Valparaiso (6-13, 4-4 MVC)
Game #20 - January 28, 2022 - 6 p.m.
at Loyola (11-7, 3-4 MVC)
Gentile Arena (4,963) - Chicago, Ill.
Next Up in Valpo Basketball: The Valpo women’s basketball team closes out the first half of Missouri Valley Conference play with the quick trip up to Chicago on Friday evening to face off against rival Loyola. A win would give the Beacons a winning record halfway through the conference slate. Please note that Loyola requires proof of vaccination for all fans five years of age or older to attend events at Gentile Arena - https://loyolaramblers.com/news/2022/1/4/mens-basketball-loyola-announces-new-game-entry-guidelines-at-gentile-arena.aspx
Previously: Facing a deficit which reached as many as 14 points early on Sunday afternoon at the ARC, Valpo turned things completely around before halftime, out-scoring visiting Evansville 22-4 in the second quarter to lead by nine at halftime on its way to a 74-62 victory over the Purple Aces. Olivia Brown tied her season best with 21 points in the victory.
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Head Coach Mary Evans: Mary Evans is in her fourth year at the helm of the program in 2021-22 and owns a record of 43-62. Evans has made an immediate impact on the program in her first three years, raising the team’s level of play to be competitive in a strong Missouri Valley Conference. Evans’ preferred style of play has been a big part of the program’s turnaround, as Valpo has led the MVC in 3-pointers made per game and in steals per game in each of the last two seasons.
Series Notes: Valpo enjoys a 25-7 advantage in the all-time series over Loyola and owns a 7-2 series lead since joining the MVC. Last season, the two squads split the season series, each winning on the other’s home court. The Ramblers took advantage of a cold shooting night for Valpo at the ARC to pick up a 53-36 road win, but Valpo turned the tables in Rogers Park, as a game-winning layup by Shay Frederick with 5.2 seconds to play gave the Brown and Gold a 57-55 victory at Gentile Arena.
- Valpo has been picked to finish in sixth place in the MVC preseason poll, totaling 208 points - just one point shy of fifth place.
- Valpo is in its fifth season as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference.
- The Valley was ranked seventh nationally in conference NET in 2020-21 and was eighth nationally in conference RPI in 2019-20.
...looking back at last year
- Valpo posted a 12-13 overall record during the 2020-21 season and went 7-9 in Missouri Valley Conference play.
- Valpo finished the regular season in seventh place in the MVC standings.
- Included among Valpo’s 12 victories were wins at Illinois and at Purdue, the program’s first Power Five wins since 2012-13.
- Valpo closed the season with a NET of 122 - the program’s best final NET/RPI ranking since the 2003-04 campaign.
- Shay Frederick was a First Team All-MVC honoree as she led the Valley in assists and ranked sixth in scoring.
- Carie Weinman earned Honorable Mention All-MVC notice and repeated on the All-Defensive Team as she led the Valley in steals for a second straight season.
- The Purple Aces held as many as a 14-point lead in the first quarter and led 18-9 at the end of the first.
- Valpo turned the tables in the second period, outscoring Evansville 22-4 - including 12 points from Olivia Brown - and closing the half with 15 straight points to take a 31-22 halftime lead.
- Evansville had a third-quarter push in it, as the Purple Aces closed to within as close as two points and were down just three at 39-36 at the halfway mark of the period.
- Grace White single-handedly turned the game around again from that point. In a six-possession stretch which covered a span of 2:57, White went 5-for-5 from the field — including three 3-pointers — for 13 points.
- At the same time, the Valpo defense was keeping Evansville off the scoreboard, and when Maya Dunson knocked down a pair of free throws with 1:16 to play in the quarter, it ended Valpo’s second 15-0 run of the game and put the Beacons up by 18 points. The lead never dropped to single digits the remainder of the game.
- The 14-point deficit Valpo overcame was its largest comeback win since rallying from a 14-point deficit Jan. 24, 2020 to defeat Loyola.
- The Beacons were led in the scoring column by Brown, who finished 7-of-12 from the field to match her season best with 21 points while also pulling down a season-high six rebounds.
- White came off the bench with another strong effort, finishing with 18 points — 12 of which came on four 3-pointers to tie a career high from downtown.
- Valpo out-rebounded Evansville, 39-31 — just the third time this season the Beacons have out-rebounded their opponent. 10 of Valpo’s boards came on the offensive glass — tying a season best — as it enjoyed a 14-6 edge in second-chance points, two days after trailing 26-8 in that category in the loss to Indiana State.
