For the third time in the
last four games, Valparaiso shot below 30% from the field, and on Thursday
night 24.5% shooting for the game resulted in the Crusaders dropping a 54-44
decision to Wright State at the Ervin J. Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio.
Valpo made just 12 field
goals on the night, and went a span of more than 20 minutes while scoring just
one basket. The cold shooting allowed the
host Raiders to overcome 31 turnovers.
“Their quickness bothered us
tonight,” head coach Keith Freeman
said. “We’re in a slump shooting the
ball as well.”
The first half was a turnover
plagued one for both schools, with Valpo committing 12 miscues while Wright State
made 15 during the first 20 minutes of action.
The Crusaders struggled shooting the basketball, making just 6-of-22
(27.3%) shots from the floor, including 1-of-8 (12.5%) from three-point range.
Wright State took a 10-6 lead eight minutes into the game,
capitalizing on Crusader turnovers.
Seven turnovers during the span led to six Raider points in the early
(South Bend, Ind./Saint Joseph’s H.S.) kept
Valpo in the game, scoring nine of the Crusaders’ first 11 points, and bringing
the Brown and Gold within one, 12-11, at the 10:25 mark.
The Crusaders went cold from
the floor the second part of the opening stanza, not making a field goal for
the final 9:13, missing their final nine field goal attempts of the half.
Free throws kept the
Crusaders in close, making 7-of-8, and took their first lead, 16-15, at the
6:35 mark when Ashley Varner (South Bend, Ind./Washington
H.S.) made a pair from the line. The
Crusaders extended the lead to 20-17 with 3:56 to play before intermission, but
would not score the rest of the way. Wright State
closed the half with a 6-0 run, capped with a lay-in by Shay Peddy in the
closing seconds, to take a 23-20 lead into the locker room.
Peddy had 10 points for Wright State
at the break, as the Raiders shot 40.7% (11-of-27) for the stanza and
outrebounded the Brown and Gold 21-13 through 20 minutes of play.
Four more misses and three
turnovers marked the start of the second half before Agnieszka Kulaga
(Tarnow, Poland/I Liceum Ogolnoksztalcace H.S.) tied the game with a
three-pointer at the 17:09 mark to snap a string of more than 12 minutes
without a field goal. The defense did
not allow a point during the first three minutes of the second half, though, forcing
five turnovers by the Raiders.
After Wright State had taken
a one-point lead, 26-25, LaShawna Thomas putback an offensive rebound of an air
ball as the shot clock expired to start a 13-2 run and build the lead to 12,
39-27, with just over nine minutes to play.
Thomas scored the first seven points of the run for the Raiders.
(Monticello, Ind./Twin Lakes H.S.) snapped an 8:24 drought without a
field goal for Valpo, as the Crusaders went more than 20 minutes with just the
Kulaga triple. Adams
tried to bring the Crusaders back, making a pair of threes of her own to cut
the deficit to 42-35 with 6:25 to play, but the Brown and Gold would not get
any closer the rest of the way.
Wright State (6-8, 2-1 Horizon League) shot 64.7% in the second
half, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, to overcome the 16 second half
miscues. Meanwhile, Valpo connected on
just 6-of-27 (22.2%) in the final 20 minutes.
Peddy led all scorers with 19
for the Raiders, while Thomas had 17 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
“Peddy and Thomas are both
very, very good perimeter players,” added Freeman. “They are the two that hurt us today.”
Litka led Valpo in scoring
with 13 points while Adams came off of the
bench to add 10 more.
Valparaiso (6-7, 1-2) will
continue its road trip on Saturday afternoon, heading to the Motor City to
battle Detroit. Tip-off against the
Titans is set for 1 p.m. CST, with all the action carried live on the Horizon
League Network and on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso).
Game Notes: This
was head coach Keith Freeman’s 600th
career game coaching women’s basketball … Adams has scored in double figures in
all three Horizon League games … Valpo’s bench scored 22 points on the night,
marking the third straight game the reserves have tallied at least half of the
Crusaders’ points … this was the first time this year Valpo has lost when
holding the opposition to 60 or fewer points … Launa Hochstetler (Berlin, Ohio/Hiland H.S.) had three assists to
move into sole possession of sixth place all-time at Valpo with 290 career
assists … Valpo leads the all-time series 8-3, but Wright State has won the
last three meetings.