The Crusaders shot 28-of-56 (50%) from the floor Monday night versus UIC, but the Flames used 19 offensive boards to catapult them to an 82-73 win at the ARC.
UIC constructed a 16-2 run early in the ballgame to jump ahead 31-12 at the 9:29 mark. The Flames took advantage of second and third chances as the margin widened quickly. Valpo responded right back with a 20-4 run of its own to cut the deficit to three with 2:20 on the clock. UIC appeared poised to take a comfortable lead into the locker room after Terri Bender converted an old-fashioned three point play with 38 seconds remaining.
But an Emily Kobel three-point try with six seconds to go in the half clanged out and Lexi Miller (Caledonia, Mich./Caledonia) collected the rebound. Miller had three seconds to dribble before tossing up a desperation half-court shot from the Crusader shield. The heave banked off the glass and in to cut UIC's lead to 42-37 at the break. The triple represented Miller's second half-court launch made against UIC as she accomplished the same feat last season on February 16th.
Katie Hannemann recorded 15 of her game-high 29 points in the first stanza. Senior Liz Horton (Cannelburg, Ind./Barr-Reeve) led the Brown and Gold in scoring at the half with nine points.
UIC came out blazing in the second half as a 17-4 surge put the Flames back ahead in double digits. Valpo was able to move within eight points with a minute to play but it was as close as the Crusaders came. The Flames held on to win 82-73 and advance to 7-4 in Horizon League play.
Ruvanna Campbell added another double-double to her resume with 14 points and 11 boards. Rachel Story also tossed in 14 in the winning effort.
Jessi Wiedemann (Palatine, Ill./Fremd) finished in double figures for the twelfth time this year as the sophomore paced the Crusader scoring charge with 17 points. Senior Charae Richardson (Lafayette, Ind./Jefferson [Vincennes]) scored a dozen while Sharon Karungi (Kampala, Uganda/[Northern Oklahoma College]) was a rebound shy of a double-double (10 points, 9 boards).
The Crusaders committed 16 turnovers on the evening. Jessica Carr (Arcadia, Ind./Hamilton Heights) had a tidy five assists as the junior now boasts 34 on the season.
Valpo (3-19, 1-8 Horizon) hits the road Thursday for a showdown with Cleveland State (11-11, 6-3 Horizon) at 4:30 pm CT. The Vikings took a 76-66 victory over the Brown and Gold on Jan. 27th at the ARC. Links to the audio, video, and live stats for Thursday's game will be available at valpoathletics.com.