...versus Indiana State
- Valpo trailed 16-14 entering the final minute of the opening quarter, but Grace White scored five points in the final 60 seconds to push the Beacons to a 19-18 edge at the end of the first period.
- The battle to gain the advantage continued into the second quarter, as there were five more lead changes in the first half of the stanza. Leah Earnest gave Valpo a 26-25 lead with 6:26 to play in the first half on a layup.
- The Beacons failed to hit from the field for the next six-plus minutes after that bucket, however, as the Sycamores went on a 12-1 run to pull ahead by double figures. A step-back 3-pointer by Shay Frederick in the final seconds of the half brought Valpo back within 37-29 at intermission.
- Valpo enjoyed a strong offensive third quarter, hitting 8-of-13 from the field, including 5-of-8 from 3-point range. But the Beacons were unable to close any closer than five points during the period, as Indiana State went 10-of-21 from the field and grabbed offensive boards on eight of its 11 misses. The Sycamores finished the third quarter with 12 second-chance points and outscored Valpo for the period, 26-23, to push their lead to 63-52 with 10 minutes to play.
- ISU went on a quick 7-0 spurt in the first 90 seconds of the fourth quarter to secure the win.
- As a team, Valpo assisted on 18 of its 21 baskets Friday night – its second-highest assist total of the year.
- The Beacons shot 12-of-30 (.400) from 3-point range in the defeat. This marks the fourth time in seven MVC games that Valpo has made at least 10 triples and has shot at least 40% from deep.
- Valpo committed just 14 turnovers, its lowest total since turning the ball over just 10 times in the MVC opener at Southern Illinois. It was the first time this season that Indiana State forced fewer than 15 turnovers.
- The Sycamores hit the glass hard, out-rebounding Valpo by a 41-20 margin. ISU grabbed 18 offensive boards and converted them into 26 second-chance points.
- Indiana State held a 40-point advantage in the paint, out-scoring the Beacons from the lane, 58-18.
- The second half of the MVC slate begins with the Iowa road trip for Valpo. The swing opens Friday night at Drake.
- The Beacons then continue on to UNI for a Sunday afternoon matinee.
...on the road
- Friday marks the 12th of 16 road games for Valpo this season. The Beacons are 2-9 on the road so far this season and 1-3 on the road in MVC play.
- Valpo has finished at or above .500 in each of the last two seasons in true road games, going 6-6 on the road last year and 9-5 in 2019-20.
- Loyola enters Friday’s game at 11-7 overall, but is just 3-4 to date in MVC action.
- The Ramblers most recently earned a 68-54 victory over Evansville on Friday evening, as their scheduled game Sunday versus Indiana State was postponed.
- Allison Day paces Loyola with 11.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, while Maya Chandler also averages in double figures with 10.1 points per game.
Reaching the Halfway Mark
- Friday’s game against the Ramblers marks the halfway point of the MVC schedule for the Beacons.
- With a win over Loyola, Valpo would finish the first half of conference play with a 5-4 record.
- Should that happen, it would be the program’s first time finishing the first half of league action at or above .500 since 2008-09, when Valpo was 5-4 through the first half of Horizon League play.
- That year’s squad matched the 5-4 mark in the second half as well to finish at 10-8 in the league.
Hitting From Deep
- Valpo connected on 12-of-28 from the 3-point line last time out against Evansville, the third consecutive game it has made at least 10 3-pointers.
- It marked the eighth time overall that the Beacons have hit at least 10 3-pointers in a game, five of which have come in their eight MVC games to date.
- All five times they have hit 10+ 3-pointers in conference play, the Beacons have hit at least 40% of their tries from downtown.
- Valpo is now averaging an MVC-high 8.5 triples/game, good for 29th nationally.
- 42.9% of the Beacons’ points come via the 3-pointer, the second-highest percentage in the nation.
A Game of Runs
- Valpo used a pair of big runs to help earn the victory over Evansville on Sunday.
- The Beacons held the Purple Aces scoreless for a stretch of 6:39 spanning the second and third quarters, going on a 17-0 run which turned a six-point deficit into an 11-point lead.
- Later in the third quarter, with Evansville within three points, Valpo needed just three and a half minutes to reel off 15 straight points to extend its lead to 18.
- It was the first time Valpo has had multiple runs of 10-0 or better in the same game since scoring 12 straight and 11 straight in a win over UNI on Jan. 7, 2021.
