Chicago Central H.S.) scored 13 points and grabbed 15 rebounds and Laura Richards (Connersville, Ind./Connersville H.S.) added a career-high
10 points for Valparaiso, but it was not enough as the Crusaders fell on the
road 57-43 at Butler on Saturday afternoon in Indianapolis, Ind.
Watts grabbed nine of her boards on the offensive end, and
her scoring output was her highest since joining the Brown and Gold.
“Kelly Watts did a great job
on the offensive glass,” head coach Keith
Freeman said. “She battled the
boards and competed hard today.”
Valpo took its first lead of
the game five minutes into the contest as Whitney
Farris (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo H.S.) drilled a triple from long
range to put the Crusaders up 7-6.
Trailing by two, Betsy Adams (Monticello,
Ind./Twin Lakes H.S.) converted a three-point
play following a lay-in, and Watts followed
with a basketball inside to make it 14-11 Valpo at the 8:01 mark.
The Crusaders would not score
for the next five minutes though, and Butler
went on a 10-0 run to take a seven-point lead.
Valpo fought back, with a Watts
put-back of a missed free throw, her ninth rebound of the half and fifth offensive
board, bringing the Crusaders within 21-20 with just over a minute to play
before the break.
Butler answered with back-to-back three-pointers by Brittany
Bowen and Susan Lester right before intermission to take a 27-20 lead into the
“The first 19 minutes of the
game we did a great job defensively, but then we gave up those two threes
before half,” Freeman added.
The Bulldogs extended the
lead to 11, 33-22, scoring six of the first eight points out of the locker
room, and the lead fluctuated between nine and 11 until Melanie Thornton scored
11 straight points for Butler to push the lead to 48-30 with nine minutes to
The Crusaders were able to
claw back within 12, 52-40, with 2:28 to play following back-to-back baskets by
Watts, but would not get any closer the rest
of the way.
“I thought Thornton was the difference in the second
half,” Freeman added. “We had a hard
time controlling her and Bowen.”
Valpo finished the game
shooting 30.5% from the floor, and was just 1-of-15 from three-point range
connected on 50% from the field in the second half to finish shooting 43.1% for
the game. The Bulldogs held a slim 40-39
advantage on the boards, with Valpo outrebounding Butler 17-13 on the offensive end.
“We need to continue to improve
defensively,” concluded Freeman. “But
more importantly we need to find ways for easy scores on offense.”
Thornton led Butler
(9-5, 2-1 Horizon) with 17 points while Bowen added 15 points and eight boards.
Valparaiso (4-10, 1-2) will
continue its three-game road trip on Thursday evening as the Crusaders head to
Youngstown, Ohio to battle the Penguins of Youngstown State. Tip-off is set for 6:05 p.m. CST live at the Beeghley Center.
Game Notes: The
57 points allowed by the Crusaders represents the fewest Butler has scored in a
game this season … Butler lead the all-time series 17-5 and 9-1 at Hinkle
Fieldhouse … Watts has tallied double-figure rebounds in three straight games
and notched her first double-double as a Crusader … Valpo registered five
blocked shots for the game, including three by Ashley Varner (South Bend, Ind./Washington H.S.).