The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team captured its first victory of the season in dramatic fashion on Wednesday night at Chicago State. The Crusaders rallied from 12 points down to escape with a 53-51 triumph on a buzzer-beating layup by Meredith Hamlet (McBain, Mich. / McBain).
How It Happened
- Hamlet converted a transition basket with no time left on the clock after Chicago State missed a shot with seven seconds remaining to give Valpo the victory.
- Dani Franklin (Cedar Rapids, Iowa / George Washington) swished a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left to tie the game at 51.
- The Crusaders utilized a furious second-half rally after trailing by 10 at halftime. Chicago State’s largest lead of 12 came with 1:24 left in the first half.
- Valpo held an 18-16 edge after one quarter, thanks in part to seven early points from Franklin.
- The Crusaders were hurt by a slow second quarter, as Chicago State outscored Valpo during that period 18-4. The Crusaders outscored the Cougars 14-8 in the third to take a bite out of the deficit, then won the fourth quarter 17-11.
- Valpo was plagued by turnovers, committing 15 to Chicago State’s three before halftime. The Cougars outscored the Crusaders in points off turnovers 14-0 in the first half. Valpo finished the game with 24 turnovers to Chicago State’s 13.
- The third quarter started in favorable fashion as Franklin connected on a 3 one minute into the half to trim the deficit to seven. The two teams exchanged points for most of the third, until the Crusaders put together a six-point burst to tie the game with 1:20 left in the third. Grace Hales (Cromwell, Ind. / Westview) made two free throws, Amber Lindfors (Elk Grove Village, Ill. / Elk Grove) made a layup and Hales converted a layup during that stretch.
- Valpo trailed 43-39 early in the fourth, then embarked on a 9-0 run to grab a five-point advantage.
- Chicago State scored the next eight points, with six of them coming at the free-throw line, to inch ahead 51-48. That set up the late heroics from Franklin and Hamlet to place Valpo in the win column.
Inside the Game
- Lindfors matched a career high with six blocks. Wednesday marked the fourth time she’s blocked six shots in a game in her Valpo career. There have only been 10 individual six-block performances in Valpo history, and four of them belong to Lindfors. The six blocks in a single game ties for third in program history.
- Lindfors reached double figures with 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting. The 11 points marked a career high against Division-I opposition.
- Franklin finished with 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting and hauled in seven rebounds.
- Freshman Caitlin Morrison (Glenview, Ill. / Glenbrook South) contributed seven rebounds, tying with Franklin for the team high.
- After a nine-point performance in her Valpo debut, Hales followed with seven on Wednesday.
- The two-point win was Valpo’s narrowest margin of victory since Dec. 30, 2015, a 61-60 win over Northern Kentucky.
- Valpo used 13 players in the first half.
- Sh’Toya Sanders paced Chicago State with 15 points, while Kaylee Allen notched a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Crusaders (1-1) travel to Bloomington, Ill. to take on Illinois State (1-1) on Saturday. The game tips off at 1 p.m. with links to live video, audio and stats available on ValpoAthletics.com.