The Valpo women’s basketball team rallied from a double-digit deficit in the second half to force overtime Thursday at Illinois State behind another big fourth quarter from junior Shay Frederick (Greenville, Wis./Hortonville), but the Redbirds pulled away late in the extra period to earn an 81-75 victory in the opener of the two-game series.
How It Happened
- A seven-point spurt for Valpo midway through the fourth quarter brought it back to within one point before Illinois State extended the lead back out.
- The Redbird advantage was 59-53 with 2:50 to play before Frederick single-handedly made it a one-point yet again. The junior drove for a layup, came up with a steal on the defensive end and then pulled up on the break for a 3-pointer to make it 59-58 with 2:11 to go.
- Valpo got a stop on defense and then came down to take its first lead since very early in the second quarter, as Frederick hit junior Maya Dunson (Dayton, Ohio/Wayne [Loyola]) for a 3-pointer to give Valpo the 61-59 lead with 1:17 to play.
- The Redbirds came down and hit a 3-pointer on their next possession to retake the lead with 57 seconds remaining in regulation. Valpo committed a turnover and missed a shot on its next two trips, but the Redbirds converted just 2-of-4 from the foul line – the last pair coming with 16 seconds left – to extend their lead to just 64-61.
- Illinois State chose to foul intentionally at that point rather than let Valpo have a shot to tie, and Frederick hit two free throws with 12.3 seconds to play to make it a one-point game. The Redbirds got those points right back as Valpo fouled intentionally a second later and Illinois State hit both free throws.
- The Redbirds chose not to foul at that point, and Frederick made them pay, stepping into the game-tying 3-pointer with 6.3 seconds left in regulation.
- Thinking they were still behind, the Brown and Gold committed a foul following the inbounds, but after Illinois State connected on two free throws, the Redbirds fouled Frederick on the ensuing inbounds and the junior calmly hit both to send the game into overtime at 68-68.
- The Redbirds scored on their first possession of overtime, but Valpo then kept them off the board on their next three trips. Junior Carie Weinman (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South [Denver]) tied the game with a basket with 3:03 left, and when senior Caitlin Morrison (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) hit a 3-pointer with 2:16 to play, Valpo led 73-70.
- But Illinois State scored nine points on their next three possessions to pull away, as Valpo scored just one point in that stretch.
- Valpo got out to a strong start Thursday, outscoring Illinois State 9-3 over the opening 6:30 and eventually carrying an 11-10 lead at the end of one quarter.
- It was a cold second quarter for Valpo, however, as it hit just two field goals in the second 10 minutes. Illinois State went on a 9-0 run over the first five minutes of the period and pulled out to a 29-19 lead at halftime.
- Valpo erased nearly the entire 10-point deficit in the first five minutes of the third quarter, as a 9-1 run – featuring three Weinman baskets – made it a two-point game at 32-30 with 5:48 to play in the period. Illinois State put together another run, again pushing the lead into double figures, and the Redbirds led 46-40 with 10 minutes to play in regulation.
Inside the Game
- The loss was Valpo’s second defeat in overtime over its last four games.
- The loss came against an Illinois State squad which entered the series ranked 37th nationally in the NET.
- Weinman led the Valpo effort on Thursday with 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting, her third 20-point outing this season. She also tied for team-high honors with six rebounds.
- Frederick tallied 15 points, 12 of which came in the fourth quarter to help Valpo force overtime. The junior has now scored 10 or more points in four separate quarters over the last three games, including the fourth quarter in each of the three outings.
- Frederick also led all players with seven assists on Thursday, her sixth straight game with five or more helpers. She now owns 287 career assists, just two shy of Valpo’s career top-10 in the category and only four shy of ninth position.
- Morrison rounded out the Valpo trio in double figures in the scoring column with 14 points, her fourth double-digit effort this year. Fellow senior Ella Ellenson (Rice Lake, Wis./Rice Lake) added eight points and six rebounds as well.
- Frederick and senior Grace White (Redby, Minn./Red Lake [Denver]) tied for the team lead with four steals apiece as Valpo amassed 13 steals as a team and forced 22 Illinois State turnovers, scoring 26 points off those miscues. The Brown and Gold have now registered at least 10 steals in all three MVC games.
- Valpo ended the game shooting 44.4% from the floor and 32.3% from the 3-point line, both slightly better than its season averages, but it was a tale of two halves. Valpo shot just 7-of-26 overall and 2-of-13 from deep in the first half before turning it around in the third and fourth quarters, combining to shoot 19-of-30 overall and 7-of-13 from the 3-point line over that 20-minute span.
- The foul line helped Illinois State to the victory Thursday, as the Redbirds went 25-of-33 from the stripe to Valpo’s 9-of-16 mark.
Thoughts From Coach Evans
“I think Illinois State made some plays in OT and we didn't. We had some defensive breakdowns in overtime that we can't have, we have to make sure we collectively do a better job when we get in those situations.”
“This game was won and lost in the second quarter. We had a turnover issue in that quarter that we have to figure out. The last two games, our second quarter performance has been really big at keeping us from coming out with the result we want.”
“The fight from the team was tremendous - they really fought to come back in the second half. We obviously worked out some things offensively in the third and fourth quarters against a very good defensive team - Illinois State is one of the best defensive teams in the Valley. Our players were able to figure things out and put up points, and I hope that can carry over into tomorrow.”
Valpo (5-5, 1-2 MVC) closes out the series against Illinois State tomorrow afternoon in Normal, Ill. Tipoff is slated for 4 p.m., and the game can be seen live on ESPN3 and heard live on WVUR (95.1 FM, Valparaiso).