Valparaiso saw its 10-game winning streak against IUPUI come to an end on Monday night as the Crusaders dropped a 63-55 decision to the Jaguars in Indianapolis, Ind.
The Crusaders were cold shooting the ball all night and fell behind by 17 points midway through the second half and just could not catch up.
Valparaiso struggled shooting the ball beginning early on, but the Crusader defense kept them in the game. After scoring on their opening possession, the Crusaders missed their next nine shots from the floor. The defense, though, held the Jaguars without a field goal for more than seven minutes. The low-scoring first half saw Valpo hold a 10-6 lead nearly nine minutes in before IUPUI scored nine straight points.
The Crusaders fought back to tie the game at 17 before the Jaguars again scored six straight and eventually took a 27-21 lead into the locker room. Valpo struggled shooting from the field and the line in the first half, connecting on just 26.7% (8-of-30) from the floor while making just 3-of-7 from the charity stripe.
IUPUI came out the second half and went on a big run. A 15-4 spurt over six minutes gave the Jaguars a 44-27 lead with 12 minutes to play in the game. During the run, Valpo was unable to connect from the floor before Jamie Gutowski (Crown Point, Ind./Andrean H.S.) drained a three-pointer. The senior's trey was the 145th of her career, moving her into a tie for fourth place on Valpo's all-time list.
Valpo cut the 17-point lead to ten 49-39, thanks to Betsy Rietema's (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) work at the free throw line. The junior made all eight of her attempts in the first 12 minutes of the second half to help cut into the lead.
Carrie Myers (Stickleyville, Va./Lee H.S.) drained a three with 1:20 left to cut the lead eight, 56-48. IUPUI continued to make free throws throughout the late stages to maintain an 8-10 point lead until Launa Hochestetler (Berlin, Ohio/Hiland H.S.) completed a three-point play with 36.7 seconds left to cut the deficit to 60-53 but could not get any closer the rest of the way.
Rietema led the Crusaders with 17 points, including 13-of-14 from the free throw line. Her night at the line tied for the fifth best shooting night in school history. She also shot 13-of-14 from the stripe at IUPUI last season. Myers added 11 points while Tamra Braun (Savage, Minn./Prior Lake H.S.) grabbed ten boards and Mayella Kuikhoven (Almelo, Netherlands/Saint Canisius H.S.) tied her career-high with nine boards.
Jernisha Cann led IUPUI (15-9, 10-4 Mid-Con) with 21 points and ten rebounds, including 11-of-14 from the stripe. Kia Hayes added 12 points while Brooke McAfee had nine points, ten rebounds, and ten blocks.
For the game Valpo shot just 29.3% from the floor while the Jaguars connected on 46.5% from the field. Valpo outrebounded IUPUI 36-35, and had 21offensive boards, but those led to just 13 points.
Valparaiso (15-10, 9-5) will remain on the road on Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders head to Kansas City, Mo. to battle UMKC. Tip-off against the Kangaroos is set for 2 p.m. with coverage on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics beginning at 1:30 p.m.