The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team dropped Saturday’s game at Illinois State 77-56. Freshman Addison Stoller (Cissna Park, Ill. / Cissna Park) posted Valpo’s best performance of the day, scoring nine points while hauling in seven rebounds. The Crusaders committed 30 turnovers in the defeat.
How It Happened
- The game started well for the Crusaders, who built a 16-10 lead with 1:56 left in the first quarter after Caitlin Morrison (Glenview, Ill. / Glenbrook South) knocked down two free throws. Amber Lindfors (Elk Grove Village, Ill. / Elk Grove) had four early points, while Dani Franklin (Cedar Rapids, Iowa / George Washington) and Meredith Hamlet (McBain, Mich. / McBain) each buried 3-pointers.
- Illinois State struggled shooting early, finishing the first quarter at 6-of-19 (31.6 percent) from the field.
- The six-point Valpo edge became a thing of the past when Illinois State embarked on a 17-3 run to take command of the game.
- For the second straight game, the Crusaders struggled in the second quarter. They were outscored 28-13.
- After trimming the lead to 11 with 4:44 left in the third, Valpo couldn’t convert multiple opportunities to whittle the deficit to single figures. The Crusaders didn’t score for nearly four minutes. Late in the quarter, the Crusaders committed turnovers on five straight possessions.
- The Crusaders went 3-of-11 shooting in the fourth quarter.
- Taylor Stewart was the x-factor for Illinois State, exploding for seven 3-pointers and 24 points. Millie Stevens and Hannah Green contributed 15 points apiece.
Inside the Game
- Stoller’s performance was the best of her young Valpo career, as she set new highs in made field goals (3), made free throws (3), points (9) and rebounds (7).
- The Crusaders outshot the Redbirds 37.2 percent to 35.1 percent. However, Illinois State had 74 field-goal attempts to Valpo’s 43.
- Illinois State won the rebounding battle 43-39 and hauled in 20 offensive boards to Valpo’s seven. The Redbirds outscored the Crusaders in second-chance points 16-4.
- Valpo made 30 turnovers while forcing just 12. The Crusaders were outscored on points off turnovers 27-8.
- Lindfors chipped in eight points and seven rebounds for Valpo.
- Valpo received points from 10 different players.
- Morrison set a career high with nine points, while Hamlet also had nine to share team-high honors with Morrison and Stoller.
- Saturday marked Tracey Dorow’s first return to Illinois State during her coaching career. She played three seasons for the Redbirds during her collegiate tenure.
- Valpo snapped a stretch of 56 games with at least one player scoring in double figures. The last time no player reached double figures was Dec. 3, 2014, an 82-59 loss at Miami of Ohio.
- The 30 turnovers was the most Valpo has committed in a game since Nov. 23, 2015, when they made 32 against Notre Dame.
Thoughts from Head Coach Tracey Dorow
- On the turnovers: “I don’t have an answer. They put a lot of pressure on our point guards and off the ball, and we didn’t handle it very well.”
- On returning to Illinois State: “The experience of being back was great, but unfortunately we didn’t play very well, so it wasn’t an exciting game to watch. I thought it was going to be a good game and a battle, but they outplayed us in every aspect of the game.”
- On Addison Stoller: “She was a bright spot. She played with some urgency and a lot of fire. I’m proud of her mentality and how she battled and competed.”
The Crusaders (1-2) will welcome IU Kokomo for the first home game of the 2016-2017 regular season on Monday night. The contest will tip off at 7 p.m. at the Athletics-Recreation Center. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app. Links to live video and stats can be found on ValpoAthletics.com.