The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team fell to No. 1 Notre Dame 114-54 on Sunday afternoon at the Purcell Pavilion. The Crusaders were led in scoring by junior Dani Franklin (Cedar Rapids, Iowa / George Washington), who accumulated 18 points. Other bright spots included sophomore Allison Schofield (McCordsville, Ind. / Heritage Christina) and junior Georgi Donchetz (Savage, Minn / Burnsville), both of whom turned in career highs in scoring.
How It Happened
- The Crusaders held the Fighting Irish scoreless for the first 1:40 of the game, marking the longest any team has kept Notre Dame off the scoreboard to start a game this season.
- Once the nation’s top team broke through, the points kept coming. They embarked on a 26-0 run to start the game.
- Franklin converted a basket with 3:16 left in the first quarter for Valpo’s first score of the game.
- Schofield followed with a 3-pointer on the next Crusader possession to make it a 5-0 run for the Crusaders.
- Valpo made 11 first-quarter turnovers and allowed six offensive rebounds, permitting the Fighting Irish to establish a 34-7 lead after one stanza.
- Donchetz completed a three-point play with 8:31 remaining in the first half to boost Valpo’s team point total to double figures.
- Schofield swished in her second 3-pointer of the game with 2:34 remaining in the second quarter.
- Franklin knocked down a triple 27 seconds into the third quarter to enter double figures. That started a 5-0 Valpo spurt capped by a Schofield jumper.
- The Fighting Irish passed the 100-point mark with 8:23 remaining in the fourth on a layup by Jackie Young.
- Donchetz made a fast-break layup with 1:24 remaining in the fourth to enter double figures for the first time in her Valpo career.
Inside the Game
- A day after notching her first points of the season, Schofield made it back-to-back days with successful triples. She connected twice from distance in the first half, and set a career high in scoring with eight points. Schofield’s previous career best was five points reached on two separate occasions, most recently Jan. 14, 2016 against Green Bay.
- Donchetz established a new career high with 10 points, besting her previous mark of nine, reached most recently on Saturday against Eastern Illinois.
- Sunday was the first time this season the Crusaders had a lower field goal percentage than their opponent.
- Franklin led the Crusaders in scoring for the seventh time in eight games this season. She has reached double figures seven times and 10 of her last 11 dating back to last year.
- Meredith Hamlet (McBain, Mich. / McBain) made her 38th consecutive start. She has started every game since coming to the Crusaders as a freshman a year ago.
Thoughts from Head Coach Tracey Dorow
- “Early, they applied a lot of pressure and really attacked us. In the second half, I thought we did a better job. Coach (Muffet) McGraw is very classy, and handled the whole game with a lot of class. Our kids maintained their composure and battled back.”
- On the start: “We didn’t have a very good showing early. Nothing went our way early, and it kind of snowballed on us. The size and speed of the Notre Dame players was intimidating, until we started to settle in.”
- On Notre Dame: “These are young women that are setting the bar right now. UConn has set the bar for years, and it’s nice to see someone else setting the bar, especially someone in state. This game should help us as we prepare for future opponents.”
The Crusaders (4-4) will return to the court on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. against Grace at the Athletics-Recreation Center. The game can be seen on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app and heard on 95.1 FM Valparaiso. Links to live video, audio and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.