Senior Jessi Wiedemann (Palatine, Ill./Fremd) dropped in 14 points off the bench to spearhead a second-half comeback attempt for the Crusaders, but it was too little, too late. In a game that may be remembered more for its technical hijinks, Butler defeated Valpo, 72-53, at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
The Bulldogs never relinquished a lead they seized 21 seconds into the tilt. With Butler hanging on to an early 8-7 lead, Blaire Langlois knocked down a three from the wing to make it a two-possession game. It stayed that way for the remainder of the first quarter, but the Brown and Gold kept it close thanks to the efforts of Jasmyn Walker (Muskegon, Mich./Mona Shores) and Dani Franklin (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/George Washington). Walker scored six of her 13 points in the opening stanza. She also finished with eight rebounds.
The Crusaders trailed 19-14 after ten minutes.
Both teams went into scoring lulls in the second quarter. Freshman Hannah Schaub (Brooklyn Park, Minn./Park Center) nailed a free-throw to trim Butler's lead to 26-17 with 7:39 on the clock. Franklin put one up and in off the glass at the halfway point of the period, but the Bulldogs failed to score until Taylor Buford rattled in a jumper with three-and-a-half minutes remaining before halftime.
Butler owned a 32-23 lead with 16 seconds to play in the half when things went haywire.
A power outage descended upon Hinkle Fieldhouse, leaving all 426 in attendance in the dark. Play was brought to a halt while officials and administrators scrambled to find a remedy. With the lights working but no power running to the jumbotron, scorer's table, or clocks on either basket, the two teams returned to the court after a 49-minute delay. At one point, an air horn served as the buzzer while the public address announcer's voice counted down the shot clock.
The freaky Friday eventually gave way to normalcy, but Valpo was unable to reclaim its form and found itself on the wrong end of a 9-0 half-opening run. The Crusaders trailed by as many as 19 points with two minutes remaining in the third quarter when Wiedemann went to work.
The senior delivered five straight points for the Brown and Gold, the first two on a layup that came to fruition following an excellent pump fake. Twenty seconds later, she drained her first of three treys on the night.
Freshman Amber Lindfors (Elk Grove Village, Ill./Elk Grove) was whistled for her fifth foul just before the final horn of the third quarter. Her disqualification gave Wiedemann an extended look. Franklin and Walker later fouled out in the fourth quarter.
Wiedemann took full advantage of the opportunity, recording nine of the Crusaders' first 11 points of the final period. (She was credited with the assist on the only other basket.) Unfortunately, the rest of the team combined to shoot just 4-for-33 in the second half. Wiedemann ended the night with 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including three triples on five attempts. Walker pitched in 13 points and eight rebounds.
Butler was led by freshman Tori Schickel who was dominant on both ends of the court. Schickel finished with 29 points and 22 rebounds in her collegiate debut. Fellow rookie Brittany Ward added 16 points and 13 boards.
Valpo (0-1) will have ten days to prepare for its next game. The Crusaders will welcome #3 Notre Dame to the Athletics-Recreation Center on Monday, Nov. 23rd at 7:00 pm CT. Links to the audio, video, and live stats will be available at ValpoAthletics.com.