Valparaiso (6-3, 0-0 MVC)
Game #10 - Saturday, December 28 - 1 p.m.
Chicago State (0-12, 0-0 WAC)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.
Next Up in Valpo Basketball: Back from the Christmas holiday, the Valpo women’s basketball team will have two final tuneups before the beginning of Missouri Valley Conference play, the first of which comes Saturday afternoon from the ARC as the Brown and Gold welcome Chicago State. With a win on Saturday, Valpo would match its longest winning streak in 18 years.
Previously: It came with a good deal more tension down the stretch than the previous two outings, but the result was the same Dec. 17 at the ARC for the Valpo women’s basketball team, as the Brown and Gold edged Morehead State, 55-53. Addison Stoller led the way for Valpo in the victory with 18 points.
Following Valpo Basketball: Streaming Video: ESPN3
Audio: WVUR (95.1 FM, Valparaiso)
Live Stats/Streaming Audio: Available via ValpoAthletics.com
Head Coach Mary Evans: Mary Evans (14-27) is in her second season as head coach of the Valpo women’s basketball program in 2019-20. Evans’ impact on the program was immediately clear in her first year, as Valpo shattered its previous program record of 224 made 3-pointers in a single season by knocking down 276 trifectas - a mark which ranks seventh in MVC history. Valpo ranked among the top-25 nationally in both total 3-pointers and 3-pointers per game in Evans’ first season at the helm of the Valpo program.
Series Notes: Valpo has dominated the all-time series with Chicago State, as it leads 38-6 overall and owns a 20-1 record over the Cougars at the ARC. In fact, Chicago State is the second-most common opponent in program history (trailing only UIC), and Valpo’s 38 wins in the series are the program’s most against any other team all-time. Saturday’s meeting marks the fourth consecutive season the two squads have met since resuming their non-conference series, with Valpo winning all three of those contests to date. Last season saw Valpo earn a 76-70 win in Chicago, led by 28 points and five assists from Meredith Hamlet and 18 points and nine rebounds from Addison Stoller.
- Valpo has been selected to finish in eighth place in the MVC preseason poll, totaling 126 points.
- Valpo is in its third season as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference in 2019-20.
...looking back at last year
- Valpo posted an 8-24 record last season in head coach Mary Evans’ first year at the helm and went 3-15 in MVC play.
- Last year’s Valpo squad was ravaged by injuries, many times dressing just nine scholarship players.
- Valpo shattered its program record for 3-pointers in a season in 2018-19, knocking down 276 triples to race past the previous record of 224.
- Valpo also moved into seventh place in a single season in MVC history in 3-pointers made.
- Shay Frederick was named to the MVC All-Freshman Team, while Meredith Hamlet was an Honorable Mention MVC Scholar-Athlete.
...versus Morehead State
- Valpo claimed the lead for good as it held Morehead State scoreless for a stretch of 9:03 on either side of halftime, turning a 25-23 deficit into a 31-25 lead.
- Valpo held a six-point lead at 48-42 past the midway point of the fourth quarter, but saw the advantage sliced quickly to one point as the Eagles closed within 48-47 with 3:27 to play.
- Junior Grace White connected on two free throws on the offensive end to push the lead back to three points, and then Addison Stoller capped an 18-point night with her final basket, coming with 1:19 to play to make it 52-47 Valpo.
- Morehead State split a pair of free throws on its next possession, but also ran 25 seconds off the clock in the process to get it down to a four-point game. Valpo then ran nearly the entire shot clock before losing possession, but the Eagles immediately turned the ball back over to Valpo with 20 seconds to go.
- Not yet in the bonus, Valpo ran another eight seconds before sophomore Shay Frederick was sent to the foul line where she split a pair.
- MSU’s Breuna Jackson converted a 3-point play with 5.8 seconds remaining to cut the lead to 53-51, but Weinman stepped up as she was fouled after the inbounds and made two free throws with 4.7 seconds to play to make it a two-possession game. The Eagles scored a basket with one second to play, but Valpo was able to inbound the ball and run out the clock.
- Much like in the UIC win, the Valpo defensive effort stood out in this win. Valpo limited Morehead State to 38.8% shooting from the floor, including just 4-of-21 from 3-point range, and forced 22 turnovers by the Eagles.
- Stoller led the way offensively for Valpo, finishing with 18 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field and 7-of-8 from the foul line.
