The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team got 19 first-half points from junior Meredith Hamlet (McBain, Mich. / McBain) and was tied with Big Ten foe Purdue 35-35 midway through the second quarter, but the Boilermakers pulled away in the second half to beat the Crusaders 95-49 on Friday night at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette.
How It Happened
- The game started favorably for the Crusaders (3-4), who made seven of their first 10 field-goal attempts and forced six early lead changes. Two of Valpo’s early advantages came on go-ahead 3-pointers by Hamlet, who put Valpo up 7-6 with 6:56 left in the first and 14-13 with 5:16 to go.
- Hamlet scored eight of her team’s first 16 points, picking up where she left off against Longwood on Sunday, when she led the team in scoring.
- The Crusaders continued to play well for the remainder of the first quarter, thanks in part to Hamlet’s sustained strong shooting. She finished the opening stanza with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting as Purdue led 23-20 after one.
- The game was knotted at 35 with 4:14 left in the second quarter, but the Crusaders didn’t make a field goal for the rest of the first half, allowing Purdue to embark on a 13-1 run. The Boilermakers (6-4) knocked down six of their eight field goal attempts during that stretch.
- The late-half run pushed Purdue ahead 48-36 at the break on the shoulders of 61 percent shooting. Hamlet scored over half of Valpo’s first-half points with 19 including 5-of-6 from 3. The Valpo junior accounted for seven of the team’s 14 made shots prior to halftime.
- Valpo scored the first basket of the second half, but then didn’t score again until after the third quarter’s midway mark. During that time, the Boilermakers went on a 14-0 run to take a 62-38 lead with 5:11 left in the half. Going back to 4:14 left in the second quarter, Purdue’s run was 27-3 and that run kept going, eventually reaching 42-4.
- Purdue outscored Valpo 18-8 in the final quarter to nail down the win. Marlee Profitt (Medina, Ohio / Highland) had half of Valpo’s fourth-quarter points.
Inside the Game
- Hamlet became the first Crusader with 19 points in a half since Dani Franklin in the second half on Nov. 25, 2016 against Liberty.
- Bryce Blood (Toledo, Ohio / Whitmer) and Dani Franklin (Cedar Rapids, Iowa / George Washington) chipped in eight points apiece, while Caitlin Morrison (Glenview, Ill. / Glenbrook South) led Valpo in rebounding with five. Hamlet finished with 19 on 7-of-15 shooting and 5-of-6 from beyond the arc.
- Eight Crusaders had assists and five of those eight players had two assists apiece.
- Hamlet enjoyed back-to-back 19-point efforts for the first time in her career and became the first Crusader this season to score 19 points or more in consecutive games. Franklin was the last Valpo player to do so, when she scored 19 points or more in the final two regular season games and the first game of the league tournament a year ago.
- Hamlet’s five made 3s established a season high and was one shy of a career watermark. Her seven made field goals matched the season best she established on Sunday at Longwood.
After four straight games away from the Athletics-Recreation Center, the Crusaders return home on Sunday to host Chicago State at 3 p.m. CT. The game can be seen on The Valley on ESPN3 and heard on 95.1 FM WVUR with links to live video, audio and stats available on ValpoAthletics.com.