Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Second Half the Difference as Valpo Falls to Cleveland State
Rashida Ray scored a season-high nine points, making three triples on Saturday. (Ray Acevedo)
Rashida Ray scored a season-high nine points, making three triples on Saturday. (Ray Acevedo)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Valparaiso played solid defense and hit several timely shots in the first half, but Cleveland State rallied early in the second to defeat the Crusaders 68-58 on Saturday afternoon at the Athletics-Recreation Center.

“I’m proud of our team because we showed for 20 minutes we can play tough,” head coach Keith Freeman said.  “Now we need to get that to 40 minutes.  Until we become committed to defense we won’t win games.  We have to hold teams in the 50s.”

The Crusaders started strong, scoring the game’s first nine points on a pair of three-pointers from Rashida Ray (Fort Wayne, Ind./Harding H.S.) sandwiched around a triple from Betsy Adams (Monticello, Ind./Twin Lakes H.S.).  Defensively, Valpo forced the Vikings to miss their first six shots from the floor over the opening five minutes.

The lead grew to 10, 12-2, as Adams completed a three-point play inside at the 14:41 mark.  Cleveland State answered with six straight points, and eventually closed to within two, 17-15 with 9:13 to play before break on a basket by Destinee Blue.

Valpo answered with an 8-0 run of its own.  A three by Ashley Timmerman (Pontiac, Ill./Pontiac H.S.) and another by Ray extended the lead and after a Gina Lange (Wyoming, Minn./Forest Lake H.S.) basket in the paint the Crusaders were back on top 25-15.

The Vikings again tried to close the gap in the first half, pulling within four, but Valpo had another answer, and pushed the lead back to 33-26 at the break.

“We gave up just 26 points in the first half because we defended well,” Freeman added.  “Our main focus is on our team getting better defensively.”

Cleveland State came out of the locker room and scored the first six points of the half before an Adams layup put Valpo on the board.  Back-to-back three-point plays by Takima Keane and Shalona Winton gave the Vikings their first lead of the game, 38-35, less than four minutes into the stanza.

“We didn’t come out with the same intensity we did in the first half,” Freeman said.  “It stinks because we did all that work in the first half and gave it back in three minutes.  We came out and didn’t handle the ball well and turned it over too many times.”

A 7-0 Valpo run put the Brown and Gold back up four, 44-40 before the game began to go back-and-forth.  With Cleveland State up two, 51-49, Stefanie Lang came off of the bench to score five straight points for the Crusaders, putting the hosts on top 54-51 with 5:39 to play.

After the Vikings retook the lead, Lange gave Valpo its final advantage of the night on a layup with 3:23 left.  Shawnita Garland answered with a jumper with three minutes to play, putting Cleveland State on top for good, and starting a late 12-0 run over two-and-a-half minutes.

“The key was they got a couple of 50-50 balls late and converted them,” Freeman stated.

Adams led Valpo with 14 points while had a career-high 12 points.  Ray had a season-best nine points, making three of the 10 Crusader triples on the afternoon.

Janelle Adams led Cleveland State (10-7, 3-3 Horizon) with 15 points while Blue had 13 more.  Garland scored 10 of her 12 points after halftime while Honesty King also had 12 points for the Vikings.  Winton finished with eight second half points and 11 rebounds.

“Shalonda Winton made a difference for them,” Freeman concluded.  “She played much harder in the second half.”

The Crusaders finished the game shooting 41.5% from the floor and made 10-of-23 three-pointers (43.5%) but committed 21 turnovers.  The Vikings finished the night shooting 46.3% from the field, including 56% in the second half, and had just 14 miscues.

Valparaiso (3-14, 0-5) will return to the road on Thursday evening, heading to Chicago to face UIC.  Tip-off against the Flames at UIC Pavilion is set for 7 p.m.

Game Notes: Lange’s previous career-high was 11 points twice earlier this season … Valpo was just 4-of-6 from the free throw line while Cleveland State made 15-of-17 … Kelly Watts (Gary, Ind./East Chicago Central H.S.) started for the first time this season, scoring five points and grabbing a team-high six boards … Adams made her 15th consecutive free throw … Adams led Valpo in scoring for the 12th time this season … the Crusaders lead the all-time series 12-7 but Cleveland State has won three straight … the Vikings have won four straight at the ARC.

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