The Valpo women’s basketball team returned home to the ARC for the first time in nearly three weeks on Thursday evening, taking down IU Northwest in exhibition action, 65-60.
How It Happened
- IU Northwest jumped out to an 11-3 lead 5:32 into the opening period. The Beacons countered with an 8-2 run over the remainder of the first quarter — including 3-pointers from Emma Tecca (Tallmadge, Ohio/Archbishop Hoban [Akron]) and Ava Interrante (McHenry, Ill./McHenry) — to close to within 13-11 at the end of the quarter.
- Valpo outscored the RedHawks 12-4 over the first four-plus minutes of the second quarter, including six more points for Interrante, to pull out to a 23-17 lead.
- IU Northwest came back to outscore the Beacons 12-5 in the final five-plus minutes of the period, taking a one-point lead at intermission, 29-28.
- Valpo scored on six of its first seven possessions of the second half, led by six points from Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) and a pair of fast-break baskets for Nevaeh Jackson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop), to take the lead for good as it extended the advantage to 40-31 with 6:47 to play in the period.
- The Beacons’ lead was still eight inside the final minute of the quarter, but IU Northwest scored five points in the final 20 seconds of the period — including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer — to close to within 50-47 with 10 minutes to play.
- An 8-2 spurt to start the final quarter, capped by another triple by Interrante, pushed the Beacons’ lead out to 58-49 with 7:38 remaining.
- Jackson converted a layup to beat the shot clock off a feed from twin Saniya Jackson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop) with 2:36 to play as Valpo’s lead reached its apex at 62-52. IU Northwest scored the next five points, but the Beacons kept the RedHawks from closing the deficit any further the rest of the way.
Inside the Game
- Interrante knocked down four 3-pointers en route to 15 points, tying for team-high honors. She also paced the Beacons on the glass with 12 rebounds.
- Saniya Jackson went 6-of-11 from the floor to tie Interrante with a 15-point night. Jackson also handed out five assists while committing just one turnover and added a pair of steals as well.
- All five Valpo starters contributed at least eight points to the scoring column. Olivia Brown (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids [St. Bonaventure]) finished with nine points.
- Nevaeh Jackson tallied eight points, four rebounds and three assists.
- Earnest finished with eight points and hit the boards as well, grabbing 11 caroms.
- Raeven Raye-Redmond (Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood Madison) tallied four steals off the bench to lead the way as the Beacons forced 17 IU Northwest turnovers, which they converted into 21 points.
- Valpo shot just 6-of-17 from inside the 3-point line in the first half, but flipped that into a 14-of-22 effort inside the arc in the second half.
Postgame Press Conference - Head Coach Mary Evans, Ava Interrante, Saniya Jackson
Valpo returns to regular season action on Saturday afternoon when it hosts Chicago State at 1 p.m. Come on out and be part of the Region’s biggest Christmas party!