Valpo junior Carie Weinman (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South [Denver]) racked up a career-high seven steals Friday — the most by a Valpo player in over seven years — to lead a defensive effort which forced 24 Drake turnovers, but it wouldn’t be enough for the Brown and Gold to top the Bulldogs, as Drake earned a 77-67 victory in Des Moines. Valpo enters the final day of the regular season needing a victory to earn a first-round bye at Hoops in the Heartland.
How It Happened
- Valpo led by as many as four points in the first quarter, but the Bulldogs used a 9-0 run late in the period to propel themselves to a 20-14 lead at the end of one.
- Drake’s advantage was as many as eight points in the second period and it still enjoyed a 34-27 lead following a basket with 1:36 to play in the quarter.
- Valpo ended the half on a 7-0 run, however, to pull even at 34-34 at intermission. Senior Grace White (Redby, Minn./Red Lake [Denver]) opened the run with a 3-pointer, senior Caitlin Morrison (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) converted a fast-break layup and freshman Molly Sheehan (Hinsdale, Ill./Benet Academy) followed a miss on the fast break to cap the spurt.
- That was the last time the score would be tied, though, as Drake scored on five of its first six possessions in the second half as it opened the period on a 9-0 run.
- Valpo scored the next four to close to within 43-38, but that was as close as the Brown and Gold would get. The Bulldogs scored the next seven to push their lead into double figures for the first time and led 59-49 with 10 minutes to play.
- Valpo closed to within six points with under five minutes remaining, but went scoreless on its next four possessions to keep it from cutting any further into the deficit.
Inside the Game
- Friday’s loss leaves Valpo with a 7-8 record in conference play. Bradley sits at 9-8, while Loyola is currently 8-9 in MVC action.
- With a win on Saturday, Valpo would secure the sixth seed if tied with Loyola, or the fifth seed if tied with Bradley or in a three-way tie with Loyola and Bradley at .500.
- With a loss on Saturday, Valpo would be the seventh seed for Hoops in the Heartland and have to play in the first round on Thursday, as even with a corresponding loss by the Ramblers, Loyola would be percentage points ahead in the final standings.
- Junior Shay Frederick (Greenville, Wis./Hortonville) led Valpo’s offensive effort on Friday with a game-high 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Frederick also handed out five assists, and the MVC leader in assists/game now has 335 career assists — just five shy of seventh place in program history.
- Three Valpo players scored in double figures, as White finished with 15 points and Weinman tallied 12.
- Weinman’s seven steals surpassed her previous career best of six. The mark is tied for ninth-best in a single game in program history and is the highest single-game steal total by a Valpo individual since Jessica Carr swiped seven steals against Detroit in January 2014.
- Led by Weinman’s seven thefts, Valpo racked up 13 total team steals — tied for second-most by the team in a game this year — and forced 24 Drake turnovers, scoring 25 points off those miscues.
- Drake shot 58.8% from the field to Valpo’s 37.9% clip and scored 40 points in the paint for a +18 advantage inside.
- Valpo did limit Drake to 77 points, the Bulldogs’ lowest scoring output against the Brown and Gold since Valpo joined the MVC.
- Valpo knocked down 11 3-pointers, reaching double figures in the category for the 10th time this year — seven of which have come in MVC play.
Valpo (11-11, 7-8 MVC) looks to close the regular season with a win on Saturday afternoon, with tipoff against Drake from Des Moines coming at 3 p.m. The game can be seen live on ESPN3 and heard live on WVUR (95.1 FM, Valparaiso), with links for all the live coverage available at ValpoAthletics.com.