Trailing by 13
points with just over six minutes to play, Valparaiso closed with a 20-3 run,
taking the lead on a lay-in by Skyler
Gick (Otterbein, Ind./Benton Central H.S.) with 15 seconds to play, and
defeated Loyola (Chicago) 72-68 on Thursday evening at the Athletics-Recreation
“I’m really proud of
our kids,” head coach Keith Freeman
said. “We were short-handed but we
battled all the way back. When you see
kids going after loose balls and have the energy and emotion we did down the
stretch, you can feed off of it.”
Tabitha Gerardot (Fort Wayne, Ind./Canterbury H.S.) recorded
her fourth straight double-double, Stefanie
Lang (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.) added her first collegiate
double-double, and Betsy Adams
(Monticello, Ind./Twin Lakes H.S.) moved into eighth place all-time for
three-pointers made after draining four, including two in the final two minutes
as the Crusaders won at home for the third consecutive time.
Valpo was down 65-52
with 6:16 to play after a lay-in by Monica Albano before mounting the
comeback. Rashida Ray (Fort Wayne, Ind./Harding H.S.) hit a triple and
Gerardot followed on the next possession with a second chance basket to cut the
deficit to eight.
“Rashida hit a big
shot then locked in on defense and got a tie up defensively,” Freeman said.
Ashley Timmerman’s (Pontiac, Ill./Pontiac H.S.) three at the 3:49
mark pulled Valpo to within seven, only to have the Ramblers answer with an
old-fashioned three-point play down low by Brittany Boeke.
Still trailing by
eight going under three minutes, Lang scored inside and, after a defensive stop,
Adams nailed a triple to make it 68-65 Loyola with 1:48 remaining. Lang then poked the ball free on defense and
Adams nailed another triple to tie the game with just over a minute to play.
“We had two big
shots by Betsy, a big deflection by Stef Lang, and a big recovery by Skye down
the stretch,” Freeman added.
Albano missed a
three and Valpo moved down court with under 30 seconds to play. Gerardot, underneath, found Gick on the other
side of the basket, and the sophomore laid it in, giving the Crusaders their
first lead since 10-8, with just 15 seconds left.
Gick added a steal
in the final seconds and Timmerman made two free throws with 2.0 seconds left
to seal the victory for the Brown and Gold.
“We did the things
we needed to down the stretch to put ourselves in position to come back,”
The first half was
tight most of the way until the Ramblers closed the stanza on a 7-0 run over
the final 2:06 to take a 39-31 lead into the locker room.
The lead grew to 10
as Loyola hit the first basket of the second half before the Crusaders made
their first run of the period. A triple
by Ray followed by her steal and score pulled the Brown and Gold within 45-43
with 15:39 to play.
Loyola answered with
a 10-1 run to push the lead to 11 just three minutes later, and had its largest
lead, 63-49, with 8:45 to play before the Crusaders began their final rally.
Gerardot led the
Crusaders with 13 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for her ninth
double-double of the year, and fourth straight.
Lang added 12 points and a career-high 11 boards for her double-double
while Adams also added 12 points, all on three-pointers. Ray had 11 points, making 3-of-4 triples and Maegan Callaway (Mooresville,
Ind./Mooresville H.S.) added a career-high eight points off of the bench.
moments where she had an impact on the game in the low post,” Freeman
Gick finished with
six points and matched a career high with seven assists.
“I was pleased with
our team’s ability to handle the basketball tonight,” Freeman concluded. “Only eight turnovers and 19 assists is a
very good ratio.”
Abby Skube led
Loyola (11-13, 5-8 Horizon) with 26 points and nine rebounds, making 10-of-13
shots from the floor. Albano added 19
points while Brittany Boeke pulled down 12 rebounds. Katie Kortekamp had a game-high eight assists
for the Ramblers.
4-10) will look for its fourth straight home win on Saturday morning as the
Crusaders host UIC. Tip-off is set for
11:05 a.m. at the ARC. Saturday’s game
is the Crusaders’ annual WBCA Pink Zone game, and fans are encouraged to wear
Game Notes: Valpo is now 17-2 all-time against the
Ramblers after sweeping the season series … the Crusaders have never lost to
Loyola at the ARC … Valpo’s eight turnovers were a season low … Adams now has
143 career triples, passing Heidi Diefenthaler (1992-1996) and moving into
eighth all-time on Valpo’s career charts … Adams also now has 65 threes on the
season, tied for ninth most all-time at Valpo … Valpo has won three straight at
home for the first time since Nov. 14-22, 2009 … Lang’s previous career high in
rebounds was 11 … the Crusaders tied a season-high as a team with 10
three-point field goals … Valpo’s 19 assists also were a season high … Timmerman’s
consecutive free throw streak to start the season ended at 24 as she missed her
first attempt of the game.