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Crusaders Drop Record-Setting Regular Season Finale to Raiders
Valparaiso (5-24, 3-13 HL)
Wright State (23-8, 12-4 HL)
3/8/2014 | Wright State Nutter Center | Attendance: 531
Saturday, March 08, 2014
The Crusaders' seventh-best shooting performance in school history wasn't enough against KC Elkins and Wright State's high-powered offense Saturday in Dayton. Behind a school record 10 three-pointers from Elkins, Wright State claimed a 101-80 win in the regular season finale at the Nutter Center.
The Raiders forced 28 turnovers and translated them into a 44-13 points off turnovers advantage. Five Crusaders finished in double digits as Sharon Karungi (Kampala, Uganda/[Northern Oklahoma College]) moved her way into the Valpo record book with a 9-for-10 afternoon from the field. The 90% field goal percentage ties the junior with Tabitha Gerardot for the fourth-best single-game mark from the floor.
Valpo played catch up for much of the first half. A hyper-aggressive Wright State defense accumulated eight steals in the first twenty minutes. Elkins caught fire from beyond the arc towards the end of the first stanza. The senior had 17 points at the break on five treys and a pair of free throws. Wright State knocked down seven of its 17 three-point attempts in a fast-paced half. The Crusaders held Kim Demmings to seven points as they trailed the Raiders 44-35 after twenty minutes.
Jessi Wiedemann (Palatine, Ill./Fremd)'s nine points paced the Crusader offense in a half where they shot 16-of-26 (61.5%) overall. Karungi chipped in eight of her team-high 20 while Lexi Miller (Caledonia, Mich./Caledonia) was a perfect 3-for-3 for seven points.
A Charae Richardson (Lafayette, Ind./Jefferson [Vincennes]) free throw at the 13:34 mark of the second half brought it to a 55-52 Wright State lead. Unfortunately, three points was as close as Valpo got in a final period that saw a combined 102 points.
Wright State won on its Senior Day 101-80. KC Elkins ended the day having shot 12-of-18 from the field including 10-for-14 from three-point land. Demmings tallied 16 points over the final twenty minutes to finish with 23 for the game.
Karungi's 20 points vaults her scoring average to 17.9 points over the last eight games. She has converted 67 of her 98 attempts from the field in that time (68.4%) in addition to averaging 9.6 rebounds per game.
Liz Horton (Cannelburg, Ind./Barr-Reeve) registered 16 points, her second-highest total of the season. Her nine rebounds and four steals were both season watermarks.
Wiedemann finished with 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Miller and Jessica Carr (Arcadia, Ind./Hamilton Heights) both pitched in eleven points.
Richardson recorded a career-most nine assists. The fifth-year senior also scored eight points.
The Crusaders compiled a 31-for-52 (59.6%) shooting performance, the seventh-best in program history. The Brown and Gold had a season-high 22 assists on 31 field goals.
With the loss, Valpo (5-24, 3-13 Horizon) will square off against Detroit (6-23, 3-13 Horizon) Monday night in the opening round of the Horizon League Conference Tournament. Tipoff is slated for 7:00 pm ET/6:00 pm CT at Calihan Hall. Links to the audio, video, and live stats will be available at valpoathletics.com.
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