Valparaiso (4-3, 0-0 MVC)
Game #8 - Sunday, December 15 - 1 p.m.
UIC (1-8, 0-0 Horizon)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.
Next Up in Valpo Basketball: The Valpo women’s basketball team hopes that its 10-day break from competition for final exams doesn’t slow the momentum it has been building up, as the Brown and Gold carry a three-game winning streak into their return to action Sunday afternoon at the ARC against UIC. A win on Sunday would match the program’s longest winning streak since 2007.
Previously: An earlier than normal start time didn’t faze the Valpo women’s basketball team on Dec. 5, as Valpo came out for the 11 a.m. local tip and led nearly start to finish, winning 77-58 at Detroit Mercy in front of a crowd of better than 4,500 on Field Trip Day at Calihan Hall. The victory extended Valpo’s winning streak to three games and gave the team its third road victory of the season in five tries. Grace Hales led the way with 17 points in the win.
Following Valpo Basketball: Streaming Video: ESPN3
Audio: WVUR (95.1 FM, Valparaiso)
Live Stats/Streaming Audio – Available via ValpoAthletics.com
Head Coach Mary Evans: Mary Evans (12-27) is in her second season as head coach of the Valpo women’s basketball program in 2019-20. Evans’ impact on the program was immediately clear in her first year, as Valpo shattered its previous program record of 224 made 3-pointers in a single season by knocking down 276 trifectas - a mark which ranks seventh in MVC history. Valpo ranked among the top-25 nationally in both total 3-pointers and 3-pointers per game in Evans’ first season at the helm of the Valpo program.
Series Notes: For the second straight game, Valpo faces a former Horizon League foe. UIC holds a 25-23 edge in the all-time series and had a 13-8 advantage in the years that the two programs were both Horizon League members (2007-17). Valpo and UIC also previously shared conference membership in the North Star Conference (1988-92) and the Mid-Continent Conference (1992-94). The two squads met to open last season in Chicago, a game the Flames won 75-65. Meredith Hamlet led Valpo with 19 points, while Addison Stoller recorded 17 points, five rebounds and four steals.
- Valpo has been selected to finish in eighth place in the MVC preseason poll, totaling 126 points.
- Valpo is in its third season as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference in 2019-20.
...looking back at last year
- Valpo posted an 8-24 record last season in head coach Mary Evans’ first year at the helm and went 3-15 in MVC play.
- Last year’s Valpo squad was ravaged by injuries, many times dressing just nine scholarship players.
- Valpo shattered its program record for 3-pointers in a season in 2018-19, knocking down 276 triples to race past the previous record of 224.
- Valpo also moved into seventh place in a single season in MVC history in 3-pointers made.
- Shay Frederick was named to the MVC All-Freshman Team, while Meredith Hamlet was an Honorable Mention MVC Scholar-Athlete.
...at Detroit Mercy
- Shay Frederick scored all 13 of her points in the opening quarter to help Valpo to a 20-19 edge at the end of the first.
- The Brown and Gold extended their lead to 10 points for the first time at 31-21 on a triple by sophomore Carie Weinman with eight minutes to play in the first half before the Titans put together an 11-2 run to close to within 33-32 approaching the halfway mark of the period.
- Grace White responded to Detroit Mercy cutting the lead to one by connecting on her second triple of the quarter, kick-starting an 11-1 run to end the half for Valpo as it led 44-34 at intermission. Grace Hales hit a 3-pointer as part of that run as well as Valpo drilled five 3-pointers in the second quarter alone.
- After a high-scoring first half, the third quarter was more of a defensive struggle as Valpo out-scored the Titans in the period, 12-11.
- Valpo scored eight of the first 11 points in the fourth quarter to push its edge to 64-48 with 8:25 to play, and the lead wouldn’t drop under 13 points the rest of the way as the Crusaders closed out the win.
- It was a balanced team effort to get the job done on Thursday, as three Valpo players scored in double figures and two others added eight points each. Hales led the way with a game-high 17 points.
- Valpo finished the game shooting 47.3% from the floor and 83.3% (15-of-18) from the foul line.
