In a game of spurts on Sunday afternoon at the Hulman Center in Terre Haute, it was Indiana State that made the last one. The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team fell 67-59 to the Sycamores in a game that was even closer than the eight-point margin would indicate. Valpo led by as many as eight in the second half of a contest that was tied at halftime and still even through three quarters.
How It Happened
- After Valpo took an early 7-3 lead, Indiana State rapped off nine straight points to grab a 12-7 advantage with 5:05 to go in the first. That set the tone for the game’s back-and-forth nature.
- Meredith Hamlet (McBain, Mich. / McBain) knocked down a pair of early 3s to help Valpo’s cause, but the Sycamores (11-13, 5-8) still led 21-16 through 10 minutes.
- Four quick points for Indiana State in the first minute of the second quarter caused Mary Evans to take timeout with her team down nine at 25-16. That would mark the largest deficit of the first half as Valpo went on a 7-0 run late in the quarter to cut the lead to one, then eventually tied the game on a fastbreak 3 by Addison Stoller (Cissna Park, Ill. / Cissna Park) with 43 seconds to go in the half.
- Valpo went into halftime tied (31-31) for the first time this season after outscoring Indiana State 15-10 in the second quarter. Valpo made only two turnovers in that period while forcing seven.
- Indiana State scored the first point of the third quarter, but Valpo followed with a 9-0 run to grab a 40-32 lead with 6:53 left in the third. Head coach Vicki Hall used two timeouts in the first four minutes of the second half in an effort to stymie the spurt.
- Ella Ellenson (Rice Lake, Wis. / Rice Lake) was a big part of the run for Valpo, knocking down a pair of 3s. On the defensive end, Valpo held Indiana State without a field goal for the first 5:30 of the second half.
- Alexis Delgado made back-to-back treys to quickly decrease the lead to two, then the Sycamores extended the run to 7-0 to get within one. By the end of the quarter, it was back to even at 45 all.
- Indiana State took the lead four times in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter, but on the first three occasions Valpo came right back to tie it. The fourth time, however, sparked a 13-0 run that turned a 53-53 deadlock at the 6:24 mark into a 66-53 Sycamore advantage with 2:06 to play.
Inside the Game
- Hales led Valpo with 15 points, while Stoller (13) and Schofield (10) joined her in double figures. Stoller added a team-high six rebounds, grabbed four steals and drew nine Indiana State fouls.
- Hales upped her streak of consecutive made free throws to 26 before her first misfire since the conference opener at Loyola. This was the second time in her career that she strung together 20 or more made free throws without a miss.
- Hales finished in double figures for the eighth time in the last nine games and the 12th time in 15 games. She led the team in scoring for the sixth time this year.
- Valpo cracked the program’s Top 5 in 3-pointers made in a season, upping that total to 217, which ranks third. This year’s team is seven made 3s away from tying the program record.
- The team also moved into the Top 5 in program history for 3-point attempts in a season by boosting that total to 645, which is tied for third.
- Hamlet played in the 116th game of her Valpo career, moving into the Top 10 in program history for career games played. She is now tied for 10th with Jamie Gutowski (2002-2006), Betsy Rietema (2003-2007) and Abby Dean (2012-2016).
Thoughts from Head Coach Mary Evans
“Indiana State came out and made a couple of big plays in the fourth quarter, and we had a few unforced turnovers and gave up several offensive rebounds that hurt us. That allowed them extend the lead in the final six minutes. Those are things that we can correct and get better at moving forward.”
“Addy had very aggressive drives most of the afternoon and created a lot of contact on those drives. It was a physical game today, and we’ve got to learn to play better in games like this. Addy and Grace both attacked the rim extremely well. We had a couple turnovers and lapses in the fourth quarter that we couldn’t recover from.”
“We started the second half playing very well on the defensive end. We have kids playing extended minutes due to foul trouble and injuries, so we’ve got to find a way to make the same plays that we’re making earlier in the game in the fourth quarter when we need them most."
Valpo (6-19, 2-11) will be back home on Friday to welcome first-place Missouri State at 7 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ and can also be heard on 95.1 FM Valparaiso and WVUR. Links to live video, audio and stats will be available.