After notching a first-round win on Friday, the Valparaiso University women’s basketball team ran into the top-seeded Green Bay Phoenix on Saturday afternoon, an 89-60 defeat in the Horizon League Quarterfinals. Valpo finished the year winning four of its last seven and three of its last five. The Crusaders are expected to bring back 92.1 percent of their regular season scoring for the 2017-18 season.
How It Happened
- The Crusaders (10-21) scored on each of their first two possessions and owned early leads of 2-0 and 4-2. The first points of the game came on a second-chance bucket by Dani Franklin (Cedar Rapids, Iowa / George Washington). Valpo’s second basket was a layup by Amber Lindfors (Elk Grove Village, Ill. / Elk Grove).
- The Phoenix (25-4) gained the lead as Jessica Lindstrom and Mehryn Kraker nailed triples to put their team in front 8-4. Valpo’s next basket wouldn’t come until the 3:18 mark of the first, when Lindfors worked her way inside for a layup to end an 11-0 run for the Phoenix.
- Allison Schofield (McCordsville, Ind. / Heritage Christian) drained Valpo’s first 3-pointer of the game with one minute left in the first quarter. That snapped a 21-2 Green Bay spurt and cut the lead to 23-9.
- Allie LeClaire provided a quick response to the Schofield 3, knocking down a triple of her own.
- Lindstrom finished the first quarter with 15 points as the Phoenix knocked down six total 3s to build a 29-11 lead after 10 minutes. Lindfors owned six of Valpo’s 11 points in the first.
- Schofield swished her third 3 of the half with 50 seconds left in the second quarter.
- The Crusaders outscored the Phoenix 11-8 in the first five minutes of the third quarter. Hamlet, Franklin and Grace Hales (Cromwell, Ind. / Westview) all made 3s during that stretch.
- The Crusaders outscored the Phoenix 19-9 in the fourth quarter.
Inside the Game
- Schofield had three first-half 3-pointers and led the Crusaders in scoring at the break. She shattered her previous career high of eight points before halftime. She finished with a career-high 15 points and knocked down four triples.
- Franklin finished her final game of the season with 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting and 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. Lindfors contributed six points and six rebounds.
- This marked the final game of the Valpo careers of seniors Haylee Thompson (Hailey, Idaho / Wood River [Utah State]) and Imani Scott-Thompson (Akron, Ohio / Firestone [Dakota College at Bottineau]). Thompson graduated last year and is pursuing a graduate degree, while Scott-Thompson is set to graduate this spring. Scott-Thompson came off the bench to swish two 3-pointers, her first game with multiple 3s this season.
- Lindstrom led all scorers with 20 points, while Kraker chipped in 11.
- The Phoenix shot just 8.3 percent (1-of-12) in the fourth quarter, and still finished the game at 45.9 percent. They shot over 60 percent in the first half.
- The Crusaders committed 23 turnovers to Green Bay’s 10 and were outscored in the paint 32-12.
Inside the Season
- The Crusaders are expected to return 92.1 percent of their regular season scoring. That’s the second-highest percentage of returning scoring in the Horizon League behind only Wright State.
- Franklin finished the season with 559 points, which ranks second in program history for points in a single year. She passed Debbie Bolen’s 1992-93 season (545) for second on the all-time list with her performance on Saturday. Bolen’s 1991-92 season (638) is the program record.
- Franklin enters her senior season with 1,236 career points, ranking sixth in program history. She passed Stephanie Greer (1987-91) for sixth on Saturday.
- Franklin finished the season at 18.0 points per game, ranking fifth in program history for single-season scoring average. She also shot 85.8 percent at the free-throw line, the second-best single-season free throw percentage in program history.
- Lindfors finished the year with 70 blocks, ranking third on Valpo’s single-season list. With still two years remaining, Lindfors has racked up 141 career blocks, third on Valpo’s all-time list.
- Schaub completed the season with 134 assists, ranking seventh in program history for assists in a single season. She passed Katie Boone’s 2001-02 season for seventh on Saturday.
Thoughts from Head Coach Tracey Dorow
- Opening Statement: “Green Bay is a really good team. They went 10-for-15 from 3 in the first half and moved the ball well. We didn’t seem to execute as well on defense as we did yesterday. There’s a reason they’ve won the regular season title 19 years in a row. I give Green Bay a lot of credit and I wish them well.”
- On Green Bay’s Tradition of Success: “I don’t think most people understand how hard it is to win in this league, and they’ve done it time and time again. This season, I give credit to the teams that were able to knock them off by playing tough and with a lot of aggressiveness. That’s something we did not do today. Green Bay believes they’re going to win and you can tell with the confidence they have when they walk on the court. In order to be at that level, we have to prepare as hard as we possibly can and as tough as we possibly can. Their effort level exceeds most teams. We have to get better, and we will.”
- On Playing the Tournament at a Neutral Site: “For us right now, the biggest factor is that we’ve been treated like royalty here. We feel that people have really embraced us at the hotel, at every restaurant. At every place we’ve gone, it’s really special. We get that tournament feel and that tournament atmosphere. We’re a big family at Valpo, so it’s cool to be in the same place as the men.”