- Valpo never led in the first quarter, but also never let Toledo gain more than a four-point lead, thanks in large part to hitting 4-of-6 from deep in the first 10 minutes, and the game was tied 18-18 at the end of one.
- Valpo went scoreless for nearly five minutes in the second quarter to allow Toledo to gain a seven-point lead, but rallied to take the lead with a 10-0 run before the Rockets scored four straight to take a 34-33 lead into halftime.
- Toledo scored baskets on each of its first two trips in the third quarter, the latter putting it ahead 38-34 with 9:11 to play in the period. But Valpo locked down the Rockets for the remainder of the period, allowing them just a single field goal at the 5:06 mark as Toledo went 1-of-10 from the field and committed five turnovers over the final nine minutes of the third quarter.
- Valpo took advantage on the offensive end as well, scoring 15 points over the final nine minutes of the period to pull out to a 49-40 lead at the end of the third.
- Valpo scored just five points over the first seven minutes of the third quarter, allowing Toledo to whittle the lead down to 54-52, but Marlee Profitt scored baskets on back-to-back trips to extend the lead back to six points, and Toledo never got closer than four the rest of the way.
- The overall defensive performance stood out. Toledo shot 47.1% from the field in the first quarter, but was just 12-of-44 (27.3%) from the field over the final 30 minutes – highlighted by the nine-minute stretch in the third when it was just 1-of-10 from the floor.
- Sunday is the first of two games in a three-day stretch preceding Christmas, as Valpo will also host Morehead State at the ARC on Tuesday, Dec. 17.
- Following the holiday, Valpo returns to action with a home game against Chicago State on Saturday, Dec. 28 before closing non-conference play at Eastern Illinois on Monday, Dec. 30.
...at the ARC
- Sunday will be Valpo’s second home game of the season and the second of four in non-conference play.
- Valpo is currently 1-0 at home this season as it took down BGSU in overtime in the home opener back on Nov. 24.
- Valpo went 4-11 at the ARC last year in Mary Evans’ first season at the helm of the program.
- Valpo was just 1-5 last season at home in non-conference action before earning a trio of home wins during MVC play.
- UIC enters Sunday’s game at 1-8 this season, most recently falling 80-52 at home to Western Michigan last Sunday.
- The Flames’ lone victory of the year came in their previous game, a 73-61 win at Chicago State.
- UIC has been outscored by an average of 29.1 points per game this year and is shooting just 29.9% from the floor as a team.
- Tylah Lampley is leading the Flames, averaging 11.9 ppg. Lampley scored 21 points for UIC in its win over Valpo last season.
On a Roll
- Valpo’s win over Detroit Mercy last Thursday marked its third consecutive victory, matching the program’s longest winning streak over all D-I opposition since 2007.
- Valpo last won three games in a row, all of which came against D-I opponents, Dec. 29, 2012-Jan. 12, 2013, defeating Ball State, Northern Illinois and Youngstown State.
- Valpo’s last winning streak of at least three games was a four-game streak Dec. 10-21, 2017, but that included a win over a non D-I opponent.
- Valpo has had three four-game winning streaks over the last 13 years, but all three of them included at least one non D-I opponent.
- Valpo’s last winning streak of more than four games was a stretch of six victories in a row Feb. 12-March 3, 2007.
Success on the Road
- Thursday’s win over the Titans marked Valpo’s third true road win of the year in five true road games so far.
- The three road wins already have surpassed last year’s total of two road victories.
- In fact, this year’s squad is now just one shy of matching the program’s highest total of road wins in a season over the last decade, as the 2017-18 and 2011-12 teams won four road games apiece.
- The 19-point margin of victory at Detroit Mercy was Valpo’s largest road victory since a 66-41 win at Youngstown State on Jan. 14, 2010.
- Meanwhile, pairing the UDM game with the NDSU game earlier this year gives Valpo a pair of double-digit road wins in non-conference play.
- The last time before this season the Brown and Gold won multiple non-conference games by 10 or more points came way back in 2003-04 - a 66-46 win at Central Michigan, and an 86-60 win at IPFW.
Weinman Earns Award
- Sophomore Carie Weinman was tabbed the MVC Newcomer of the Week on Dec. 2 after scoring a game-high 20 points the previous week in the win at Toledo.
