Betsy Rietema (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) scored a career-high 25 points as Valparaiso defeated IUPUI 56-45 on Monday evening in Indianapolis, Ind.
After IUPUI opened with a three-pointer, Valpo went on a 9-0 run over the next 3:12. Rietema scored the Crusaders' first five. After another Jaguar triple, the Crusaders ran off another eight in a row to take a 17-6 lead at the 11:49 mark, with Tamra Braun (Savage, Minn./Prior Lake H.S.) starting and ending the run. Six straight points by IUPUI, four from the free throw line, brought the Jaguars within six, 22-16, with 6:03 left to play in the first half. Valpo's defense stiffened, holding IUPUI scoreless the last 4:01 of the first half as the Crusaders took a 31-21 lead into the locker room.
Rietema scored 11 in the opening stanza while Braun added seven, including a perfect 3-of-3 from the field. The Crusaders registered ten steals in the first half.
IUPUI closed within six, 42-36, with 8:24 to play in the game after Jessica James scored. Katie Boone (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove H.S.) hit a three and Braun scored inside to put Valpo back up 12, 49-37, with 4:24 to play. Again the Jaguars scored six straight points to close within six.
Regina Marshall then scored inside for IUPUI at the 1:35 mark to cut the Valpo lead to 49-45. Rietema answered for the Crusaders with a ten-footer in the lane. After a stop defensively, Rietema sank a pair from the line to push the lead to eight. The Crusaders continued getting stops and Boone made a free throw and Rietema capped the scoring with two more.
Rietema finished the game making 13-of-14 (92.8%), from the line the fifth best shooting night from the charity stripe in school history. It was needed, as the rest of the Crusaders combined to shoot just 3-of-14 at the line.
Braun added 12 points and grabbed nine boards, just one shy of a double-double. Boone added seven for the Crusaders.
Jasmine Baines and Regina Marshall led IUPUI (5-19, 3-10 Mid-Con) with eight points each.
Valpo shot 39.6% from the floor for the game and held a 39-34 advantage on the boards. IUPUI was held to 31.3% shooting.
Valparaiso (15-9, 9-4) will return to the Athletics-Recreation Center on Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders host Southern Utah. Tip-off on Senior Day is set for 2:05 p.m.