Valparaiso (8-15, 6-6 MVC)
Game #24 - February 12, 2022 - 1 p.m.
Illinois State (14-9, 10-2 MVC)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.
Next Up in Valpo Basketball: Fresh off a victory over Bradley on Thursday evening, the Valpo women’s basketball team hits the hardwood Saturday in an effort to complete a 2-0 weekend when it welcomes conference-leading Illinois State to town. It will be the program’s Play4Kay game, honoring cancer warriors in the fight against all cancers affecting women.
Previously: Valpo has made a habit of being able to rally from double-digit deficits to earn wins, and Thursday evening at the ARC was no difference, as the Beacons overcame a 12-point first-half Bradley lead and held off the Braves down the stretch to pick up an 86-84 victory and move back to .500 in MVC play. Shay Frederick set a new career best with 11 assists, recorded the first double-double of her career and moved into second place in program history in career assists.
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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 45-64. 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: Illinois State leads the all-time series 9-4 and owns a 6-3 advantage since Valpo joined the MVC. In a quirk of the scheduling due to last year’s same-site series, the last four games of the series have all been played in Normal, with each team winning two. Earlier this season, the Redbirds used a big second-quarter run to pull away for a 65-49 win. Grace White led Valpo in that contest with 16 points and seven rebounds.
- 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 Braves led for most of the first half and their lead reached an apex of 12 points in the second quarter before Valpo battled back to within 46-44 at intermission.
- The Beacons gained their first lead since the game’s opening minutes on a layup by Carie Weinman with 3:10 to play in the third quarter.
- The teams were tied 65-65 at the end of the third, and were still tied at 70-70 before Valpo forced three consecutive Bradley turnovers during a 6-0 spurt to take the lead for good approaching the midway mark of the fourth.
- Valpo never relinquished the lead, holding off the Braves despite Bradley having four separate shot attempts in the final 2:30 with a chance to tie or take the lead.
- Valpo earned its first season sweep of Bradley since joining the Valley with Thursday’s win.
- Grace White paced Valpo with an efficient 20-point effort off the bench — her third 20-point game of the season. White finished 6-of-9 from the field and was 4-of-7 from the 3-point line, matching a career high for 3-pointers made.
- Weinman joined White with a strong effort off the bench as the Beacons out-scored the Braves in bench points, 46-4. Weinman went 8-of-11 from the field for 19 points.
- Frederick notched 17 points, two off her season best, in the win. The senior paced Valpo’s effort on the glass with six rebounds as well.
- Frederick surpassed her career high with 11 assists — a mark which ties a season high by any MVC player. Not only did she set a career best in the category as half of her first career double-double, Frederick did so without committing a turnover.
- Valpo shot 51.7% from the field in Thursday’s win, its second-best clip of the season from the floor. The Beacons were 20-of-30 from inside the arc, and also knocked down 11 3-pointers — their sixth time in MVC play hitting at least 10 triples.
- Valpo also hit at an 86.7% rate from the foul line (13-of-15) and was a perfect 8-for-8 from the stripe in the decisive final period.
- Valpo never led on Sunday, with the Panthers scoring the first five points of the game.
- The Beacons got to within 9-7 with 4:18 to play in the opening period on a 3-pointer from Carie Weinman.
- UNI ended the quarter on an 8-0 run and then scored the first five points of the second quarter to extend its lead to 15 points with 7:44 to play in the half. Valpo would not cut the deficit to single digits the rest of the way.
- Valpo’s 38 points marked its second-lowest output of the season (South Dakota).
- The Beacons shot just 25% from the floor on Sunday, matched a season low with four 3-pointers and committed 17 turnovers.
- Weinman paced the Beacons with seven points, while Caitlin Morrison scored six and led Valpo with five rebounds.
- The Beacons hit the road next weekend, traveling to Evansville for a Friday night game before playing at Indiana State on Sunday afternoon.
- Valpo then returns home for the final three games of the regular season, starting on Friday, Feb. 25 against Loyola.
...at the ARC
- Thursday is the sixth MVC home game of the season and the 10th of 13 home games in total this year for the Beacons.
- Valpo posted a 5-6 record at the ARC last season and is currently 5-4 at home this year.
- Illinois State enters Saturday’s game at 14-9 overall and is atop the MVC standings with a 10-2 record in conference play.
- The Redbirds have won their last four games, including pulling out a 57-53 win on Thursday evening at Loyola.
- JuJu Redmond leads ISU in the scoring column, averaging 15.5 points/game on 51.2% shooting from the field. DeAnna Wilson adds 13.6 points/game and a team-high 7.8 rebounds/game.
A High-Scoring Affair
- Thursday’s game at the ARC was jam-packed with action en route to an 86-84 final score.
- Valpo’s 86 points were a season high and the most the team has scored since an 88-83 win over Xavier in December 2020.
- The Beacons hit 31 shots from the floor, their first time hitting 30+ field goals since an 88-66 win at Evansville in January 2020.
- Meanwhile, the 84 points Valpo surrendered in the winning effort are the most the program has given up in a regulation victory since a 92-89 win over Western Illinois in January 1997.
- Each of Valpo’s last three wins and four of six 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 14 times in head coach Mary Evans’ four-year tenure at the helm of the program.
- Most recently, Valpo overcame a 12-point deficit in the second quarter to earn the win over Bradley.
- Last weekend at Drake, the Beacons trailed by 10 in the first half before coming back for the victory.
- Valpo’s home 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.
