Playing for the first time in 11 days and facing a nationally-ranked foe, the Valpo women’s basketball team put together a strong defensive effort in a 61-51 loss to #RV/25 Missouri State Saturday afternoon at the ARC. Junior Shay Frederick (Greenville, Wis./Hortonville) led the way offensively with a game-high 23 points.
How It Happened
- Valpo limited Missouri State to just 4-of-14 shooting from the field over the opening 10 minutes Saturday.
- Senior Grace White (Redby, Minn./Red Lake [Denver]) and freshman Lauren Gunn (Fishers, Ind./Lawrence North) hit 3-pointers during the first quarter as the teams were tied 10-10 at the end of one.
- Missouri State’s Jasmine Franklin scored 14 points in the first 5:32 of the second quarter to help the Lady Bears pull out to a 26-15 lead.
- Valpo eventually ended the first half on a 10-2 run, including eight points by Frederick, to pull within 28-25 at halftime. The Brown and Gold held Missouri State to 1-of-6 shooting and forced three turnovers after Franklin’s final basket of the quarter.
- Valpo went just 1-of-11 from the floor in the third quarter as the Lady Bears owned a 15-6 advantage in the period. A putback by MSU’s Emily Gartner at the buzzer gave Missouri State a 43-31 lead with 10 minutes to play.
- Missouri State saw its lead reach a peak of 14 points early in the fourth quarter, and the Lady Bears’ advantage was still 13 at 51-38 as the period reached the halfway mark.
- Frederick made it her personal mission at that point to get Valpo back in the game, accounting for all eight points in an 8-0 run which spanned just over two minutes. A pair of free throws to close the run with 2:39 to play brought Valpo within 51-46 — as close as it had been since early in the second half.
- The Lady Bears got a big 3-pointer from Sydney Manning on their next possession, but after the teams traded possessions, White knocked down a triple of her own to again make it a five-point game with 1:28 to play.
- Valpo could get no closer, however, as Missouri State closed out the win by going 7-of-8 from the foul line over the final minute-plus.
Inside the Game
- Frederick finished with a game-high 23 points, her fourth effort of at least 20 points this year — three of which have come in MVC play.
- Frederick scored 11 of her points in the second quarter and 10 points in the fourth quarter, the second time in MVC play this year she has scored 10+ in two quarters in the same game.
- Frederick has now scored 10 or more points in the fourth quarter of four of Valpo’s six MVC games this year.
- Frederick was the only Valpo player in double figures, however, as junior Carie Weinman (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South [Denver]) was next in line with nine points. Weinman also handed out a team-high four assists without committing a turnover.
- Valpo shot just 28.1% overall (16-of-57) and 25.8% (8-of-31) from 3-point range on Saturday.
- Valpo’s defense kept it in the game despite the offensive struggles, as it held Missouri State to 39% shooting from the field and a 1-of-11 mark from the 3-point line.
- The Lady Bears’ 61 points tied their lowest output in MVC play this year, while their one 3-pointer tied a season low from behind the stripe (Wake Forest).
- Valpo has limited four opponents this season to one 3-pointer or fewer.
- Saturday’s matchup was the third straight meeting with Missouri State when the Lady Bears have been nationally ranked. It also is just the fifth time in program history Valpo has hosted a ranked team in conference play.
- The 10-point deficit was the closest game Valpo has played against a nationally-ranked opponent since falling 63-55 to #8/8 Notre Dame on Dec. 13, 2008.
- This game was the first in the two-game weekend series — a series which was originally scheduled to be played Jan. 14-15.
- Valpo went 11 days in between games, the first time in program history it has gone that long between conference games in the heart of conference play without an interceding nonconference matchup.
Thoughts From Coach Evans
“I thought we did a good job against them defensively for the majority of the game. We did a really good job of matching their aggressiveness and their physicality, especially on the defensive end. We did a pretty good job defending the 3-point line, and did a pretty decent job rebounding the ball as well, especially since that's not one of our stronger suits.”
“The way we defended even with offensive struggles) shows some growth in our team. In the past, that's something we've struggled with - when shots weren't falling, we weren't wanting to stay mentally tough and continue to defend. I do think our players did a really good job of that today. We had multiple 3-pointers that went in and out, we had some shots that I thought were really good shots, we had offensive series where we moved the ball really well and got people open jump shots, and we just didn't make them. Despite that, I never thought we lost our defensive mentality - they guarded, they stayed together. And that's growth for us.”
Valpo (6-7, 2-4 MVC) faces off with the Lady Bears in the second game of the two-game series from the ARC Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. The game can be seen live on ESPN+.