- It was the first time Valpo has had two runs of 15 points or better in the same game since the 2017-18 season opener against IU Kokomo.
- Two Beacons enjoyed big scoring quarters in the win over Evansville last time out.
- Olivia Brown tripled the Purple Aces’ second-quarter scoring output, scoring 12 points in the second 10 minutes to help Valpo turn a nine-point deficit at the end of one into a nine-point halftime lead.
- Then, in the third quarter, Grace White scored all 13 of her points consecutively in a three-minute stretch as part of Valpo’s 15-0 run.
- The 13-point stanza was White’s highest-scoring quarter in the Valpo uniform and is the seventh time she has scored 10+ in a quarter at Valpo.
- The 13-point personal run is the largest by a Valpo player in at least five years - Carie Weinman (Western Michigan, Dec. 2020) and Meredith Hamlet (Loyola, February 2018) both had personal 11-0 runs.
- It is the first time since Jan. 31 of last season that Valpo has had multiple players with 10+ point quarters in the same game.
- Valpo has recorded a number of firsts in program history over the first few weekends of conference play.
- The Beacons’ win at Bradley was the program’s first over the Braves in Peoria.
- Bradley had previously won all six home games over Valpo.
- Valpo’s win over Drake was the first in program history over the Bulldogs.
- Drake previously owned a 13-0 advantage in the series, 11 of which had come since Valpo joined the Valley.
- That leaves Missouri State as the lone program the Beacons have yet to beat since joining the MVC.
- The win over Drake also gave Valpo its first sweep of the UNI/Drake weekend in MVC play.
- It is Valpo’s fourth sweep of a weekend set since joining the Valley. Valpo previously swept both the home and road Indiana State/Evansville weekends in 2019-20, and took down Southern Illinois twice on back-to-back days last season.
Frederick Moves On Up
- One season after leading the Valley in assists, Shay Frederick again tops the chart this season as she’s averaging 4.7 assists/game.
- Frederick is trying to become the first MVC player to lead the conference in assists in consecutive seasons since Caitlin Ingle of Drake did so three straight seasons (2014-15 through 2016-17).
- Frederick has 438 career assists after dishing out four versus Evansville, third-most in program history and just 10 shy of Katie Boone for second.
- One of 17 players in program history to reach the 1,000-point milestone for her career, Frederick ranks 13th all-time at Valpo with 1,122 career points - one shy of Grace Hales for 12th position.
- Frederick is one of just two players in program history with at least 1,000 career points and 400 career assists, and just one of three active MVC players above those marks (Brice Calip, MSU and Karli Rucker, UNI).
- Frederick also is just four triples away from cracking Valpo’s top-five in 3-pointers made.
Liv Breaks Out
- Junior Olivia Brown has stood out for the Beacons within MVC play.
- In Valley games, Brown is averaging a team-best 13.1 ppg on 52.8% shooting from the field and 45.9% from 3-point range.
- This comes after Brown averaged just 2.5 ppg through non-conference action and hit a total of nine field goals in the first 11 games.
- Overall this year, Brown ranks third in the MVC, connecting at a 40.7% clip from deep.
- Included among her efforts in conference play so far are five double-digit scoring performances, and she has led all players three times - 21 points at Missouri State, 18 points in the win over UNI and 21 points in the win over Evansville.
- Brown was named MVC Newcomer of the Week on Jan. 10 for her performances in the victories over UNI and Drake - Valpo’s first MVC Newcomer of the Week since March 9, 2020.
White Does It All
- Senior Grace White has continued to stuff the stat sheet in her final season in the Brown and Gold.
- White leads the team in rebounding and steals, ranks second in assists and blocked shots, and ranks third in scoring.
- White ranks second in the Valley in steals (2.5/game) and third in free throw percentage (.840).
- She currently ranks among the top-50 nationally in steals/game as well.
What a Rally
- Two of Valpo’s four MVC victories have seen the Beacons overcome double-digit deficits at some point during the game to earn the win.
- Valpo has now rallied from down 10 or more to win 12 times in head coach Mary Evans’ four-year tenure at the helm of the program.
- The win over UNI featured a comeback from down 13 in the fourth quarter, tying the program’s largest comeback in the final period since the move to quarters — Valpo previously rallied from a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter in a 66-64 win over Loyola on Jan. 24, 2020.
- Last time out against Evansville, the Beacons trailed by as many as 14 points before picking up the win - it was Valpo’s largest comeback overall since the aforementioned Loyola game, which featured a 14-point deficit at one point.