March 07, 20241st2nd3rd4thFinal
Southern Ill.1417111860
Stats at a GlanceSIUVALPO
FG Percentage.392 (20-51) .380 (19-50)
3P FG Percentage.231 (3-13) .100 (2-20)
FT Percentage.895 (17-19) .917 (11-12)
Offensive Rebounds1010
Defensive Rebounds2221
Total Rebounds3231
Bench Points95
PointsLove - 18
Earnest - 25
ReboundsKatcher - 12
Jackson - 7
Earnest - 7
AssistsMason - 4
Jackson - 3
StealsLove - 3
Interrante - 2
Jackson - 2
Jackson - 2
BlocksKatcher - 2
Gold - 3
Women’s Basketball Drops Battle with SIU Thursday
Thursday, March 7, 2024
Women’s Basketball Drops Battle with SIU Thursday
Leah Earnest scored a game-high 25 points Thursday.

Valpo women’s basketball senior Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) scored a game-high 25 points Thursday evening, but the Beacons were unable to get over the hump in the second half as Southern Illinois held off every Valpo rally, eventually sending the Beacons to a 60-51 defeat.

How It Happened

  • The first quarter was contested almost entirely within a one-possession game either way. SIU did briefly extend its lead to five points late in the period, but redshirt senior Emma Tecca (Tallmadge, Ohio/Archbishop Hoban [Akron]) hit a 3-pointer less than 30 seconds later to bring it back to a two-point game.
  • The Salukis led 14-12 at the end of the opening quarter.
  • SIU used a 7-0 run midway through the second quarter to extend its lead to double digits and got its advantage to 10 points on three occasions in the period.
  • Earnest accounted for all 11 of Valpo’s points in the second period, including a driving layup with 20 seconds to play in the opening half which brought the Beacons within 31-23 at intermission.
  • Valpo held SIU to just two points over the first four-plus minutes of the third quarter, enabling the Beacons to close to within 33-31 on a putback by freshman Nevaeh Jackson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop).
  • The Beacons got as close as one point twice in the third period, and by the end of the period, had possessed the ball seven times with a chance to tie or take the lead. They were never able to even the score, however, and SIU pushed its lead back out to 42-37 at the end of the third quarter.
  • After giving up the first two points of the fourth quarter, Valpo scored eight of the next 10 points to close to within 46-45 with 6:02 to play.
  • In a span of 30 seconds, SIU secured an offensive rebound, got a second-chance basket and came up with a steal which led to a fast-break bucket, quickly making it a 50-45 game with five minutes to play.
  • Valpo never again possessed the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead.

Inside the Game

  • Earnest led all players with 25 points on Thursday, going 9-of-16 from the field and a perfect 7-of-7 from the foul line, and also tied for team-high honors with seven rebounds.
  • Earnest — who was honored prior to the game for surpassing a pair of statistical milestones last month — is up to 1,059 career points and 628 career rebounds. She is 18 points shy of moving into 16th on Valpo’s career scoring chart and 14 rebounds away from 11th in the career boards department.
  • Earnest was the lone Beacon to score in double figures, however, as Valpo’s next-highest scorer tallied seven points.
  • Freshman Saniya Jackson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop) tied Earnest for team-high honors with seven rebounds.
  • Freshman Layla Gold (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) blocked a game-high three shots on Thursday and has recorded 27 rejections in 19 conference games.
  • The Beacons finished 2-of-20 from 3-point range, their worst shooting percentage from deep in MVC play this year. They did hit 11-of-12 as a team from the foul line, the sixth time in the last eight games they have hit at least 80% accuracy from the charity stripe.

Next Up

Valpo (5-23, 4-15 MVC) closes the regular season on Saturday afternoon against Missouri State at 1 p.m. The Beacons will hold their Senior Day ceremony prior to the game.