November 30, 20111st2ndFinal
Indiana-Northwest173047
Valparaiso413980
Stats at a GlanceIUNVALPO
FG Percentage.279 (17-61) .448 (30-67)
3P FG Percentage.111 (2-18) .261 (6-23)
FT Percentage.917 (11-12) .583 (14-24)
Offensive Rebounds1322
Defensive Rebounds2131
Total Rebounds3453
Turnovers1917
Steals119
Bench Points2229
LeadersIUNVALPO
PointsHOUSTON - 18
GERARDOT - 19
ReboundsHOUSTON - 9
GERARDOT - 10
VARNER - 10
LADD - 10
AssistsKELLER - 2
GROSS - 2
WILLS - 2
HICKENBOTTOM - 2
CARR - 6
LADD - 6
StealsHOUSTON - 3
CARR - 4
BlocksHOUSTON - 3
RICHARDS - 2
Crusaders Earn First Win Downing Indiana-Northwest
Mallory Ladd registered her first collegiate double-double Wednesday night. (Ray Acevedo)
Crusaders Earn First Win Downing Indiana-Northwest
Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Paced by double-doubles from Tabitha Gerardot (Fort Wayne, Ind./Canterbury H.S.) and Mallory Ladd (Evansville, Ind./Memorial H.S.), seven players scored seven or more points for Valparaiso on Wednesday evening as the Crusaders picked up their first victory of the season, defeating Indiana-Northwest 80-47 at the Athletics-Recreation Center.

“Tab is really playing within herself instead of trying to create things,” head coach Keith Freeman said after the game.  “She has become a much better player in the last two to three weeks.”

Gerardot scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, including six on the offensive end, for her second straight double-double and 11th of her career while Ladd tallied 13 points and grabbed 10 boards for her first collegiate double-double.  Gerardot finished the game 7-of-10 from the floor.

Shaquira Scott (Wilmette, Ill./Loyola Academy) added 14 points while Ashley Varner (South Bend, Ind./Washington H.S.) pulled down 10 rebounds for the Crusaders to go along with eight points.  Gina Lange (Wyoming, Minn./Forest Lake H.S.) scored 10 points, all in the second half as well.

“Shaq got us off to a good start tonight scoring the first five points and getting a steal,” Freeman added.  “She’s a product of learning on the fly because of our circumstances.  She has a lot of talent and potential.”

Valpo jumped on top 8-0 over the game’s first three-and-a-half minutes and never looked back as the Crusaders forced the Redhawks to miss their first nine shots from the floor.  The lead grew to 26-8 midway through the opening stanza and by halftime the Brown and Gold had a 41-17 advantage.

The Crusaders opened the second half with a 15-2 run over the first seven minutes and had their biggest lead of the game at 40, 63-23, at the 10:48 mark.

“We did a nice job moving the ball to begin the second half,” said Freeman.  “We got some good inside looks.”

Liz Horton (Cannelburg, Ind./Barr-Reeve H.S.) scored a career-high nine points while Jessica Carr (Arcadia, Ind./Hamilton Heights H.S.) chipped in seven points six assists, and four steals.  Ladd also had a career-high six helpers for the Brown and Gold.

“We got a chance to get some people some minutes and to see what they can do,” Freeman added.  “WE’re just trying to get better as a team.”

As a team Valpo shot 44.8% from the floor and outrebounded the Redhawks 53-34.  The Crusaders outscored Indiana-Northwest 38-14 in the paint.

Sharon Houston led Indiana-Northwest (1-7) with 18 points and nine boards as the Redhawks connected on just 27.9% from the field.

Valparaiso (1-5) will continue its three-game homestand on Saturday afternoon hosting the Mountain Hawks of Lehigh.  Tip-off is slated for 12:05 p.m. at the ARC.

Game Notes: This was the first meeting ever between the two Northwest Indiana schools … Varner has had seven or more boards in every game this season … Carr’s six assists were a career-best as were the four steals … Gerardot’s 19 points marked a season high … Horton entered the game with seven career points before scoring nine on the evening … her 19 minutes played were a collegiate best … Scott had a career-best seven rebounds.