- Valpo claimed the lead for good on a pair of free throws by Shay Frederick with 3:55 to play in the first quarter, starting a 7-2 stretch to close the quarter as Valpo led 14-10 at the end of the first.
- Frederick scored Valpo’s first five points of the second quarter, but those five points were all Valpo could muster for the first 4:30 of the period. UIC was still within five at 19-14 as the clock ticked toward the halfway mark of the quarter.
- Valpo would turn things around over the final five-plus minutes of the first half, however, ending the frame on a 16-3 run and holding UIC without a single field goal in that entire stretch to take a 35-17 lead into the locker room.
- An 8-0 spurt in a two-minute stretch midway through the third quarter helped extend what was still an 18-point advantage to 26 at 48-22. UIC closed to within 51-30 at the end of the third, but Valpo limited the Flames to just 1-of-14 shooting from the floor in the fourth quarter to put away the victory.
- Frederick led Valpo in scoring for the second time this year as she finished with a game-high 15 points, 12 of which came in the opening 20 minutes. The sophomore connected on three 3-pointers among her five made baskets. Grace Hales added 13 points as well in the winning effort.
- Valpo closes non-conference play at Eastern Illinois on Monday evening.
- The MVC slate opens up at the ARC on Friday, Jan. 3 as Valpo welcomes Southern Illinois to town.
...at the ARC
- Sunday will be Valpo’s fourth home game of the season and its final non-conference home game of the campaign.
- Valpo is currently 3-0 at home this season, with wins over Bowling Green, UIC and Morehead State.
- Valpo went 4-11 at the ARC last year in Mary Evans’ first season at the helm of the program.
- Valpo was just 1-5 last season at home in non-conference action before earning a trio of home wins during MVC play.
- Chicago State enters Saturday’s game at 0-12 on the season, most recently falling at Evansville 76-42 on Dec. 18.
- The Cougars also fell to MVC foe Loyola on Nov. 19 by a 98-53 final, and dropped a 73-61 decision to shared opponent UIC on Dec. 4.
- Tyeshia Bowers leads CSU, averaging 14.8 points per game, while Ines Mata Boix grabs a team-high 8.9 boards per game.
The Streak Continues
- Valpo’s win over Morehead State on Dec. 17 extended its winning streak to five consecutive games - the longest current winning streak among MVC teams.
- It is the program’s first winning streak of at least five games since February/March 2007, when the Crusaders reeled off six straight victories.
- The current streak is the program’s 20th stretch in program history with at least five consecutive wins.
- Valpo has had just 10 winning streaks of six or more games in program history - the aforementioned six-game streak in 2007 is the program’s lone winning streak of more than five games since 2002.
Best Nine-Game Start
- Valpo’s current five-game winning streak has pushed its record to 6-3 through nine games, a mark which matches the best record through nine games in program history.
- Five previous Valpo squads started a season 6-3 in the first nine games, but no Valpo team had accomplished that since the 1999-2000 team did so two decades ago.
- Of the five teams that sat at 6-3 through nine games, only one of them - the 1991-92 squad - won the 10th game of the season. The 1991-92 team improved to 9-3 before eventually suffering its fourth loss of the campaign.
A Month of Winning
- It’s been over a month on the calendar since Valpo last came out on the wrong side of the final score, as its last loss - at Northwestern - came back on Nov. 21.
- The last time Valpo spanned a month between losses came back in 2007-08, as that season’s team fell at Notre Dame on Dec. 12 and then did not lose again until a game at Loyola on Jan. 12.
- Meanwhile looking ahead, with wins in its final two non-conference games, Valpo could close the month of December with a perfect 5-0 mark, which would be just the third perfect month in program history.
- Valpo posted a 7-0 record in February 2002 and an 8-0 mark in January 1998.
Defense Stands Out
- Valpo’s defense has been the impetus for its recent success, as the 53 points surrendered to Morehead State marked the fourth straight outing Valpo limited its opponent to under 60 points.
- Valpo last held four consecutive opponents under 60 points Dec. 29, 2012-Jan. 16, 2013.
- The first two games of that stretch - a 58-53 win over Ball State and a 54-49 win over Northern Illinois - also were the last time the Crusaders held consecutive foes to 53 or fewer points prior to their two most recent games.
- The 37 points Valpo surrendered to UIC were the seventh-fewest given up by a Valpo squad in a single game in program history.
