A long wait came to an end on Thursday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center, as the Valparaiso University women’s basketball team took the court for game competition for the first time this season. The early taste of hoops was an enjoyable one for the Crusaders, who toppled Indianapolis 60-51 in exhibition action.
The program ushered in a new era as freshmen Caitlin Morrison (Glenview, Ill. / Glenbrook South), Maya Meredith (Indianapolis, Ind. / Cathedral), Addison Stoller (Cissna Park, Ill. / Cissna Park), Marlee Profitt (Medina, Ohio / Highland) and Grace Hales (Cromwell, Ind. / Westview) all took the court in a college game for the first time. Morrison, the lone freshman in the starting lineup, finished with six points and six rebounds, while Meredith chipped in six points and Hales added five.
“At one point I looked out there and we had four freshmen on the court together,” Valpo head coach Tracey Dorow said. “I was like, ‘Wow, that wasn’t the plan, but they’re doing a nice job.’”
The performance of the newcomers provided reason for enthusiasm, but the contributions came from familiar faces as well. None are more familiar than junior Dani Franklin (Cedar Rapids, Iowa / George Washington), who paced the team with 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting and 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. Amber Lindfors (Elk Grove Village, Ill. / Elk Grove) scored eight points and pulled down 11 rebounds, six of them coming on the offensive glass.
“We got some key boards when we needed them,” Dorow said. “You look and we had one person in double figures. We didn’t score a ton of points, and the biggest key is that we have to clean up the turnovers. We’re young and we’ve got a long way to go still, that’s what exhibitions are all about.”
The Crusaders overcame 24 turnovers by forcing 22 of their own. They limited the Greyhounds to single-digit point totals in the second and third quarters.
Now, the games start counting as the Crusaders tip off the regular season against Stetson on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. in DeLand, Fla. Links to live coverage will be available on ValpoAthlietcs.com.