Gina Lange (Wyoming, Minn./Forest Lake) scored with 8.6 seconds remaining to put the Valparaiso women’s basketball team up one on Western Michigan, but Aurielle Anderson scored with 2.5 seconds left as the Crusaders fell 70-69 on Wednesday.
“We gave them too many good looks and what they were looking for right down the stretch they hit the big shots,” Crusader coach Tracey Dorow said. “Give them credit they just kept coming at us.”
Lange rebounded a miss from Charae Richardson (Lafayette, Ind./Jefferson [Vincennes]) and connected on a basket to give the Crusaders a 69-68 lead with 8.6 seconds left.
Anderson drove the length of the floor for Broncos and her layup gave them back the lead. Richardson had a 3-point attempt from just inside half court, but it was no good.
Liz Horton (Cannelburg, Ind./Barr-Reeve), who scored a career-best 19 points, made a basket with 1:28 to play to give Valparaiso a 67-63 lead.
“She did a lot going to the rim, which is good to see,” Dorow said of Horton. “She wasn’t just settling for 3-pointers. She did a lot of damage going to the rim and scoring over people at the block.”
Jazmine Windham hit a 3-pointer for the Broncos to get within one and then Corrie Buchanan scored with 18 seconds left to give Western Michigan the lead.
Richardson and Horton nailed back-to back 3-pointers to put the Crusaders 63-58 with 4:21 left, and a Lange basket made the Valparaiso advantage seven, at 65-58, with 2:48 left.
The Crusaders trailed by as many as 10 in the first half before a late rally put the Crusaders up 36-35 in the closing seconds of the first half.
Abby Dean (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) and Maegan Callaway (Mooresville, Ind./Mooresville) closed the run with back-to-back baskets.
“Her athleticism is showing through that she is able to do some things that other players can’t do and she’s just starting to play with more confidence,” Dorow said of Dean.
Anderson hit a running 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Western Michigan a 38-36 lead at the break.
Richardson finished with 13 points and tied a career-high for the second time in three games with six assists for the Crusaders. Dean added a career-high 11 points. She was 3-of-5 from behind the arc.
As a team, the Crusaders were 9-of-12 as a team from behind the three-point line, for the best single-game percentage in school history.
Lange added 11 points and eight rebounds for Valparaiso, which had a 33-30 rebounding edge.
Windham scored 14 points to lead Western Michigan (4-7). Corie Buchanan added 12 and Anderson finished with 11.
Valparaiso (3-7) returns to action Thursday night in Ann Arbor, Mich. when the Crusaders take on Michigan at 5:00 p.m. CT. The game can be heard live on www.sportsjuice.com and on www.valpoathletics.com, which will also have a link to live stats.