- 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.
- Senior Shay Frederick reached another level with her distribution of the basketball in Valpo’s win over Bradley on Thursday.
- Frederick surpassed her career high with 11 assists against the Braves, the second time this year she has reached double figures in the category.
- It also ties the season high for assists in a game by an MVC player.
- The assists comprised half of Frederick’s first career double-double, as she also scored 17 points in the win.
- But even more impressively, Frederick tallied the 17 points and 11 assists without committing a single turnover.
- According to HerHoopStats.com, Frederick is one of only eight players in D-I this season to record 11+ assists in a game without committing a turnover.
- Drilling further down into the Her Hoops Stats data, Frederick is one of only three D-I players this season to finish with a stat line of 17 PTS/6 REB/11 AST or better in those categories and also finish with 0 turnovers.
Ups and Downs
- Valley play over the last month for the Beacons has been a yo-yo in terms of results, a string Valpo will attempt to snap on Saturday.
- Starting with the Jan. 9 victory over Bradley, Valpo has alternated wins and losses in each of its last nine games - most recently taking down the Braves again on Thursday.
- This ties the program record for the longest stretch of alternating results - the 1998-99 team oscillated between losses and victories for nine consecutive games to open the campaign, while the 1982-83 squad alternated between wins and defeats for a nine-game stretch as well.
- Four Beacons have combined for six big scoring quarters over the last five games.
- In Valpo’s win over Evansville, Olivia Brown tripled the Purple Aces’ second-quarter scoring output, scoring 12 points to help Valpo turn a nine-point deficit at the end of the first quarter 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 a 15-0 Valpo run.
- The 13-point stanza was White’s highest-scoring quarter in the Valpo uniform.
- 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.
- At Loyola, Shay Frederick dropped 11 points in the first quarter - the 16th time in her Valpo career she has scored 10+ points in a single period.
- In the win at Drake, Weinman poured in 12 fourth-quarter points, just two points shy of the Bulldogs’ team output of 14 points.
- Last time out in the win over Bradley, White scored 10 points in the third quarter - her eighth time scoring 10+ points in a period in the Valpo uniform.
- Weinman followed up with another huge fourth quarter, helping secure the win with 13 points in the final 10 minutes.
- It was Weinman’s eighth time scoring 10+ points in a quarter at Valpo and was the highest-scoring quarter of her Valpo career.
- Valpo has recorded a number of firsts in program history during conference play this year.
- The Beacons have registered their first road win over two MVC teams this season, winning for the first time both at Drake and at Bradley.
- Both Drake and Bradley were previously 6-0 at home versus Valpo before this season.
- The win at the Knapp Center completed Valpo’s first season sweep of Drake, the program’s first two wins ever against the Bulldogs.
- Prior to the Beacons’ win at the ARC over Drake earlier this season, the Bulldogs held a 13-0 advantage in the all-time series.
- The win over Drake in January 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.
- Valpo completed its first season sweep of Bradley last time out with the home win over the Braves.
- Valpo has had two players reach the 1,000-point milestone for their collegiate career already this season, with a third being within striking distance of doing so as well by season’s end.
- Last weekend at UNI, Carie Weinman hit a shot on Valpo’s first possession of the fourth quarter to reach the milestone.
- Weinman has now scored 1,021 career points - 191 in one season at Denver, and 830 in her three seasons in the Valpo uniform.
- Earlier this season, Shay Frederick surpassed 1,000 career points in Valpo’s game at South Dakota.
- Meanwhile, Grace White comes into the Illinois State game with 960 career points, putting her on track to potentially reach the milestone as well this season.
- White scored 277 points in her two years at Denver and is at 683 points in her time at Valpo.
Top 100 Wins
- Valpo has made a habit of knocking off top-100 opponents in MVC play over the last few seasons and has done so three times this year.
- The home win over UNI came over a team which entered the night ranked #46 in NET, and the home victory came over a Drake squad which was #65.
- Most recently, the road win at Drake came over a Bulldogs squad which entered the day at #84.
- Valpo now has eight top-100 NET/RPI wins in Valley action over the last three seasons.
- Prior to its Feb. 16, 2020 win at Illinois State - its first top-100 win in conference play since joining the Valley - Valpo had gone nearly seven years without a top-100 victory.
White Does It All
- Senior Grace White has continued to stuff the stat sheet in her final season in the Brown and Gold, and took it to another level in the victory at Drake.
- White finished the game with a team-high 20 points, a career-best 11 rebounds and six steals, also matching a career high.
- White needed just the first 20 minutes to record her third double-double at Valpo, entering halftime with 14 points and 10 rebounds - the first Valpo player since November 2016 to post a double-double in the first half.
- White again paced Valpo in scoring last time out with 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting in the win over Bradley.
- White leads the team in rebounding and steals and ranks second in scoring, assists and blocked shots.
- White leads the Valley in steals (2.5/game) and ranks eighth in rebounding (5.9/game).
- She currently ranks among the top-50 nationally in steals/game as well.
Frederick Moves On Up
- One season after leading the Valley in assists, Frederick again tops the chart this season as she’s averaging 4.6 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).
- Last time out, Frederick surpassed Katie Boone for second place in program history in career assists, as she now has 454 career helpers.
- One of 17 players in program history to reach the 1,000-point milestone for her career, Frederick ranks 12th all-time at Valpo with 1,173 career points.
- 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 one triple away from cracking Valpo’s top-five in 3-pointers made.