The Valpo women’s basketball team finished off a season sweep of Drake and earned the first win in program history on the road over the Bulldogs, going into the Knapp Center and handing Drake a 72-65 defeat on Friday evening. Grace White (Redby, Minn./Red Lake [Denver]) led the way for Valpo, which overcame a double-figure deficit to earn a win for the third time during conference play, with 20 points, 11 rebounds and six steals.
How It Happened
- An early 10-0 run for Drake gave the Bulldogs a 13-4 lead just over six minutes into the game, but Valpo rallied with eight of the next 10 points to make it a 3-point game.
- The Bulldogs extended their lead back to nine points late in the quarter before White connected on a 3-pointer off a feed from Ilysse Pitts (Aurora, Ill./Montini Catholic) with the shot clock running down in the final seconds of the period to make it 21-15 at the end of the first.
- White hit another triple on the first offensive possession of the second quarter to cut Drake’s lead to 21-18, but the Bulldogs scored eight of the next nine to push their lead into double figures at 29-19 with six minutes left in the second quarter.
- Valpo trailed by seven points, 39-32, at intermission.
- The Beacons went on a 12-3 run over the first four minutes of the second half, with a triple by Caitlin Morrison (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) tying the game and a driving layup from Shay Frederick (Greenville, Wis./Hortonville) at the 6:06 mark giving Valpo a 44-42 lead, its first lead since the opening minutes of the game.
- The teams vied for control the remainder of the third quarter, as neither squad gained more than a 3-point lead. Drake led by three inside of the final minute before Maya Dunson (Dayton, Ohio/Wayne [Loyola]) drove for a basket at the rim to bring Valpo within 51-50 with 10 minutes to play.
- Valpo and Drake traded baskets in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, but after Drake connected on a second-chance basket with 8:27 to play in the game, the Beacons held the Bulldogs off the board for over three minutes.
- In that stretch, Valpo scored nine straight points — five from Carie Weinman (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South [Denver]) and four from Frederick — to push its advantage to eight points approaching the halfway mark of the quarter.
- Just over a minute later, Weinman converted a layup while being fouled for a conventional 3-point play, giving the Beacons their largest lead at 64-55 with 4:05 to go.
- Valpo’s lead was still eight at the 3:07 mark as Weinman made two free throws. Drake came back with seven points over three possessions while holding Valpo scoreless to close to within 66-65 with 1:33 remaining.
- After a Valpo miss, the Bulldogs had the ball inside the final minute with a chance to take the lead. But White came up with a blocked shot on Drake’s first attempt and its second effort was off the mark to give Valpo possession with the lead with 48 seconds remaining.
- After running down the shot clock, Olivia Brown (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids [St. Bonaventure]) drove the lane and found Weinman with a beautiful pass on a back cut for an easy layup to make it 68-65 with 24.9 seconds remaining.
- Weinman then got it done on the defensive end, coming up with a steal to ensure the Bulldogs would not get a shot to potentially tie the game. Valpo iced the game at the charity stripe, with first White and then Frederick hitting two free throws apiece to cap the scoring.
Inside the Game
- The win completed Valpo’s season sweep of the Bulldogs after having entered the season 0-13 all-time versus Drake.
- Valpo overcame a 10-point deficit in the first half to earn Friday night’s win, the third time it has won a game it has trailed by double digits in MVC play this season (UNI, Evansville). Valpo has now rallied from down 10 or more to win 13 times in head coach Mary Evans’ four-year tenure.
- Leading the way in Friday’s win was the effort across the board for White. She registered a double-double — the third of her career — in the first half alone, entering the halftime intermission with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
- The final line showed White pacing Valpo with 20 points, 10 of which came from the foul line, for her second game of the season with 20+ points. She surpassed her previous career best as she pulled down 11 rebounds, and matched her career high from earlier this year with six steals.
- White was one of three Valpo players to score in double figures on Friday. Weinman posted an efficient 15 points off the bench, going 4-of-5 from the floor and 5-of-5 from the foul line.
- 12 of Weinman’s 15 points came in the fourth quarter, just two shy of the Bulldogs’ team total of 14 in the final period. It is the seventh time in Weinman’s Valpo career she has scored 10 or more in a single quarter.
- With Friday’s effort, Weinman sits at 995 career points (counting her season at Denver).
- Frederick finished with 14 points and dished out three assists without committing a turnover. The senior is now just six assists shy of second place in program history.
- Brown added nine points on three 3-pointers, while Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) scored nine points as well to go with six rebounds.
- Valpo enjoyed its best game of the season from the foul line, hitting a season-best 21 free throws on 84% shooting (21-of-25).
- The Beacons were a +6 in the turnover department, committing just 13 miscues to Drake’s 19. More importantly, Valpo came up with 14 steals to tie a season high while the Bulldogs tallied just one steal, leading to a 30-14 advantage in points off turnovers for the Beacons.
- Valpo and Drake were tied on the glass, 35-35, and Valpo grabbed a season-high 13 offensive rebounds. The Beacons limited the Bulldogs to just eight second-chance points.
Valpo (7-14, 5-5 MVC) will take aim at a complete season sweep of the Iowa schools on Sunday afternoon when it completes the weekend road trip at UNI. Tipoff on Sunday is slated for 2 p.m.