

An 8-0 Crusader run capped by a Kelly Watts (Gary, Ind./East Chicago Central H.S.) lay-in at the 4:11 mark gave Valpo a 23-15 lead.  Eastern Illinois answered with five straight points to pull within three.

A Laura Richards (Connersville, Ind./Connersville H.S.) triple with just under a minute to play followed by an Adams three at the buzzer gave Valpo a 31-22 advantage at the break.

Adams had 10 first half points while Gina Lange (Wyoming, Minn./Forest Lake H.S.) pulled down seven boards in the opening stanza.  The Crusaders outrebounded the Panthers 24-16 in the first 20 minutes, while holding Eastern Illinois to just 27.6% shooting.

The Panthers cut into the second half from the beginning, scoring the first seven points out of the locker room.  Four Crusader turnovers led to 10 Eastern Illinois points as the Panthers tied the game at 39 at the 13:53 mark, and one possession leader the hosts had the lead on a lay-in by Ta’Kenya Nixon.

The lead then changed hands eight times and was tied four more times as neither team could build an advantage of more than three points heading into the game’s final eight minutes.

A Rashida Ray (Fort Wayne, Ind./Harding H.S.) jumper as the shot clock was winding down gave Valpo the lead for good at the 7:25 mark, starting an 8-0 Crusader spurt.  The Brown and Gold’s defense held Eastern Illinois scoreless for 4:35 while building the 60-52 lead.

The Crusaders held a 62-57 lead with 2:49 to play when Ray was fouled shooting a three-pointer, and connected on all three from the charity stripe.  Valpo would not score the rest of the way, but allowed just one free throw on the way to earning the road win.

Adams led all scorers with her 20 points while Gerardot had 11 points and 10 rebounds for her double-double.

“Betsy Adams hits some big shots for us,” Freeman added.  “We got some big contributions from lots of people in lots of areas tonight.”

Lange also had 10 boards while Watts had seven more to go along with seven points as Valpo outrebounded Eastern Illinois 44-29 on the night.  Richards had eight points while Ray finished the night with seven as well.

“I think Watts helps us on the defensive end wth her physicalness,” Freeman commented.  “It will take time for her to get back to her old self though, but she gave us seven points and seven boards off of the bench.  She has changed practice for us because she is more physical.”

Nixon led Eastern Illinois (6-7) with 16 points and eight rebounds while Chantelle Pressley added 12 points and seven boards.

“We saw a lot of improvement tonight,” Freeman concluded.  “The big key for us to work on is to cut down on turnovers.  They outscored us 26-8 on points off of turnovers.”

Valparaiso (3-9) will continue its four-game road trip on Sunday afternoon, heading to Indianapolis, Ind. to open Horizon League play.  The Crusaders will face rival Butler with tip-off set for 1 p.m. CST from Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Game Notes: Watts played 17 minutes in her first appearance of the season … Gerardot’s double-double was her fifth of the season … Lange tallied double figures in rebounding for the second time in her career, finishing just one off of her career high of 11 … the Crusaders shot 42.3% from the floor for the game … Valpo leads the all-time series 7-4 and has won three straight meetings between the two schools … this was the first meeting between the Crusaders and Panthers since Feb. 5, 1996.

W Golf IPFW Spring Invitational Fort Wayne, Ind. (Chestnut Hills G.C.)
Apr 7 9th/12 (642)
Softball Northern Illinois 6 VU Softball Field
Apr 8 Valpo 8
Baseball Valpo 5 Evanston, Ill.
Apr 8 Northwestern 12
Softball Northern Illinois 3 8 inn.
Apr 8 Valpo 4
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
M Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 11:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
W Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 5:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26 Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo