The Valparaiso Crusaders dropped their home opener to IUPUI Thursday night 84-51. Sharon Karungi (Kampala, Uganda [Northern Oklahoma College]) and Jessi Wiedemann (Palatine, Ill./Fremd) both scored in double-digits as the Brown and Gold continued their excellence from the free-throw line.
The Jaguars featured a bench twelve deep and head coach Austin Parkinson had no qualms utilizing his team's depth. IUPUI shot 17-of-28 from the floor in the first half as nine players recorded points. Five Jaguars had at least five points at the break as IUPUI went into the locker room with a 43-23 advantage.
Karungi had eight points at halftime on 3-of-9 shooting from the floor.
Valpo faced a full-court pressure similar to what it saw versus Illinois in Champaign a week ago. On a positive note, the Crusaders have lowered their turnover total in each game thus far. Thursday night, the Brown and Gold committed 18 turnovers.
"Yes, we're tired, but so is every other team in the country. We need to stop making excuses and play better basketball," head coach Tracey Dorow said after the game.
A weary Crusader squad was unable to draw closer than the 20-point uphill battle it faced at the break.
Wiedemann recorded multiple three-pointers for the second straight game as she knocked down two on five attempts. The sophomore was also a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.
Sophomore Abby Dean (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) scored nine points as she shot 2-of-3 from the field and 5-for-5 from the line, but IUPUI held on for an 84-51 victory at the ARC. The Jaguars enjoyed a 56-9 advantage in bench points.
Valpo (0-4) travels to Tennessee Tech (1-2) Sunday evening. The Golden Eagles will host the Crusaders at a 2:00 pm CT tipoff in Cookeville.