The Valpo women’s basketball team kicked off a three-game stretch away from home on Friday evening at Bradley, falling to a Braves squad which remained unbeaten at home this year by a 90-69 final.
How It Happened
- Valpo led briefly early in the first quarter following a 3-pointer from junior Caitlin Morrison (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South), but eight straight points by Bradley gave it the lead for good.
- The Braves’ lead reached as many as 10 points in the opening period. Senior Grace Hales (Cromwell, Ind./Westview) connected on a 3-pointer with 1:05 to go in the quarter to cut the deficit to five points, but a buzzer-beating basket gave Bradley a 20-13 lead at the end of the first.
- Valpo came out with the first five points of the second quarter, including a 3-point by junior Addison Stoller (Cissna Park, Ill./Cissna Park), and moved to within 22-21 on another Hales triple with 7:49 to play in the first half.
- A scoreless stretch of three minutes allowed Bradley to go on a 7-0 spurt, however, to push its lead to eight points. The Braves led by as many as 13 points in the final minutes of the half and carried a 45-33 lead into halftime.
- Stoller went a perfect 4-for-4 from the foul line in the first 45 seconds of the third quarter to cut the Bradley advantage to 45-37 before the Braves rattled off 10 consecutive points.
- Bradley led by as many as 19 in the third quarter and was up 18 with four minutes to go in the period, but Valpo out-scored the Braves 8-3 over the last four minutes to close to within 67-54 at the end of three.
- A layup from sophomore Shay Frederick (Greenville, Wis./Hortonville) and two free throws by sophomore Carie Weinman (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South [Denver]) in the first 30 seconds of the fourth quarter brought Valpo within single digits at 67-58.
- But Bradley came back with eight straight points to pull back out to a 17-point lead, and after Valpo scored five in a row to make it 75-63 with 6:10 to play, the Braves scored on six straight trips to pull away.
Inside the Game
- Valpo shot just 36.2% from the field for the game, while the Braves hit at a 56.1% clip.
- After going 7-for-15 from 3-point range in the first half, the Brown and Gold were just 1-for-8 from deep in the second half.
- The eight triples do give Valpo 201 3-pointers as a team this year to date, jumping two spots to seventh position on the program’s single-season chart in the category.
- Valpo did once again excel from the free throw line on Friday, tying a season high with 27 free throws made and hitting at an 87.1% clip (27-of-31) from the stripe.
- Frederick led three Valpo players in double figures with 18 points, including a 5-for-5 effort from the foul line.
- Junior Ella Ellenson (Rice Lake, Wis./Rice Lake) set a season high with 12 points off the bench, while Morrison finished with 10 points as well.
- Stoller was a perfect 6-for-6 from the foul line, while Alexis Cowan (Bolingbrook, Ill./Auburn [Florida Atlantic/State Fair C.C.]) was 4-for-4 from the stripe as well.
- Sophomore Ilysse Pitts (Aurora, Ill./Montini Catholic) came off the bench to deliver a team-high four assists without committing a turnover.
- Valpo was limited to just seven steals as a team in Friday’s loss, matching the team’s lowest output in the category in MVC play.
Valpo (13-10, 5-7 MVC) closes out this weekend road trip on Sunday afternoon at Illinois State with a 2 p.m. tipoff. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN+.