December 30, 20231st2nd3rd4thFinal
Murray St.2915321490
Stats at a GlanceVALPOMUR
FG Percentage.407 (22-54) .460 (29-63)
3P FG Percentage.308 (8-26) .440 (11-25)
FT Percentage.714 (10-14) .778 (21-27)
Offensive Rebounds916
Defensive Rebounds2226
Total Rebounds3142
Bench Points1047
PointsEarnest - 17
Learn - 15
ReboundsEarnest - 9
White - 6
AssistsBrown - 3
Sanders-Woods - 7
StealsJackson - 3
Jackson - 3
Earnest - 3
Conner - 2
Stewart - 2
Thomas - 2
Young - 2
BlocksJackson - 2
Jackson - 2
Women’s Basketball Drops Valley Opener at Murray State
Saturday, December 30, 2023
Women’s Basketball Drops Valley Opener at Murray State
Saniya Jackson scored in double figures for the fifth time in Valpo's last seven games.

The Valpo women’s basketball team opened the 2023-24 Missouri Valley Conference slate Saturday evening in Murray, Ky., dropping a 90-62 decision to host Murray State.

How It Happened

  • Early 3-pointers from Ava Interrante (McHenry, Ill./McHenry) and Nevaeh Jackson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop) had the score tied at 8-8 just over three minutes into the game.
  • The Racers pushed their lead out to 18-10 with 5:19 to play in the opening quarter. Valpo came back with six points in a row in less than a minute, with Saniya Jackson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop) tallying a basket, two assists and two steals during that quick spurt.
  • Murray State posted a big run to close the first period, scoring the final 11 points — seven of which came in the last 1:05 of the quarter — to claim a 29-16 lead at the end of the opening 10 minutes.
  • The Racers pushed their advantage to 16 points with a triple on their first possession of the second quarter. Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) retorted with 3-pointers on back-to-back trips, kicking off a 12-3 run which brought the Beacons to within 35-28 with 4:44 to play in the first half.
  • Once again, Valpo went on a drought from the field in the late stages of the quarter, as the Racers rattled off nine straight points. A 3-pointer by Layla Gold (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) with just over one minute remaining accounted for the Beacons’ only points of the final five minutes of the quarter, cutting the deficit to 44-31 at intermission.
  • The teams were close to even over the first few minutes of the third quarter, as a 3-point possession by Earnest with 6:51 to play in the period made it a 54-39 game. The Beacons went scoreless over the next four-plus minutes, however, as Murray State reeled off 13 points in a row to pull away.
  • The Racers led 76-49 with 10 minutes to play, and Valpo was unable to get any closer in the fourth quarter.

Inside the Game

  • Earnest led all players with a game-high 17 points, the ninth time in 10 games this season that the senior has scored in double figures.
  • Earnest also came up just one rebound shy of a double-double, pacing all players with nine boards. With 493 career rebounds, Earnest is just two shy of cracking the program’s all-time top-20 in the category and is seven shy of hitting the 500-board milestone for her career.
  • Saniya Jackson tallied 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting to reach double figures for the fifth time in Valpo’s last seven games, while Nevaeh Jackson totaled 10 points to hit double digits for the second time this year. Both of the twins contributed three steals and two blocked shots as well.
  • Olivia Brown (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids [St. Bonaventure]) contributed nine points and handed out a team-best three assists.
  • Valpo shot at a 40.7% (22-of-54) clip from the floor to Murray State’s 46% (29-of-63) shooting. The Racers also hit 11 triples versus the Beacons’ eight 3-pointers.
  • The Beacons committed a season-worst 28 turnovers which Murray State converted into 35 points.
  • Led by the Jackson twins, Valpo racked up 11 steals to maintain its MVC-leading pace as a team in that category. It is the sixth time this year the Beacons have posted a double-digit steal total.

Next Up

Valpo (1-9, 0-1 MVC) continues its swing of road games with the longest trip of the Valley slate next week, heading to Springfield, Mo. to face Missouri State Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. The game can be seen live on ESPN+.