Junior Tabitha Gerardot (Fort Wayne, Ind./Canterbury) tied a career-high with 33 points, including a 3-pointer to send the game into overtime, and she also grabbed 18 rebounds, but the Crusaders lost to Wright State 83-78 on Thursday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
Gerardot took a pass from junior Charae Richardson (Lafayette, Ind./Jefferson [Vincennes]) and knocked down a 3-pointer from the wing with 8.2 seconds left to tie the game at 69. The Raiders shot for the win did not go, and the two teams went into the extra session.
In the extra five minutes, Richardson opened the scoring with a pair of free throws. After two baskets from Wright State’s Kim Demmings put the Raiders in front 73-71, sophomore Shaquira Scott (Wilmette, Ill./Loyola Academy) tied the game with a pair of free throws. Wright State then scored seven-straight points to lead 80-73.
Gerardot hit a 3-pointer and freshman Jessi Wiedemann (Palatine, Ill./Fremd) added two free throws, but the Crusaders could not get closer than four.
“I don’t feel like we were as crisp in the overtime,” Crusader head coach Tracey Dorow said. “I don’t think we executed some of the things. We got a little bit more passive with the ball than what we were at the end of regulation. We just rushed things a little bit down the stretch.”
Demmings scored 11 of her 27 points in the overtime session.
Valparaiso, opened the second half on a 7-0 run to lead 38-32 with 17:52 left. All seven points came from Gerardot.
The Raiders responded with 17-4 run to lead 49-42 just under the 14-minute mark. Kayla Lamotte had five points on the run for Wright State.
The Crusaders chipped away at the lead thanks for five points from Gerardot, only to see the Raiders build the lead back up to nine at 58-49 with 10:18 to go.
“The problem came on the defensive rebounding and not stopping them from scoring many points,” Dorow said. “We had a couple of breakdowns to give up layups, those are the ones that hurt us more than anything.”
A jumper from senior Laura Richards (Connersville, Ind./Connersville) cut Wright State’s lead to 60-58 with 8:01 left, and the Raiders answered with eight-straight points.
The Crusaders held Wright State to one point over the final 6:27, ending regulation on an 11-1 run. Gerardot started the spurt with a jumper. Senior Gina Lange (Wyoming, Minn./Forest Lake) banged home a 3-pointer to get Valpo within four at 69-65 with 2:16 left. A Scott free throw trimmed the margin to three.
Valparaiso had a chance to tie the game with 24 seconds left, but a turnover gave it back to Wright State. Demmings was fouled but missed the front end of a one-and-one. Richards got the rebound, and after a timeout, Gerardot tied the game with her third 3-pointer of the contest.
Lange scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for her first double-double of the season. Sophomore Jessica Carr (Arcadia, Ind./Hamilton Heights) added seven points and four assists. Scott and Richardson each added six points, and Richardson dished out a career-high eight assists. Richards totaled five points, five rebounds and five assists.
Breanna Stucke scored 13 points for Wright State (11-16, 5-9 HL). Ivory James had 12 points, and Lamotte chipped in with 11.
Valparaiso (9-17, 4-9) continues a stretch of three games in five days on Saturday, Mar. 2, when the Crusaders visit Cleveland State. The game tips at 1:05 p.m. CT, and can be heard on WVUR-FM, 95.1. Links for the live audio, video from the Horizon League Network and live stats will be available at www.valpoathletics.com.