The Valpo women’s basketball team closed out non-conference play with a bang Tuesday afternoon at the ARC, as seven different Beacons combined to connect on 14 3-pointers in a 69-57 victory over Detroit Mercy. The victory sends Valpo into the MVC slate following the Christmas holiday with the momentum of consecutive wins.
How It Happened
- Detroit Mercy led by as many as five points in the opening period. The Titans held a five-point lead with under two minutes remaining in the quarter, but Valpo quickly turned the tables with back-to-back 3-pointers from Carie Weinman (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South [Denver]) and Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH).
- The Titans scored the final basket of the quarter, however, to take a 15-14 lead at the end of one.
- Consecutive triples by Weinman and Grace White (Redby, Minn./Red Lake [Denver]) on the first two possessions of the second period gave Valpo its largest lead of the game to that point at 20-15.
- The Beacons couldn’t push the lead past five points at that point, however, and Detroit Mercy kept within striking distance, eventually retaking the lead at 24-23 with under three minutes remaining in the first half.
- It took just one shot on its next possession for Valpo to regain the lead for good, as Cara VanKempen (Coopersville, Mich./Coopersville) drilled a 3-pointer while being fouled for a 4-point play. Earnest followed with a basket inside on the Beacons’ next trip to again give Valpo a five-point lead, and the advantage was 31-27 at the break.
- 3-pointers from Caitlin Morrison (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) and VanKempen helped Valpo out-score UDM 8-4 over the first two-plus minutes of the second half, forcing a timeout from the Titans as the Beacons extended their lead to eight.
- UDM held a 10-4 advantage over a stretch of nearly six minutes to close to within two, but Valpo answered with a White 3-pointer and another inside finish from Earnest. The Titans had the final push of the third period, though, connecting on consecutive 3-pointers in the final 35 seconds of the quarter to close to within 48-47 with 10 minutes to play.
- Valpo’s defense and rebounding carried the way in the fourth quarter, as it allowed just two field goals and one offensive rebound to the Titans over the first eight minutes of the period.
- Frederick connected on a 3-pointer on Valpo’s first possession of the final quarter, and two trips later, White converted on a 3-point play to extend the lead to seven points.
- White, Weinman and Olivia Brown (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids [St. Bonaventure]) all knocked down 3-pointers over the next few minutes, Brown’s with 3:04 to play all but icing the game as it gave Valpo a double-digit lead it would not relinquish.
Inside the Game
- Valpo made a season-high 14 3-pointers on Tuesday and connected at a season-best .438 clip (14-for-32) from behind the arc.
- Seven different players combined to knock down the 14 triples, with four players making multiple 3-pointers.
- The 14 made 3-pointers are tied for eighth-most in a single game in program history.
- Valpo has more games with 14+ 3-pointers in the four-season tenure of head coach Mary Evans (10) than it did in the entire program history prior to her arrival (nine).
- White led the way for the Beacons, hitting on four 3-point attempts en route to a game-high 19 points. White added three steals as well.
- Weinman’s three triples accounted for her nine points. She also tallied a season-best four steals, leading the way as Valpo registered a season-high 11 thefts as a team.
- Frederick joined White in double figures, scoring 10 points, including two 3-pointers. The senior led all players as well with seven assists and now has 396 career assists, passing Laura Richards for fourth in program history in the category Tuesday.
- VanKempen knocked down all three of her field goal attempts, two of which were from deep, for nine points, while Earnest chipped in nine points and a game-high eight rebounds off the bench.
- Valpo continued its strong recent effort at the foul line, going 11-for-13 (.846) from the stripe. Over the last three games, the Beacons have hit at an .884 clip from the foul line.
- After the Titans shot .529 from the field in the first three quarters, Valpo limited UDM to .267 shooting (4-for-15) over the final 10 minutes.
- Valpo closes non-conference play with at least two straight wins for the third time in its five seasons in the MVC. The 2017-18 squad carried a four-game winning streak into the MVC slate, while the 2019-20 team won its final six non-conference games.
Valpo (2-9) opens MVC play with the longest road trip of the conference slate, starting with a New Year’s Eve tilt at Southern Illinois. Tipoff from Carbondale is slated for 2 p.m.