The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team held first-place Wright State to under 30 percent shooting for the second consecutive meeting, but the Raiders racked up 23 offensive rebounds and forced 17 turnovers on their way to a 63-48 win on Thursday evening at the Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio. Dani Franklin (Cedar Rapids, Iowa / George Washington) scored 17 of her team-high 19 points after halftime and matched a career high with 16 rebounds for her second straight double-double.
How It Happened
- Neither team could find the bottom of the net in the first 5:34 of the game. When play stopped for the first media timeout with 4:47 left in the first quarter, neither team had scored and the two squads were a combined 0-for-15 shooting. The Raiders were 0-for-10, while Valpo was 0-for-5 with five turnovers.
- The Crusaders were the first team to break through when Meredith Hamlet (McBain, Mich. / McBain) worked her way into the lane for a jumper with 4:26 left in the first. Wright State scratched its way onto the scoreboard 10 seconds later when Lexi Smith converted a pair of free throws. After a layup by Amber Lindfors (Elk Grove Village, Ill. / Elk Grove) put Valpo up 4-2, the Raiders finally achieved their first made basket of the game on a layup by Chelsea Welch 8:32 into the game.
- The first quarter ended with Wright State in front 8-4. The Raiders shot 11.1 percent (2-of-18) in the first 10 minutes, while the Crusaders were 2-of-12 (16.7 percent) and committed eight turnovers.
- The Raiders led 15-8 with 4:11 left in the second quarter, but the Crusaders put together a 5-0 run to climb to within one possession. The run was capped by an Allison Schofield (McCordsville, Ill. / Heritage Christian) 3-pointer with 1:57 left in the second quarter, the first made 3 of the day by either team.
- Valpo trailed 20-16 with 30 seconds left in the first half and had the ball coming out of a timeout. The possession came to an abrupt halt when Valpo was called for double dribbling, giving Wright State the ball with 22 seconds to go in the half. The Crusaders played strong defense for the majority of that time, but with less than a second remaining in the half Franklin was whistled for a foul, followed by a technical against Valpo’s bench. Four straight free throws by Welch closed the half and doubled Wright State’s lead to eight.
- Lindfors scored the first basket of the second half to trim the deficit to six, but the Raiders followed with a 9-0 run to boost the lead to 15 at 33-18 with 5:33 left in the third quarter. The run was highlighted by a made 3 by Welch, Wright State’s first made 3 of the game after an 0-for-13 first half. That triple came with 7:01 left in the third and boosted the Wright State edge to double figures for the first time in the game.
- Valpo’s scoring drought of over four minutes in length was snapped when Schofield swished in her second triple of the game at the 5:15 mark of the third. The Crusaders whittled the deficit down to single digits on Franklin’s first made 3 of the game with 3:59 left in the third, but Valpo trailed by double figures for the remainder of the quarter.
- The Crusaders started the fourth with layups by Hamlet and Caitlin Morrison (Glenview, Ill. / Glenbrook South) on back-to-back possessions to make it 46-39 with 8:30 to go, but Valpo would get no closer.
Inside the Game
- Franklin equaled her rebounding career high after also grabbing 16 boards on Nov. 30, 2016 against Evansville.
- Franklin has back-to-back double-doubles for the third time this year. She now owns seven double-doubles this season and eight for her career.
- Franklin now has the eighth-highest single-season point total in Valpo history with 448 points this season. She passed Lyn Swanson (1985-86) and Agnieszka Kulaga (2007-08) to move from 10th to eighth with her performance on Thursday.
- Lindfors racked up four blocked shots in the game, lifting her season total to 53. She now has two 50-block seasons in her Valpo career, becoming the first player in Crusader history to do so. Her season total now ranks fourth in school history.
- Lindfors also chipped in six points and pulled down 12 rebounds, five of which came on the offensive glass. Lindfors was limited to 22 minutes due to foul trouble and eventually fouled out with 1:47 left. The Crusaders were already playing without backup center Haylee Thompson, sidelined by an injury.
- Schofield’s eight points matched a career best set on Dec. 4 of this season at Notre Dame. This was the first time she knocked down a pair of triples since the game against the Fighting Irish. Schofield also dished out a career-high and game-high three assists.
- Hamlet scored nine points on 4-of-9 shooting in her first game back after missing two games with a concussion.
- The Crusaders were outscored 17-2 in points off turnovers. Combining the two meetings with Wright State, Valpo was outscored in points off turnovers 40-5.
- Smith finished with 13 points and eight rebounds, all of them coming on the offensive glass. The Raiders also received 17 rebounds from Symone Simmons, who became one of three players with a 17-rebound game in Horizon League play this season. Welch led Wright State with 26 points.
The Crusaders will continue the road swing on Saturday for a noon Central Time start at Northern Kentucky in Highland Heights. The game can be seen on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app. It can also be heard on 95.1 FM Valparaiso with Brandon Vickrey and Ben Ariano providing the hometown call. Links to live video, audio and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.