Five Crusaders finished in double figures as Valpo sailed to a 79-57 win over IU-Northwest Saturday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
Freshmen Meredith Hamlet (McBain, Mich./McBain) and Amber Lindfors (Elk Grove Village, Ill./Elk Grove) amended career scoring watermarks with 19 and 13 points, respectively. In addition to swatting away six shots, Lindfors added 10 boards for her first double-double in a Crusader uniform. Dani Franklin (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/George Washington) shot 7-of-9 from the floor as part of a 15-point evening.
Freshman Hannah Schaub (Brooklyn Park, Minn./Park Center) did an excellent job facilitating. The freshman rattled off a career-best nine assists. Four of her nine dimes went to Jasmyn Walker (Muskegon, Mich./Mona Shores) and Abby Dean (Carmel, Ind./Carmel), who chipped in 13 and 10 points, respectively.
The Crusaders led tip-to-horn in an uptempo tilt. IU-Northwest's fullcourt press played a strong hand in 21 Valpo turnovers, but it also allowed for several fast-break baskets.
The Brown and Gold opened the contest with a 15-2 run, but the RedHawks immediately responded with a 13-4 surge of their own. The Crusaders opened the floodgates in the second quarter, using a 26-15 margin to enjoy a 45-30 halftime advantage.
Franklin was 5-for-5 from the field in the first half. Her 11 points led Valpo at the break. Four of Lindfors' six blocks came in the first twenty minutes.
Hamlet one-upped the sophomore in the second half. She went 5-for-5 from three-point range as part of 15 second-half points. Hamlet is now averaging 11.0 points per game after her first nine collegiate games.
The Crusaders polished off a strong defensive effort over the final twenty minutes. Six of their eight steals came in the third and fourth quarters while forcing nine RedHawk turnovers.
Georgi Donchetz (Savage, Minn./Burnsville) made her much-anticipated return to the floor. The sophomore corralled a career-high five rebounds in Valpo's second win of the season.
Valpo (2-7) will have a week to prepare for SIU-Edwardsville (4-6). The Cougars visit the ARC next Saturday as part of a doubleheader with the men's team. Tipoff is slated for 4:00 pm CT. Links to the audio, video, and live stats are posted at ValpoAthletics.com.