In a contest flush with young talent, Indiana prevailed over Valparaiso, 81-49, Tuesday night at Assembly Hall in Bloomington.
Freshman Dani Franklin (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/George Washington) impressed in her second straight game. Franklin came alive in the second half as she finished with 11 points and eight rebounds in 25 minutes of action off the bench. She tossed in 14 points and six rebounds Friday night versus Butler.
Franklin was one of five players to finish in double figures. All five were underclassmen, including IU freshman Tyra Buss who registered a game-high 22 points.
"I thought Dani did a great job of playing with confidence tonight. She's a competitor. I'm really proud of her and her effort. With that being said, we have to take better care of the basketball. We can't commit 26 turnovers and expect to win games," head coach Tracey Dorow said afterwards.
The Crusaders responded well following a game-opening 31-6 Hoosier run fueled by a young, speedy group of IU guards. Valpo received offensive contributions from eight players to maintain a manageable margin. Over the final eight and a half minutes of the first half, the Brown and Gold outscored Indiana 16-13. Junior Lexi Miller (Caledonia, Mich./Caledonia) recorded six of her eight points in the first half. Valpo trailed 44-24 at the break. Freshman Tyra Buss scored 16 of her 22 points in the opening period. She also had eight steals on the evening.
Valpo cut Indiana's edge to 18 points on two separate occasions, but the Hoosiers used a 12-2 surge to secure their second win of the season. Indiana's Larryn Brooks added 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting.
Crusader freshman Jasmyn Walker (Muskegon, Mich./Mona Shores) pitched in six points and six rebounds, and Jessica Carr (Arcadia, Ind./Hamilton Heights) canned a pair of threes en route to a seven-point night.
Indiana held Valpo to 27.4 percent (17-for-62) shooting from the floor.
The Crusaders (1-1) will continue their road trip Thursday night at Northern Illinois University. The Huskies (1-1) are coming off a 61-47 loss to UIC in Chicago on Monday night. Tipoff in DeKalb is slated for 6:00 pm CT. Links to the audio, video, and live stats are available at Valpoathletics.com.