January 08, 20151st2ndFinal
Cleveland State313869
Stats at a GlanceVALPOCSU
FG Percentage.446 (25-56) .367 (22-60)
3P FG Percentage.583 (7-12) .269 (7-26)
FT Percentage.714 (5-7) .692 (18-26)
Offensive Rebounds912
Defensive Rebounds3223
Total Rebounds4135
Bench Points226
PointsWALKER - 18
ReboundsWALKER - 10
AssistsCARR - 5
StealsHAMLET - 2
BlocksECKLES - 5
Vikings Launch Second Half Comeback to Overcome Crusaders
Thursday, January 8, 2015
Vikings Launch Second Half Comeback to Overcome Crusaders
Freshman Jasmyn Walker recorded 18 points and ten boards Thursday evening at Cleveland State. (Fares Alshammary)

Freshman Jasmyn Walker (Muskegon, Mich./Mona Shores) collected her first double-double Thursday, but Valparaiso fell to Cleveland State 69-62 at the Wolstein Center.

Walker continued her elevated play as the Brown and Gold cut the ribbon on the league schedule. The forward was 5-for-6 from the field in the opening period - including a three - to pace all scorers with 11 at the break. Valpo held a 36-31 advantage over the Vikings at the half. The Crusaders made it to the foul line just once in the first twenty minutes, but were 5-of-7 from beyond the arc.

Lexi Miller (Caledonia, Mich./Caledonia) came on strong for the Crusaders in the closing minutes. The junior was responsible for Valpo's final eight points of the first half, a stanza that saw the Brown and Gold ahead for 18:32. Miller ended the night with 12 points.

The Crusaders expanded their lead to nine early on in the final frame following baskets from Haylee Thompson (Hailey, Idaho/Wood River [Utah State]) and Walker. Valpo's 40-31 lead eventually shriveled to 42-39 after Viking forward Imani Gordon scored two of her game-high 19 points. Brooke Smith tied the game 30 seconds later with a three-pointer. 

Walker temporarily commandeered the lead again, but Cleveland State went on a 16-5 run to enjoy a nine-point lead of its own. In the midst of that Viking spurt, the Crusaders endured a 7-minute, 52-second field goal drought. Dani Franklin (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/George Washington) brought an end to the slump with a layup just before the under-4 media timeout. Franklin chipped in 10 points in 16 minutes of play. The freshman was 4-of-7 from the field including a triple on her only perimeter attempt. 

Valpo trimmed the deficit to as low as six points on four separate occasions down the stretch, but superb free-throw shooting clinched a seven-point victory for Cleveland State. The Vikings converted 13 of 15 attempts at the charity stripe in the second half. 

Cleveland State committed a season-low six turnovers. Gordon and Cari Coleman both registered 19 points, with a healthy chunk of those points coming at the line. 

Walker shot 7-for-11 from the floor and 3-of-4 from the free-throw line en route to an 18-point evening. She grabbed her tenth rebound at the 7:20 mark of the second half to secure her first double-double in a Crusader uniform. Over the last three games, Walker is averaging 18.0 PPG and 7.3 RPG.  

Overall, the Crusaders shot 58.3% (7-12) from beyond the arc, their second-highest perimeter percentage this season. Thursday night represented the first game to be decided by single digits this season for the Brown and Gold.

Valparaiso (4-10, 0-1 Horizon) will have a quick turnaround as it will entertain UIC (10-4, 0-1 Horizon) Saturday afternoon at 1:35 pm. Links to the live video, audio, and live stats are available at ValpoAthletics.com.