- 18 of Weinman’s points came from behind the 3-point line, as she connected on 6-of-8 from deep - tied for the sixth-best single-game 3-point percentage (minimum 7 attempts) in program history and the best percentage by a Valpo player since 2011.
- Weinman scored 11 of her 20 points in the third quarter, helping turn a one-point halftime deficit into a nine-point lead with 10 minutes to play.
- Weinman is Valpo’s first Newcomer of the Week honoree since joining the MVC, and only the second weekly honoree in the Valley overall for Valpo, as Meredith Hamlet earned Player of the Week accolades on Dec. 3, 2018.
- Sunday’s contest is the fifth chance Valpo will have this season to avenge a loss from last season, as the Flames beat Valpo by 10 last year.
- Valpo is currently 3-1 this year in such games, defeating North Dakota State, Bowling Green, and Toledo, while dropping a two-point decision at North Dakota.
- Valpo has improved its scoring margin in those four contests by an average of 11 points/game.
- In all, six of Valpo’s non-conference matchups are opportunities for it to flip a result and beat an opponent it lost to last year - North Dakota State, North Dakota, Bowling Green, Toledo, UIC and Morehead State.
Draining The Threes
- Valpo ended the win over Detroit Mercy 10-for-28 from the 3-point line, with six different players combining for the day’s 10 triples.
- The 10 trifectas already makes four times in the first seven games this year that Valpo has reached double digits in the category.
- While last year’s squad smashed the previous program record for 3-pointers made in a season, it took them a while to get revved up, as it wasn’t until the 16th game last season that Valpo hit the 10-triple threshold for the fourth time.
Life on the Road
- This year’s Valpo squad has become well acclimated to life away from home, as the Detroit Mercy game closed out a stretch in which it played six of its first seven games away from the ARC - including the first four.
- The last time a Valpo team opened a season with this kind of stretch was back in 2013-14, as that season began with eight of nine away from home.
- Valpo will be playing just its second home game this season on Sunday (Dec. 15), and it’s been a quarter century since the Brown and Gold have gone that deep into a season before a second home game. In fact, the 1994-95 team didn’t contest its home opener until Dec. 20, and didn’t appear at home for a second time until Jan. 7.
- Sunday’s game is the first of three straight home games for Valpo, as the team has no road trips between Dec. 5 and Dec. 30.
- The win against Toledo, which advanced to the second round of last year’s WNIT, was the third of four non-conference matchups for Valpo against postseason teams from a season ago.
- Valpo opened the season against Ohio State (WNIT) and also played at Northwestern, a WNIT finalist, in the early going.
- The quartet of WNIT opponents rounds out with a home game at the ARC against Morehead State - which defeated Ohio State in the opening round of last year’s WNIT - on Dec. 17.
- That sets the stage for an MVC slate which features two matchups apiece against three postseason teams last year: Missouri State (NCAA Sweet 16), Drake (NCAA) and UNI (WNIT).
From Way Downtown
- Valpo showcased a new style of play a year ago in the first season under head coach Mary Evans, far surpassing the program’s previous highs regarding 3-pointers.
- The 2018-19 squad set a single-season record with 276 3-pointers made, shattering the previous mark of 224 shared by the 1991-92 and 2007-08 Valpo teams and moving into seventh place in a single season in MVC history.
- Last year’s team also established a new watermark with 837 3-point attempts, roaring past the previous record of 676 held by the 1991-92 squad.
- The 2018-19 team boasts two of the top-five games in program history in 3-pointers made, including a record-tying 17 on Dec. 21, 2018 versus Bowling Green.
- Last year’s squad also holds five of the top-six games in terms of 3-pointers attempted, highlighted by a record-setting 44 tries from downtown on Feb. 8, 2019 against Drake.
- Looking at advanced metrics, Valpo ranked seventh nationally in 3-point rate (41.0%) - the percentage of all scoring attempts that are 3-point attempts - and eighth nationally in percentage of points from 3-point attempts (40.5%).
- It was a balanced effort from beyond the arc as well, as no one player had more than 58 triples on the year. Seven different players attempted at least two 3-pointers/game, with three of those seven trying at least four triples per contest.