Rashida Ray (Fort Wayne, Ind./Harding H.S.) scored a career-high 21 points for
Valparaiso on Saturday afternoon, but the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee hit
the game-winning jumper with 4.9 seconds to play to defeat the Crusaders 70-69
at the Klotsche Center.
Ray made 7-of-8
three-point attempts, tied for the fourth most triples in Crusader history for
a single game, and her 87.5% shooting for the game set a new Valpo mark.
“Ray had a great
game,” head coach Keith Freeman said. “She
shot well from three and handled the ball well.
She wants to win and is just an all-around great character person.”
Valpo got off to a
slow start from the floor as the Crusaders made just one of their first seven
shots to start the game. Ray kept Valpo close, tying the game at nine nearly seven minutes into the
contest with her third triple of the game.
Ray continued to
account for all of Valpo’s scoring early, as her fifth three in as many
attempts retied the game at 15 with 9:27 to play in the half. While the senior was perfect from the floor
to that point, the rest of the Crusaders were combined 0-of-15 shooting.
Tabitha Gerardot’s (Fort Wayne, Ind./Canterbury H.S.) finally
put another Crusader into the scorebook at the 6:34 mark, dialing up long
distance, before Betsy Adams
(Monticello, Ind./Twin Lakes H.S.) added two free throws to give the Brown and
Gold a 20-18 lead. For Adams, the free
throws were her 36th and 37th consecutive makes dating
back to Dec. 4 against Coastal Carolina.
Skyler Gick (Otterbein, Ind./Benton Central H.S.) continued Valpo’s long range
prowess, connecting with 3:21 to play before break to make it 28-25
Crusaders. Valpo made eight of its first
10 from beyond the arc to start the game.
Ray added her sixth
three of the half, giving her a career-high 18 points in the first half alone, at
the 2:07 mark. Milwaukee scored the last
six points of the half though on back-to-back triples by Anne Breland to take a
38-35 advantage into the locker room.
Valpo finished the
first half 9-of-12 from long range compared with just 3-of-19 inside the
arc. Milwaukee made 6-of-11 from
three-point range in the first half as well.
Ray added her final triple
of the game to open the second half, and Gerardot followed on the next
possession with a three of her own to put the Crusaders in front. Valpo opened the second half on a 10-0 run to
build a 45-38 lead.
extended the lead to 10, 52-42, with 13:42 to play in the game before the
Panthers answered with four straight points.
Kelly Watts (Gary, Ind./East
Chicago Central H.S.) added a three-point play inside to push the lead back to
55-46 with just over 12 minutes to play.
Valpo then went four-and-a-half
minutes without scoring as Milwaukee answered with a 9-0 run to tie the game
with eight minutes to play. Maegan Callaway (Mooresville,
Ind./Mooresville H.S.) put the Crusaders back on top with four straight points
inside. Callaway scored eight straight
Valpo points giving the Brown and Gold a four-point lead, 63-59, with five
The lead was six
following a Callaway basket inside with just under two minutes to play before
Lindsay Laur drained a three and added two free throws one possession later to
cut the advantage to one with 55 seconds to play.
After a Crusader
miss, Courtney Lindfors made two free throws to put the Panthers up by one,
Milwaukee’s first lead since the opening seconds of the second half. Betsy
Adams (Monticello, Ind./Twin Lakes H.S.) put Valpo back on top by one,
hitting a runner with 19.4 seconds to play.
Laur then hit the
game-winning shot on a jumper from 10 feet in the lane with 4.9 seconds left. The Crusaders had one last chance, but Gick’s
runner from the elbow went just long.
“Laur made some
great plays down the stretch,” Freeman said.
“We held her in check until then as Watts and (Gina) Lange did a good
job defending her.”
finished the game in double figures, including Ray’s 21 points. Gerardot had 12 points while Callaway added a
career-high 10 points, all in the second half.
Gick also had 10 points and seven assists while Watts pulled down a
season-high nine rebounds.
Valpo shot 68.8%
(11-for-16) from three-point range for the game, the second best single game
percentage in school history, and connected at 41.9% overall from the field.
“I’m pleased with
our kids and how hard they played,” Freeman added. “Our effort was there and we made a great
deal of progress from the first time we played them.”
Milwaukee (11-16, 8-8 Horizon) with 18 points while Laur and Breland added 13
points each. Laur also pulled down nine
rebounds. Angela Rodriguez was the
fourth Panther to tally double figure with 12 points and also had five assists.
“Lindfors hurt us in
the low post,” Freeman concluded.
Milwaukee shot 40%
from the floor and made 19-of-22 (86.4%) free throws, including its last 16 in
4-13) has a week off before returning to the Athletics-Recreation Center next
Saturday afternoon to close out the 2010-2011 regular season. The Crusaders will host instate rival Butler
on Senior Day with tip-off slated for 1:35 p.m.
Game Notes: The game marked coach Keith Freeman’s 500th
game on the Crusader bench … Callaway’s career high marked the first time she’s
scored double figures as a collegian … Valpo matched a season low with eight
turnovers … the Crusaders’ 11 threes were a season high for the team … Gick’s
seven assists matched a career high … Milwaukee leads the all-time series 12-5.