Redshirt sophomore Addison Stoller (Cissna Park, Ill. / Cissna Park) turned in a career performance on Friday night at SIU Arena, but the Valparaiso University women’s basketball team fell 87-65 to Southern Illinois in Carbondale. Stoller established personal bests in both scoring and rebounding, serving as the bright spot of the night for Valpo.
How It Happened
- Southern Illinois (9-8, 2-4 MVC) jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first three minutes of the game before a jumper by Ella Ellenson (Rice Lake, Wis. / Rice Lake) permitted Valpo to crack the scoreboard.
- The Saluki lead fluctuated between seven and 10 for several minutes before a 7-0 run to close the quarter widened the margin to 16. Southern Illinois led 26-11 after one quarter after shooting 59.3 percent in the period. Meredith Hamlet (McBain, Mich. / McBain) had six of Valpo’s 11 points in the opening period.
- Valpo played Southern Illinois even early in the second stanza, but the visitors struggled to make their way out of the first-quarter hole. After holding Valpo scoreless for the final 4:37 of the first half, Southern Illinois entered the break up 18 at 42-24.
- A 9-0 run early in the second half allowed Southern Illinois to open the lead to 29 at 59-30 with 5:24 left in the third. Valpo responded with a run of its own, outscoring Southern Illinois 14-4 to cut it back to 19 with 2:13 on the clock.
- The Salukis made nine of their 11 field goal attempts in the third to put 29 points on the board in that period. Stoller had six of Valpo’s 10 made shots in the quarter and had 16 points and six rebounds in the third quarter alone.
- SIU won the fourth quarter 16-14 despite a six-point quarter by Grace Hales (Cromwell, Ind. / Westview).
Inside the Game
- Stoller finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds, establishing career highs in both areas. She scored on a take to the basket in the final seconds of the game to achieve the personal best. The redshirt sophomore’s previous career best in scoring was 20, which occurred on Dec. 19 of this season against Purdue Fort Wayne. She had reached 10 rebounds twice previously, most recently Dec. 16 of this year.
- Stoller garnered the second double-double of her career on Friday. The first occurred on Dec. 16 of this season against North Dakota State. She is the first Valpo player with multiple double-doubles this year as the team has three total. Stoller became the first Valpo player with a 20&10 game (20+ points & 10+ rebounds) since Dani Franklin on Dec. 10, 2017 against Chicago State.
- Hamlet finished with 17 points to crack the Top 10 on Valpo’s all-time scoring list. She now has 1,196 career points, one more than Aimee Forsman (1988-1992), who previously ranked 10th.
- Hales made her way to double figures with 10 points, her eighth time in double figures this season. Hamlet (13) and Stoller (10) are the top two on the team in double-figure outputs this year.
- Valpo shot 88.2 percent (15-of-17) at the free-throw line, its best free throw percentage in conference play this year. The only time Valpo has shot at a better clip at the stripe this season was 88.9 percent at Purdue Fort Wayne on Dec. 19.
Thoughts from Head Coach Mary Evans
“Southern Illinois shot the ball extremely well. Our defense played a role in some of that, but some of it was them hitting shots. Teams have good shooting nights; we just had one on Sunday. They made all their open 3s, and that doesn’t always happen. We did have some defensive breakdowns that we need to fix and learn from moving forward to Missouri State.”
“Nicole Martin is an extremely gifted player. She can score with her back to the basket. She can score at the rim. She blocks shots, finishes very well and does a good job making free throws. She’s a tough player to guard. We were late on some rotations when we had help and gave her easy ones. We allowed them to go high-low too much tonight.”
“Addison came out in the second half and brought an intensity and aggressiveness to the game. That’s why we had a better third and fourth quarter. We made significant offensive improvement in the second half, but we could never quite get our defense going tonight. That’s a work in progress and something we have to continue to build on and work on.”
“We’ll get to work tonight watching film before our game against Missouri State. Tomorrow is going to be about getting our bodies right. Both Southern Illinois and Missouri State are extremely physical and aggressive, so making sure we feel good physically going into Sunday is going to be important.”
Valpo (5-13, 1-5 MVC) will head to Springfield for a date with Missouri State on Sunday afternoon. The game will be televised in the Chicago market on NBC Sports Chicago+ in addition to being available on ESPN3 (local blackout may apply). Valpo and the Bears will tip at 2 p.m. CT with links to live video, audio (95.1 FM Valparaiso, TuneIn Radio app) and stats available on ValpoAthletics.com.