December 20, 20231st2nd3rd4thFinal
Stats at a GlanceVALPOStet
FG Percentage.385 (20-52) .529 (27-51)
3P FG Percentage.333 (9-27) .357 (5-14)
FT Percentage.565 (13-23) .704 (19-27)
Offensive Rebounds710
Defensive Rebounds1831
Total Rebounds2541
Bench Points1920
PointsBrown - 14
McNeal - 17
ReboundsJackson - 7
Turner - 8
AssistsEarnest - 5
Turner - 4
StealsRaye-Redmond - 3
Turner - 2
BlocksJackson - 1
Jackson - 1
Kunzwiler - 1
McNeal - 1
Women’s Basketball Closes Nonconference with Loss at Stetson
Wednesday, December 20, 2023
Women’s Basketball Closes Nonconference with Loss at Stetson
Leah Earnest had 10 points and five assists Wednesday.

The Valpo women’s basketball team brought its time at the Holiday Hoops Classic in DeLand, Fla. to a close on Wednesday, dropping a 78-62 decision to host Stetson to close out nonconference play.

How It Happened

  • The first quarter was played entirely within a single possession either way, as neither team was able to push its lead past three points. The Beacons enjoyed a 3-point lead at 14-11 with just over a minute remaining in the quarter following a triple from Layla Gold (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral), and the teams eventually ended the opening period tied at 15-15.
  • Stetson opened the second quarter on a 10-3 run over the first 4:40 of the period, a run which was snapped on a 3-pointer by Emma Tecca (Tallmadge, Ohio/Archbishop Hoban [Akron]). Later in the quarter, another 3-pointer from Tecca brought Valpo back to within one at 27-26 with 3:43 to play until halftime, but the Hatters scored the final six points of the half to take a 33-26 lead into intermission.
  • Olivia Brown (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids [St. Bonaventure]) opened the second half with a 3-pointer mere seconds into the third quarter, but Stetson responded with four points on its next two possessions to push its lead back to eight.
  • The Beacons held the Hatters without a point for an ensuing stretch of nearly five minutes, using a triple from Ava Interrante (McHenry, Ill./McHenry) and an old-fashioned 3-point play by Olivia Sims (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy [Oakland]) to close to within 37-35 with 4:44 to play in the quarter.
  • The deficit was still just four points at 43-39 with 2:23 to go in the third period before Stetson ended the quarter on a 9-0 run to push its lead to its apex at 52-39 with 10 minutes to play.
  • Valpo scored the first five points of the fourth quarter in the opening 55 seconds, as Brown connected from deep and Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) converted a driving layup to make it a 52-44 game.
  • But the eight-point barrier was a bugaboo for the Beacons in the final period, as twice they cut the lead to less than that, only for Stetson to respond immediately. The first came following a 3-point play by Saniya Jackson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop) with 7:04 to play which cut the deficit to 57-50, but the Hatters knocked down a triple on their next possession to restore the 10-point lead.
  • Stetson’s lead grew to as many as 12 before Valpo made one final push, getting as close as 66-60 with 2:40 to play following a basket at the rim from Brown. But again, the Hatters came down and got a 3-pointer, and Valpo got no closer the rest of the way.

Inside the Game

  • One day after reaching the 1,000-point mark for her collegiate career, Brown paced Valpo on Wednesday, pouring in 14 points — including four 3-pointers.
  • Brown was joined by a pair of teammates in double figures. Jackson finished with 10 points and led the Beacons with seven rebounds, bettering her season best in that category for the second straight day.
  • Earnest finished with 10 points as well, her eighth double-digit scoring outing in the season’s first nine games. The senior also handed out a game-high five assists.
  • Interrante matched her season best with nine points, including a perfect 6-of-6 effort from the foul line, while Tecca hit a pair of triples for six points to go with four rebounds.
  • Valpo shot just 38.5% from the field on Wednesday compared to Stetson’s 52.9% clip. The Beacons did hit nine 3-pointers to the Hatters’ five, but Valpo was undone in part by 13-of-23 shooting from the charity stripe.

Next Up

Valpo (1-8) returns to action following Christmas with the start of Missouri Valley Conference action. The Beacons will play their first three MVC games away from home, starting Saturday, Dec. 30 at Murray State.