The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team has made 3-point shooting a hallmark of the program throughout the season, as evidenced by setting the school record for made 3s in a single season. But Sunday afternoon marked a rare cold shooting showing from beyond the arc, contributing to a 74-53 defeat to Illinois State at Redbird Arena in Normal, Ill.
How It Happened
- After a 6-6 tie, Illinois State (17-10, 10-6) scored seven straight to create a 13-6 lead midway through the first quarter. That would be the largest margin of the first period, however, and Valpo went into the second trailing 17-11.
- Valpo executed a key part of the game plan in the opening quarter by getting Illinois State leading scorer Simone Goods into foul trouble. She picked up two while playing only six minutes. However, the Redbirds compensated by hitting 50 percent of their shots.
- The Redbird shooting continued to heat up in the second quarter, when the team went 6-of-8 from the floor and 4-of-4 from the beyond the arc. Meanwhile, a Valpo team that has shot the 3 well throughout the season experienced a cold half, going just 1-of-10 from distance including six straight misses in the second quarter.
- Already up 15 at the break, Illinois State held Valpo without a field goal for the first five minutes of the second half, going on a 14-3 spurt to break open a 26-point lead. Illinois State continued to shoot at a high percentage, going 57 percent from long range in the third.
- The two teams played even in the fourth as both teams shot 4-of-12 and scored 14 points.
Inside the Game
- Valpo was led in scoring by Meredith Hamlet (McBain, Mich. / McBain), who turned in 12 points.
- Addison Stoller (Cissna Park, Ill. / Cissna Park) chipped in nine in a game near her hometown, while Shay Frederick (Greenville, Wis. / Hortonville) pulled down a team-high four rebounds.
- Valpo had success getting to the line and making free throws. The 23 made free throws on Sunday marked the team’s second-most this season and most since 28 on Jan. 18 in an overtime game against Indiana State.
- Valpo forced 22 turnovers, the most the team has forced since Jan. 13 at Drake (23).
- A team that has already set the single-season program record for made 3s in a season had a rare rough night from beyond the arc, going just 2-of-25 (8 percent).
Thoughts from Head Coach Mary Evans
“You can’t go 2-for-25 from 3. We had a lot of catch-and-shoot 3s that didn’t go in. That was an abnormal thing for our team to do. We’re good shooters. If we have a decent day shooting the basketball, this game is completely different. We had some lapses at times on defense, but we continued to fight. Illinois State did a nice job shooting the basketball today.”
“Our plan to put Goods on the bench with foul trouble was the right thing and we did. We got really good looks, we just didn’t make them. You have those nights where you don’t shoot well. We’ve got to get shots up this week and get our confidence back because this group is a much better shooting group than what we saw today. I don’t foresee games like this happening very often at Valpo.”
“Saturday is our seniors’ last chance to play in the ARC and play in front of family and friends. It’s our last time playing at home with this group of individuals. I would expect them to be excited and ready to go. We’re going to have to come out and have a good game plan against Loyola.”
Valpo (6-23, 2-15) will close out the regular season on Saturday at 1 p.m. against Loyola at the Athletics-Recreation Center. It’s Senior Day at the ARC as the program recognizes the senior class prior to the game and holds a postgame Senior Day reception. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ with links to live video, audio and stats available on ValpoAthletics.com.