The Valpo women’s basketball team got off to a strong start Sunday in its return to action at Morehead State and closed strong as well, shooting above 70% from the field in both the first and the fourth quarter in a 65-57 victory over the host Eagles. Carie Weinman (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South [Denver]) led three Beacons in double figures with 17 points.
How It Happened
- Morehead State scored the game’s first basket on its initial possession, but Valpo quickly came back with eight straight points to force a timeout by the Eagles less than three minutes in. Triples by Grace White (Redby, Minn./Red Lake [Denver]) and Cara VanKempen (Coopersville, Mich./Coopersville) sandwiched a driving layup by Weinman for the quick start.
- Valpo maintained the lead for the reminder of the opening period, eventually pushing the advantage to 20-12 at the end of the quarter as Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) found Shay Frederick (Greenville, Wis./Hortonville) for a backdoor layup in the closing seconds.
- White connected on another 3-pointer early in the second quarter to push Valpo’s lead into double digits for the first time. The Beacons went scoreless for nearly five minutes, however, allowing the Eagles to score seven straight to close to within 23-19.
- Morehead State got to within three with 2:40 to play in the first half, but Valpo scored four of the half’s final five points — including a Frederick layup — to take a 32-26 lead into intermission.
- Neither team could gain control in the third quarter. Valpo’s lead never exceeded the six-point margin from halftime, but the Beacons also did not allow the Eagles to close to closer than two points in the period. Valpo entered the fourth quarter with a 42-38 lead.
- Morehead State’s lone opportunity to tie or take the lead in the final 10 minutes came on its second possession after cutting its deficit to two, but Valpo forced a miss and Frederick came down and converted a layup to push the advantage back to four points.
- The Eagles twice moved back within two points in the next couple minutes, but both times, Valpo converted a 3-point play to make it a five-point game — first one from White, followed by one from Weinman.
- A 9-2 spurt just past the midway point of the final quarter proved to be the decisive run to secure Valpo’s win. Weinman started the run with a pair of free throws, and after an MSU miss, Maya Dunson (Dayton, Ohio/Wayne [Loyola]) got all the way to the rim and scored to make it a seven-point lead.
- MSU scored on its next possession, but Olivia Brown (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids [St. Bonaventure]) knocked down a big 3-pointer in response. Earnest then came up with a steal on the defensive end and the Beacons took advantage with a layup by Weinman to push the lead to 59-49. The Eagles got no closer than seven points the rest of the way.
Inside the Game
- Valpo shot 50% from the field Sunday, its second-best effort of the season, thanks to great efforts in the opening and closing periods. The Beacons went 7-of-10 (70%) from the floor in the first quarter and 8-of-11 (72.7%) in the fourth quarter.
- Valpo also enjoyed a significant advantage from the foul line, going 17-of-20 (85%) from the stripe as compared to Morehead State’s 1-of-6 effort from the free throw line.
- Weinman led Valpo on Sunday with 17 points, her seventh double-digit scoring effort of the season. She went 6-of-10 from the field and 5-of-6 from the foul line and added four rebounds and three assists. 11 of her points came in the second half.
- Frederick was close behind Weinman with 15 points and matched her with four rebounds as well.
- White needed just four field goal attempts to finish with 11 points, connecting on a pair of 3-pointers. She also grabbed four rebounds.
- Earnest added nine points off the bench.
- Ilysse Pitts (Aurora, Ill./Montini Catholic) made her season debut Sunday, registering a rebound and a steal in four minutes of action. It was just the second appearance for Pitts since the end of the 2019-20 season.
Valpo (1-9) closes non-conference action back at home at the ARC with a Tuesday afternoon matinee against Detroit Mercy. Tipoff is slated for noon, and all the action can be seen live on ESPN3.