Valparaiso fell behind by double figures just five minutes into
the game on Thursday evening and could never recover, dropping a 68-52 Horizon
League battle to the University of Detroit Mercy at Calihan Hall in Detroit, Mich.
“I didn’t think for the
entire game we played with much energy or passion,” head coach Keith Freeman said.
Detroit jumped in front of the Crusaders quickly as Cherridy
Thornton knocked down four three-pointers in the opening six minutes to give
the Titans a 15-2 lead. The Valpo
offense took awhile to get going, as the Brown and Gold made just four of its
first 16 shots from the floor and committed eight turnovers while trailing 25-9
at the 7:39 mark.
“We didn’t start the game
ready to play which was the problem in the first half,” Freeman added. They trapped the ball screen and we didn’t
handle the ball well. We threw the ball
all over the gym. That’s execution, but
at the same time we didn’t play with maximum effort. That’s what’s frustrating. I can handle the execution errors, but we
need to play hard.”
The Titan lead swelled to 22,
34-12, at the 3:50 mark, as Detroit
made seven first half triples. The
Crusaders fought back at the end of the half, going on a 9-0 run. Four points from Gina Lange (Wyoming, Minn./Forest Lake H.S.) started the spurt and when Ashley Timmerman (Pontiac, Ill./Pontiac
H.S.) made a three in the final minute, Valpo was within 13. A late basket by the Titans made it 36-21
hosts at the break.
Valpo tried to cut into the
lead early in the second half. A triple
by Betsy Adams (Monticello, Ind./Twin
Lakes H.S.) followed by a Timmerman lay-in pulled with Crusaders within 11,
40-29. Detroit answered though, scoring the next
seven points to push the lead back to 18.
A Stefanie Lang (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso
H.S.) three followed by an Adams jumper got Valpo back within 12 again, 51-39,
with just under 10 minutes to play, only to have the Titans again extend the
advantage one last time, this time to more than 20 and the Crusaders could
Adams and Lang led the
Crusaders with 15 points each. Adams was 6-of-9 from the floor while Lang connected on
7-of-12 in 16 minutes. Lang also had a
team-high six rebounds.
Thornton led Detroit
(8-6, 2-1 Horizon) with 18 points, 17 of which came in the first half. Yar Shayok, Lauren Allen, and Britney Murphy
each added 12 points. Shayok also had a
game-high 11 boards.
Valpo finished the game shooting
34.5%, while Detroit
connected at a 42.9% clip. The Crusaders
outrebounded the Titans 41-31, but committed 19 turnovers while the Titans had
just 12 miscues.
Valparaiso (3-11, 0-2) will wrap up its four-game road trip on
Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders travel to Dayton,
Ohio to face Wright State. Tip-off at the Nutter Center
is set for 1 p.m. CST.
Game Notes: Lang’s
15 points and six rebounds were a career high … Adams made two triples and now
has 111 for her career, eight shy of the top-10 all-time at Valpo … Adams has
now made 13 straight free throws … Detroit leads the all-time series 7-4 and
has won four straight meetings.