The Valpo women’s basketball team stood toe-to-toe with one of the nation’s top teams Wednesday night at the ARC, leading #22/23 Notre Dame into the second half before the Fighting Irish pulled away late for a 73-56 victory. Shay Frederick (Greenville, Wis./Hortonville) led the Valpo offense with a season-best 19 points.
How It Happened
- The first quarter was a battle for control between the two squads, as neither team led by more than three points for the first nine-plus minutes.
- Frederick capped a 10-point opening quarter with consecutive 3-pointers in the final minute of the period, the second coming with just a couple seconds remaining to give Valpo a 19-14 lead at the end of the first.
- Carie Weinman (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South [Denver]) hit a triple on Valpo’s second offensive possession of the second quarter, extending the Beacons’ lead to its apex at 22-14.
- Valpo scored just once more in the second period — a 3-pointer by Caitlin Morrison (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) with 3:50 to play in the quarter. But Valpo’s defense kept the Fighting Irish at bay for most of the period, as Notre Dame shot just 3-for-14 from the field in the second quarter.
- A 3-pointer by Notre Dame’s Dara Mabrey with 60 seconds to play in the half evened the score at 25-25 at intermission.
- The second quarter’s defensive battle turned into an offensive explosion after the halftime break. Notre Dame shot 10-of-13 from the floor in the third quarter, while Valpo was 8-of-13 from the field in that period as well.
- It was the Beacons who scored the first two baskets of the second half, as a Frederick triple and a Morrison layup put Valpo ahead 30-25 just over a minute into the half.
- Notre Dame scored the next seven points to pull ahead 32-30 with 6:19 to play in the third quarter, and Valpo would never lead outright again. Despite that fact, the Beacons were within a possession for most of the rest of the period as the teams traded baskets for much of the quarter.
- The Fighting Irish extended their lead to 50-45 at the end of the third.
- Notre Dame scored nine of the first 11 points of the fourth quarter to force a Valpo timeout, trailing 59-47 with 6:24 remaining.
- Inside baskets by Frederick and Weinman out of the stoppage brought the Beacons back within eight, but Notre Dame scored a second-chance basket on its next trip and Valpo was unable to pull within single digits the rest of the way.
Inside the Game
- Wednesday marked Valpo’s 48th game in program history against a nationally-ranked team. It was also the program’s 28th game all-time against Notre Dame, and the Fighting Irish have been nationally ranked for 16 of those — including eight visits to the ARC.
- Wednesday’s result was Valpo’s closest effort against a nationally-ranked Notre Dame team since the 2008-09 team fell 63-55 to the eighth-ranked Irish.
- Frederick’s 10-point opening period propelled her to a team-high 19 points on Wednesday, also a season best in the scoring column. She went 8-of-15 from the field, including three 3-pointers.
- With the 19-point night, Frederick moved into 18th place in program history in career scoring. She now sits just five points shy of the 1,000-point milestone for her career.
- Weinman added 15 points, 12 of which came on 5-of-7 shooting after halftime. It was her sixth double-figure scoring effort of the season.
- Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) contributed eight points and a season-best seven rebounds off the bench.
- Grace White (Redby, Minn./Red Lake [Denver]) filled up the stat sheet, as she matched a career high with five steals, tied her season best with nine rebounds and handed out four assists.
- Morrison blocked four shots on Wednesday, pushing her career total to 119 rejections. She also made the 120th appearance of her Valpo career, moving her into a tie for sixth place in program history with Amber Schober, Lauren Bechtold and Tamra Braun.
- Valpo forced 15 Notre Dame turnovers and converted those into 18 points, finishing the game with an 18-8 advantage in points off turnovers. The Beacons also out-scored the Fighting Irish in the paint, 32-24.
- Notre Dame did convert 14 offensive rebounds into 17 second-chance points.
Valpo (0-8) faces a quick turnaround, as the Beacons fly to the Mount Rushmore State on Thursday evening ahead of a Friday night game at South Dakota. Tipoff Friday is slated for 7 p.m.