Two freshmen reached double figures and redshirt junior Hannah Schaub (Brooklyn Park, Minn. / Park Center) put together her strongest showing of the year as the Valparaiso University women’s basketball team came up just short on Friday night in a 68-62 loss to Morehead State as part of the Vinewood Farm Classic in Morehead, Ky. Valpo stayed very much in the game against a quality Eagles team despite playing with a short-handed squad as only eight players saw action.
How It Happened
- Stellar 3-point shooting carried Valpo early as triples by Ella Ellenson (Rice Lake, Wis. / Rice Lake), Addison Stoller (Cissna Park, Ill. / Cissna Park) and Shay Frederick (Greenville, Wis. / Hortonville) comprised a 9-0 run that allowed Valpo to claim a 9-4 lead with 6:10 to go in the first quarter.
- After Grace Hales (Cromwell, Ind. / Westview) joined the 3-point party, four different Valpo players had drained shots from distance in the first five minutes of the game, helping Valpo to a 12-6 edge.
- Morehead State’s Miranda Crockett, who proved to be a thorn in Valpo’s side throughout the evening, made two late baskets in the first quarter to cut what had been a 17-10 lead to three at 17-14.
- Early in the second quarter, however, Stoller responded with four quick points of her own as Morehead State turned it over three times in the first 1:18 of the period. Stoller also had a steal during that stretch, helping Valpo go ahead 21-14.
- The Eagles went on a 7-0 run to close to within one late in the second quarter. Valpo ended the half with a slight 36-34 edge, the third time in four games this season that Valpo has taken the lead into the locker room.
- An 11-1 Morehead State run started the second half, allowing the Eagles (3-0) to build up a 44-37 lead. Valpo’s first made field goal of the second half came over six minutes in when freshman Ilysse Pitts (Aurora, Ill. / Montini) made a steal and scored her first collegiate bucket on a fast break.
- After a Morehead State basket with 9:37 left in the fourth quarter opened the lead to eight at 54-46, it was Valpo’s turn to make a run. The visitors went on an 8-0 spurt to draw even, with Pitts uncorking a bullseye from 3-point range to deadlock the score at 54 with six minutes remaining.
- The score was tied for all of 12 seconds before Crockett, a preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference selection, continued her stellar night with a quick response as her pull-up jumper in the paint put the Eagles right back on top. Pitts tied it again with a pair of free throws a moment later, but Valpo could never get over the hump and take the lead.
- An 8-0 run turned a 56-all tie into a 64-56 Morehead State lead with under three minutes remaining. Valpo fought back again in the final three minutes, but ran out of time to erase the deficit.
Inside the Game
- Schaub, who suffered an injury in the second game of last season and missed the remainder of the year, played her best game since her return to the court. She went 4-of-7 shooting, dished out four assists, knocked down a pair of 3s, did not commit a turnover and accumulated 11 points to lead the team.
- This marked Schaub’s first double-figure scoring output and highest point total since Jan. 28, 2017, when she had 12 against UIC. She led her team in scoring for the first time since the fourth game of her freshman season – Nov. 28, 2015 vs. Northern Colorado when she scored 15 points. Coincidentally, that was also Valpo’s last game in a multi-team event as that contest was part of an event held in San Diego.
- Schaub’s four assists allowed her to reach the 250-assist mark in her collegiate career, becoming just the 14th player in program history to hit that plateau. She leaped Megan Newcomer (1996-2000) for 14th on the all-time list on Friday.
- Stoller was one point shy of her first career double-double. She established a new career high in rebounds with 10, the first double-figure rebounding effort by a Valpo player this season.
- It was a breakout day for Pitts as the freshman scored her first career points and finished in double figures with 10. She went a perfect 3-for-3 from the floor to join her classmate Frederick with 10 points. Frederick has finished in double figures in two of the last three games after burying a career-high three 3s on Friday.
- Ellenson had a season-high seven points and a career-high two blocks.
- Valpo has now had 13 steals or more in two of the first four games of the season after swiping 13 on Friday to go along with 15 in the opener at UIC.
- Meredith Hamlet (McBain, Mich. / McBain) is up to 995 points for her collegiate career and needs five on Saturday to get to 1,000.
- Valpo won the turnover battle by committing 21 to Morehead State’s 25.
- The depth of a roster decimated by injuries was further tested by foul trouble. Four of the eight players who played finished with four fouls and saw their playing time limited at times in the game due to the foul trouble.
- Valpo contained Aliyah Jeune to seven points after the Rutgers transfer had back-to-back 28 point games to start the season and won OVC Player of the Week. However, Crockett went off for 30 points on 10-of-16 shooting and 10-of-11 at the free-throw line.
- Morehead State, picked to finish third in the Ohio Valley Conference, is a high-caliber opponent that entered the night with wins over North Carolina A&T and Gardner Webb – a lopsided 84-69 victory over a quality Big South team that has a win at Florida this season.
Thoughts from Head Coach Mary Evans
“Hannah Schaub is about as hard-nosed as they come. I’m really pleased with where she’s at right now coming off an injury from last year. She wasn’t fully cleared to practice until the fall and had another setback early in the fall. I’m happy with what she’s doing and what she’s understanding despite limited practice time.”
“Ilysse Pitts showed her dynamic ability at the guard position tonight. She made contributions on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. She was also set back by an injury and was just cleared to play this week. Her game is going to get better and better.”
“Miranda Crockett is a really good basketball player. She’s extremely dynamic. We told our young ladies we were going to have to be OK with the fact that she was going to make some difficult shots because she’s so talented. We did a really good job on Aliyah Jeune, but Crockett hurt us tonight.”
“I love the fight of this team and just wish we could get over the hump. We need to get back to the drawing board to figure out how to make that happen. I’m looking forward to getting back to practice next week so we can work on some things, but I’m really proud of the young ladies’ effort. They responded in the third quarter after we went on a drought. I’m proud of the fight they’ve shown night in and night out. These kids are getting unbelievable game experience through the first two weeks of the season. We have the chance to take these games and learn from them moving forward.”
The road trip will reach its final day on Saturday as Valpo (0-4) battles St. Francis Brooklyn in a game that begins at 6:30 p.m. CT at Morehead State. The game will air on 95.1 FM Valparaiso, on the TuneIn Radio app and online with the link available on ValpoAthletics.com. There will be no video broadcast, but live stats will also be available.