The Valparaiso women’s basketball team shot just 29.7% from the floor on Monday night in dropping a non-league contest at Butler, 69-55, in Indianapolis, Ind.
Valpo placed three players in double figures, led by 12 points in just eight minutes off the bench from redshirt sophomore Maegan Callaway (Mooresville, Ind./Mooresville), but hit just 19-of-64 from the floor, including just 2-of-12 from 3-point range.
Butler led by six early less than four minutes into the game, 9-3, but the Crusaders would score the next 11 points to claim the lead. Freshman Jessi Wiedemann (Palatine, Ill./Fremd) had five points during the run, while junior Tabitha Gerardot (Fort Wayne, Ind./Canterbury) added four points as Valpo led 14-9 with 10:27 to go in the first half.
But Butler scored the next eight points over a stretch of 95 seconds to re-claim the lead for good. The Bulldogs led by as many as 11 points in the first half, but back-to-back baskets within the final minute by redshirt junior Charae Richardson (Lafayette, Ind./Jefferson [Vincennes]) closed the deficit to 32-26 at the break.
Sophomore Shaquira Scott (Wilmette, Ill./Loyola Academy) hit a pair of free throws on the Crusaders’ first possession of the second half, and senior Gina Lange (Wyoming, Minn./Forest Lake) added a fast-break layup as an 8-0 run which spanned the two periods closed Valpo to within 32-30 with 19:09 to play. On multiple occasions in the second half, the Crusaders were within one possession, including twice within one point, the latest coming on a Callaway three-point play with 13:59 to play which cut the lead to 45-44.
Butler extended its lead back out to eight points at 54-46 with 9:20 remaining, but Callaway sandwiched a pair of buckets around a Gerardot basket in the paint to move Valpo back to within 54-52 with 6:56 to play. But the Bulldogs scored the next nine points over a stretch of 3:45 to secure control of the game.
Callaway went 5-of-9 from the floor and also grabbed four rebounds in her stint off the bench. Gerardot added 11 points and seven rebounds, but was just 3-of-12 from the field, while Wiedemann chipped in 10 points in 21 minutes off the bench. Richardson contributed eight points, seven rebounds and a team-high four assists as well.
Butler (2-2) was led by 22 points from Taylor Schippers to go with 16 points from Daress McClung and 13 by Hannah Douglas. Douglas posted a game-high nine rebounds, while Lexus Murray dished out a game-best six assists off the bench.
Valparaiso (2-2) continues its road trip as it takes on one of its highest-ranked opponents all-time, as the Crusaders travel to Durham, N.C. to take on top-five foe Duke on Friday at 7 p.m. CT. The game can be heard live on WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso. Links for the live audio, as well as live stats, can be found at www.valpoathletics.com.