- It was Valpo’s best defensive performance on the scoreboard since giving up just 32 points at Northern Kentucky on Feb. 11, 2016. It also marked Valpo’s fewest points allowed against a non-conference Division I opponent in program history.
- The Valpo defense forced 29 UIC turnovers, the most by a Valpo opponent since the Crusaders forced Wright State into 31 miscues on Jan. 8, 2009.
- 18 of the 29 UIC turnovers were steals by Valpo defenders, matching the most steals by a Valpo team since the Brown and Gold came up with 19 against St. Xavier on Nov. 28, 2004. Valpo had two other 18-steal efforts since, most recently against Detroit on Jan. 23, 2014.
- Valpo has forced 20 or more turnovers five times in the season’s first nine games, including each of the last three (25 at UDM, 29 vs. UIC, 22 vs. MSU). The last time Valpo forced 20+ turnovers in three straight games came Nov. 14-22, 2009.
- Two Valpo opponents this year have gone scoreless from the 3-point line (NDSU 0-for-14; UIC 0-for-7). Prior to this year, the last time a Valpo opponent went scoreless from 3-point range was FIU in November of 2013.
- It seems simple enough - if you hit a higher percentage of your shots, you’ll likely win.
- This year’s team has ended with a better shooting percentage than its opponents in seven of the season’s first nine games and is 6-1 in those games.
- This comes after a 2018-19 campaign in which Valpo held a better shooting percentage than its opponent just five times in 32 games.
- Meanwhile, Valpo’s last win against Morehead State - while it out-shot the Eagles from the floor - was the antithesis of how the Brown and Gold usually does its damage from the field.
- Valpo connected on just two triples (2-for-17) in the win over MSU, its first victory when hitting two or fewer 3-pointers since going 2-for-13 from deep in a 68-50 win over Fort Wayne on Dec. 21, 2017.
- Valpo had averaged 9.8 3-pointers per game in its first five wins of the year.
- While last time out was a tight game, Valpo’s previous two wins came in dominating fashion, as the Brown and Gold won at Detroit Mercy 77-58 and took down UIC 63-37.
- The 19-point margin of victory at Detroit Mercy was Valpo’s largest road victory since a 66-41 win at Youngstown State on Jan. 14, 2010.
- The 26-point margin of victory over UIC was Valpo’s largest against a Division I opponent in non-conference play since a 34-point win over Butler on Nov. 14, 2014.
- The last time the Brown and Gold enjoyed consecutive wins by at least 19 points came back in January of 2006, when they downed Centenary by 19 and Oral Roberts by 27.
Weinman Earns Award
- Sophomore Carie Weinman was tabbed the MVC Newcomer of the Week on Dec. 2 after scoring a game-high 20 points the previous week in the win at Toledo.
- 18 of Weinman’s points came from behind the 3-point line, as she connected on 6-of-8 from deep - tied for the sixth-best single-game 3-point percentage (minimum 7 attempts) in program history and the best percentage by a Valpo player since 2011.
- Weinman scored 11 of her 20 points in the third quarter, helping turn a one-point halftime deficit into a nine-point lead with 10 minutes to play.
- Weinman is Valpo’s first Newcomer of the Week honoree since joining the MVC, and only the second weekly honoree in the Valley overall for Valpo, as Meredith Hamlet earned Player of the Week accolades on Dec. 3, 2018.
- Valpo took full advantage of the chances it had this year to avenge defeats from last season’s non-conference slate.
- Six games on this year’s non-conference schedule were against teams the Crusaders lost to last year, and Valpo went 5-1 in those games - defeating North Dakota State, Bowling Green, Toledo, UIC and Morehead State, while dropping a two-point decision at North Dakota.
- Valpo improved its scoring margin in those six contests by an average of 14.7 points/game.
- Valpo tested itself in the non-conference schedule with four matchups against programs which appeared in the postseason a year ago.
- Valpo opened the season against Ohio State (WNIT) and also played at Northwestern, a WNIT finalist, in the early going.
- Valpo’s pre-Thanksgiving win at Toledo came against a program which also advanced to the second round of the 2019 WNIT, and most recently, the Brown and Gold defeated Morehead State, which also was a second round WNIT team last year.
- The four contests against postseason teams from a season ago set the stage for an MVC slate which features two matchups apiece against three postseason teams last year: Missouri State (NCAA Sweet 16), Drake (NCAA) and UNI (WNIT).