November 29, 20231st2nd3rd4th1OT Final
Western Mich.1882021875
Stats at a GlanceVALPOWMU
FG Percentage.474 (27-57) .387 (24-62)
3P FG Percentage.250 (4-16) .435 (10-23)
FT Percentage.650 (13-20) .708 (17-24)
Offensive Rebounds814
Defensive Rebounds2623
Total Rebounds3437
Bench Points1223
PointsEarnest - 22
Zarycki - 32
ReboundsEarnest - 11
Zarycki - 9
AssistsRaye-Redmond - 5
Zarycki - 6
StealsBrown - 2
Raye-Redmond - 2
Jackson - 2
Earnest - 2
Zarycki - 2
BlocksJackson - 1
Van Weelden - 1
Carlson - 1
Heartbreak for Women’s Basketball in Overtime Loss at Western Michigan
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
Heartbreak for Women’s Basketball in Overtime Loss at Western Michigan
Olivia Brown scored a season-best 16 points Wednesday.

The Valpo women’s basketball team looked poised to claim its first victory of the season Wednesday evening in Kalamazoo, Mich., but Western Michigan’s Kaiden Glenn banked in a 3-pointer as time expired in regulation to force overtime and the Broncos went on to emerge 75-71 victors.

How It Happened

  • Outside of a brief early four-point lead for Valpo, the entire first quarter was played with neither squad extending its advantage past one possession. At the end of 10 minutes, it was WMU with a slim 18-17 advantage.
  • The Beacons scored the first seven points of the second quarter — four from Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) and a 3-point play by Olivia Sims (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy [Oakland]) — to extend out to its largest lead of the game at 24-18. Valpo never trailed again in the first half, taking a 28-26 lead into halftime.
  • WMU used a 12-0 run midway through the third period to turn a 34-28 Valpo edge into a 40-34 lead for the Broncos. The Beacons went on to erase that entire deficit late in the quarter with a 7-0 spurt featuring five points from Saniya Jackson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop), but WMU scored the final basket of the quarter to lead 46-45 with 10 minutes to play in regulation.
  • The Broncos opened the fourth quarter on a 9-2 run to push their lead out to 55-47, but with the deficit still at six points a couple minutes later, Valpo reeled off eight points in a three-possession stretch to jump in front. Earnest started the spurt with a layup and capped it with a triple as the shot clock was expiring, giving the Beacons a 58-56 lead with 4:24 to go.
  • A five-point possession for WMU with 2:40 remaining in regulation gave the Broncos a four-point lead at 64-60. Valpo answered by connecting on three of four from the foul line over its next two trips, and Earnest came up with a steal on the next defensive possession and fed Nevaeh Jackson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop) for a 3-pointer to make it 66-64 with 1:39 to play in regulation.
  • The teams traded turnovers before another WMU miscue returned possession to Valpo with 41 seconds to go. The Beacons ran the shot clock nearly all the way down before a missed shot, but on the ensuing WMU possession, Ava Interrante (McHenry, Ill./McHenry) took a charge with four seconds to play to regain possession. Valpo split a pair of free throws as WMU fouled immediately, setting up the Broncos’ timeout to advance the ball and tie the game with the buzzer-beating triple from Glenn.
  • Valpo never led in overtime, as its only field goal came on a triple by Olivia Brown (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids [St. Bonaventure]) with 2:06 to play which tied the game at 70-70. The Beacons had three possessions in the final 90 seconds with a chance to tie or take the lead, but they went 0-for-3 from the floor and committed a pair of turnovers on those possessions.

Inside the Game

  • The overtime game was Valpo’s first since falling to UAB in early-season action last year.
  • The Beacons hit at a season-best clip from inside the arc on Wednesday, going 23-of-41 (56.1%) from 2-point range as they enjoyed a 46-28 edge in points in the paint. They were just 4-of-16 from 3-point range, however.
  • Meanwhile, Valpo limited WMU to 38.7% shooting from the field, but the Broncos hit 10-of-23 from 3-point range.
  • The Beacons came up with 10 steals and have been in double digits in the category in three of their five games this season.
  • Earnest paced Valpo with 22 points, the second-highest scoring effort of her career as her top two performances have come in the Beacons’ last two games.
  • The senior hit a career-best 10 shots, going 10-of-16 from the floor. She also pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds to record her second double-double of the year.
  • Playing less than an hour from her hometown, Brown poured in 16 points.
  • Saniya Jackson finished in double figures for the second straight game, scoring 11 points in her first collegiate start while adding four rebounds as well.
  • Raeven Raye-Redmond (Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood Madison) came off the bench with seven points, five rebounds and five assists, while Nevaeh Jackson tied her season best with six rebounds to go with six points.
  • Valpo played Wednesday’s game without the services of starting point guard Jill Harris.

Next Up

Valpo (0-5) concludes its current stretch of four consecutive road games on Sunday afternoon when the Beacons make the short trip to West Lafayette, Ind. to take on Purdue. Tip is slated for 1 p.m. CT and the game can be seen live on BTN+.