Valparaiso got 29
points from its bench on Saturday afternoon and utilized a 16-0 second half run
to defeat Detroit 57-46 at the Athletics-Recreation Center for the Crusaders’
second straight victory.
With the win, the
Crusaders have now won back-to-back games for the first time since November of
“I am really pleased
with our kids,” head coach Keith Freeman said.
“They are really trying hard. It’s
difficult when you’ve been struggling like we have been, but we battled today
and made plays. It really shows the
character of our kids. Our bench gave us
a lot of energy when they came in the game and I think we’ve played well in
four of our last five games.”
Tabitha Gerardot (Fort Wayne, Ind./Canterbury H.S.)
registered her sixth double-double as a Crusader, scoring 15 points and
grabbing 10 rebounds, and Valpo’s defense limited the Titans to just 15.6% (5-of-32)
shooting in the second half to rally from a seven-point deficit.
“Tab really wants to
do so well,” Freeman added. “She is a
warrior getting to rebounds. I like her
Trailing 28-25 at
the break, Detroit scored the first four points out of the locker room to take
the seven-point advantage, their largest of the afternoon. The Crusaders began to fight back, scoring 16
straight points after trailing 36-31, shutting out the Titans for
Six straight points
by Gina Lange (Wyoming, Minn./Forest
Lake H.S.) during the run, as well as five points by Gerardot paced the
offense. Meanwhile, the defense held
Detroit scoreless from the floor for more than 11 minutes as the Titans missed 16
straight shots from the field.
By the time the run
ended, Valpo held a 47-36 lead with 6:13 to play. The advantage was still 10, 49-39, before the
Titans made one late spurt. Seven
straight points, capped by three straight free throws by Dominique Dixon after she
was fouled shooting from long range, pulled Detroit within 49-46 with 1:59 to
“They are a good
team, a scary team,” Freeman said. “We
were fortunate we gave enough help and they never got in a rhythm in their
Skyler Gick (Otterbein, Ind./Benton Central H.S.) then found Gerardot down low as
the shot clock was winding down made it a two possession game and the Valpo
defense would not surrender another point the rest of the way. Rashida
Ray (Fort Wayne, Ind./Harding H.S.) made three free throws down the stretch
and Gerardot added three more points as Valpo finished the game on an 8-0 run.
“Our kids battled,”
Freeman commented. “Down the stretch we
got the ball inside and finished.”
Detroit jumped out
to an early 14-8 lead before the Crusaders scored six straight points to knot
the game midway through the first half.
After the Titans again built a five-point lead, Valpo answered a second
time. A 9-0 run by the Brown and Gold,
capped by a jumper from Gick, gave the Brown and Gold a 25-21 lead.
As was the case in
the first half though, the Titans answered with one more run, scoring the final
seven points of the stanza to build the three-point halftime advantage.
Valpo shot 41.2%
from the floor for the game, including a 47.8% clip in the second half, to help
offset a 2-of-15 afternoon from three-point range. Detroit finished just 23.1% from the floor
overall and 13.8% (4-of-29) from outside the arc.
“We’re still a long
way from being a good offensive team,” Freeman added. “But our defense is getting better. I thought we did a good job controlling
penetration and got back in transition.”
Lange added nine
points and six rebounds for the Crusaders, as Valpo outrebounded Detroit 43-41,
including a 27-19 advantage in the second half.
Gick and Stefanie Lang
(Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.) each added eight points while Ray has seven
more. Gick also had six assists on the
“Skyler had a great
floor game,” Freeman said. “She ran the
Dixon led Detroit
(10-12, 4-7 Horizon) with 12 points while Yar Shayok pulled down 13 rebounds.
3-8) will take to the road on Thursday evening as the Crusaders head to
Cleveland, Ohio to battle Cleveland State.
Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. CST.
Game Notes: Gerardot’s double-double was her sixth of her
freshman campaign but just her first in Horizon League play … the 46 points
allowed were the fewest the Crusaders have surrendered all season … Gick’s
eight points matched a season high … Valpo’s starters scored just five points
in the first half and were 1-of-12 shooting from the floor … the win snaps a
four-game losing streak against Detroit … the Titans still lead the all-time
series 7-5 and hold a 4-2 edge at the ARC.