Valparaiso (8-5, 0-2 MVC)
Game #14 - Friday, January 10 - 4 p.m. CT
at Indiana State (2-12, 0-2 MVC)
Hulman Center (10,200) - Terre Haute, Ind.
Next Up in Valpo Basketball: The Valpo women’s basketball team takes to the road for the first time in Missouri Valley Conference play this weekend with the swing through the Valley’s other Indiana schools, starting with a Friday afternoon game at Indiana State. Valpo carries a three-game road winning streak into Friday’s matchup.
Previously: Valpo put together one of its best shooting performances from behind the 3-point line in program history against a #21/19 Missouri State team which surrendered fewer than seven triples per game entering the game, but it would not be enough for the Brown and Gold to spring the upset on Sunday afternoon at the ARC, as the Bears finished 81-68 victors. Senior Grace Hales led the Valpo offense with 17 points, including 5-of-6 shooting from 3-point range.
Following Valpo Basketball: Streaming Video: ESPN+
Radio: WVUR (95.1 FM, Valparaiso)
Live Stats/Streaming Audio: Available via ValpoAthletics.com
Head Coach Mary Evans: Mary Evans (16-29) 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: Indiana State holds an 8-3 advantage in the all-time series over Valpo and is 4-1 in five matchups since the Brown and Gold joined the Missouri Valley Conference prior to the 2017-18 season. Valpo claimed the victory in the most important matchup of the five, however, edging out the Sycamores 79-77 in the opening round of the 2019 MVC Tournament. Meredith Hamlet led four Valpo players who averaged in double figures over last season’s three meetings, averaging 19 points per game, while as a team, Valpo shot 40.9% from 3-point range against the Sycamores in 2018-19.
- 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.
...versus #21/19 Missouri State
- A back-and-forth first quarter saw the teams trade the lead on six occasions, as Valpo battled toe-to-toe with one of the nation’s top-20 teams. The Bears scored six of the quarter’s final eight points to pull ahead 17-16.
- Missouri State put together runs of 8-0 and 12-0 during the second quarter, out-scoring Valpo 24-7 in the period to take a 41-23 lead into intermission.
- Valpo knocked down a pair of 3-pointers to cut MSU’s lead to 13 points early in the third quarter before the Bears put together an 11-2 run to push their advantage to 53-31.
- Out of the media timeout, Valpo scored 13 straight points to get the deficit into single digits, and a Marlee Profitt 3-pointer with just over a minute to go in the quarter brought Valpo within 55-47.
- MSU scored the final four points of the period, however, and Valpo would get no closer than nine points the rest of the way.
- Valpo forced 16 Missouri State turnovers, 11 of which were steals as the Crusaders reached double figures in the category for the seventh time this year and the sixth time in the last seven games.
- Valpo went 14-for-22 from the 3-point line, a season high for 3-pointers made and 3-point percentage. It ties for the sixth-most 3-pointers in a single game and comes just up just .007 shy of cracking the top-10 chart for single-game 3-point percentage in program history.
- Despite entering the game third in the nation in free throw rate, the Brown and Gold set a season low for free throw attempts, going 6-of-8 from the charity stripe. Meanwhile, Missouri State went 28-of-36 from the foul line – the 28-free throw deficit the program’s largest in a single game since January 2011.
- The 13-point loss marked Valpo’s closest result against a nationally-ranked team since December 13, 2008, when it hosted #8/8 Notre Dame and dropped a narrow 63-55 decision. Valpo had played 20 games against nationally-ranked opposition since that contest.
...versus Southern Illinois
- Both squads were hitting from everywhere to start the game, as Valpo went 7-of-9 from the field – including 3-of-3 from 3-point range – in the opening quarter and Southern Illinois went 8-of-13. SIU held a 22-19 lead at the end of one.
- Junior Grace White scored the first five points over the opening 2:40 of the second quarter to give Valpo its first outright lead, 24-22.
- Southern Illinois reclaimed the lead before a steal and fast-break layup from sophomore Carie Weinman tied things up at 29-29 with four minutes to play in the first half.
- SIU out-scored Valpo 11-4 over the final stretch of the period to go into halftime with a 40-33 lead.
- The third quarter was the antithesis of the first, as the two teams combined for just three made field goals. Valpo went without a basket from the field for the final seven minutes of the quarter, and the Salukis held a 51-42 advantage with 10 minutes to play.
- A 3-pointer by junior Caitlin Morrison cut SIU’s lead to 51-45 with 9:03 to play in the game, but that was as close as Valpo would get, as the Salukis scored 10 of the next 12 points over a span of 2:40 to pull away.
- The loss came against a Southern Illinois team which came into the day ranked in the top-75 in the nation in RPI and jumped into the top-60 with the win.
- Valpo ended the night shooting just 31.3% from the floor, and the offensive output was a tale of two halves. The Brown and Gold went into halftime having shot 50% in the first half, including a 5-of-9 mark from the 3-point line, but then were just 4-of-26 (15.4%) from the field in the second half.
- Junior Addison Stoller led Valpo with 13 points Friday and also set a season high with four steals. Stoller led the way as the Crusaders tallied 12 steals, the fifth time in the last six games they have registered at least 10 thefts.
- Valpo was out-rebounded 46-26 by the Salukis on Friday, including 18 SIU offensive rebounds.
- Valpo concludes the Indiana road swing on Sunday afternoon at Evansville.
- The Crusaders then return home for their next three games, starting next Friday evening versus Illinois State.
...on the road
- Valpo is 4-2 in true road games this year, most recently taking down Eastern Illinois in its final non-conference road matchup Dec. 30.
- 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.
- Three of Valpo’s four road victories have come by double figures - the first time the program won three road non-conference games by 10+ points since 1999-2000.
- This year’s squad has already matched the most road wins by a Valpo team in the last decade, as the 2017-18 and 2011-12 teams won four road games apiece.
- Valpo enters Friday’s game with a three-game road winning streak – its longest winning streak on the road since winning four straight road games Jan. 6-24, 2007.
- Indiana State enters Friday’s game at 2-12 overall this year and has lost 10 games in a row, including its first two MVC games at Illinois State and at Bradley.
- The Sycamores feature an entirely new roster this year under second-year head coach Vicki Hall, as all 14 players are newcomers - eight freshmen and six transfers.
- No Indiana State player is averaging in double figures - Jamyra McChristine paces the Sycamores in the scoring column with 9.4 ppg on 54.8% shooting.
Knocking Down the Threes
- Valpo’s performance against Missouri State was highlighted by its shooting from deep, as the Brown and Gold closed the game with a 14-for-22 mark from downtown.
- The 14 triples are a season high and tie for the sixth-most 3-pointers made in a single game in program history. Three of the top-six single-game totals have come since the arrival of Mary Evans as head coach prior to last season.
- Meanwhile, Valpo’s .636 shooting percentage from deep is not only easily the team’s season best, it marks the first time in Evans’ tenure that it has hit at a .500 clip or better from 3-point range.
- Sunday’s performance came up just .007 shy of cracking the top-10 chart for single-game 3-point percentage in program history. It is also the second-best 3-point percentage in a single game by an MVC team this season.
- Valpo is now averaging 8.4 3-pointers per game, good for 32nd nationally.
Hales On a Roll
- Leading the charge from deep against MSU was Grace Hales, who tied her career high for 3-pointers made in a single game for the fifth time by going 5-for-6. Her performance also is good for a spot tied for 10th on the program’s single-game individual 3-point percentage chart.
- Hales finished the contest with a team-high 17 points to lead four Crusaders in double figures, giving her 929 career points scored. That mark is enough to crack the top-20 in program history in the category, surpassing Sarah Schmoyer (1992-96), who amassed 920 career points.
- Hales is now just 71 points shy of becoming just the 16th player in program history with 1,000 career points.
- Over the last four games, Hales is averaging 15.8 ppg and hitting at a 68.4% clip from 3-point range.
- One area in which Valpo continued to excel this past weekend despite the losses was in the steals column.
- Valpo registered 12 steals in the MVC opener against SIU, led by four from Addison Stoller and three from Carie Weinman.
- Then on Sunday versus MSU, the Brown and Gold tallied 11 steals, led by a season-high five by Shay Frederick and three by Caitlin Morrison.
- Valpo has racked up double-digit steal totals in seven games this year, including six of its last seven contests.
- The Crusaders are averaging 10.2 steals/game this year, a mark which puts them on pace to enjoy the highest single-season steals total the program has had in nearly two decades.
Taking Advantage of Charity
- Valpo has been stellar at the foul line all season long and ranks 21st nationally, hitting at a 76.6% clip from the foul line.
- Valpo has hit at 75% or better from the line nine times this year, including eight of the last nine games, and has been above 80% four times.
- Valpo also ranks 43rd nationally in percentage of points from free throws.
- Grace Hales has been nearly automatic from the line this year, going 33-of-36 (91.7%) from the stripe.
- At EIU, Hales surpassed Valpo’s minimum number of attempts for its career free throw percentage chart and currently ranks second in program history (85.7%).
Streak Comes to a Close
- Friday’s loss snapped Valpo’s seven-game winning streak, just the seventh-such winning streak in program history and the first since 2002.
- It was the team’s first loss since Nov. 21, a span of 43 days. Along the way, Valpo posted a perfect 5-0 record in December - just the third perfect month in program history.
- The defeat was also the Crusaders’ first of the season at the ARC after going 4-0 at home in non-conference play.
- This year’s squad just missed matching the 1991-92 team for the most wins before suffering its fourth loss of the season - the 1991-92 team started 9-3 before dropping its fourth game.
Best Pre-Conference Mark
- With its win Dec. 30 at Eastern Illinois, Valpo closed pre-conference play with an 8-3 record, setting a new program standard for the best winning percentage before the start of conference action.
- The 2001-02 team held the previous best winning percentage in pre-conference play, going 9-4 before opening Mid-Continent Conference action.
Defense Stands Out
- Valpo’s defense led the way for much of its seven-game winning streak.
- By limiting Chicago State to 49 points Dec. 28, Valpo had a stretch of five straight games where its opponents scored fewer than 60 points.
- Valpo’s late-season winning streak in 2007 was the last time the defense was that stifling for five consecutive games.
- The 37 points Valpo surrendered to UIC Dec. 15 were the seventh-fewest given up by a Valpo squad in a single game in program history.
- It was Valpo’s best defensive performance on the scoreboard since giving up just 32 points at Northern Kentucky on Feb. 11, 2016. It also marked Valpo’s fewest points allowed against a non-conference Division I opponent in program history.
- The Valpo defense forced 29 UIC turnovers in that win, the most by a Valpo opponent since the Crusaders forced Wright State into 31 miscues on Jan. 8, 2009.
- Valpo forced 20 or more turnovers six times in the season’s first 10 games, including four straight (25 at UDM, 29 vs. UIC, 22 vs. MSU, 23 vs. CSU). The last time Valpo forced 20+ turnovers in four straight games came Jan. 19-31, 2004.
- Chicago State was 0-for-8 from 3-point range, the third Valpo opponent this year to go scoreless from the 3-point line (NDSU 0-for-14; UIC 0-for-7). Prior to this year, the last time a Valpo opponent went scoreless from 3-point range was FIU in November of 2013.