The Valpo women’s basketball team struggled to hit shots in its return to action Friday evening in the program’s annual Play4Kay Game, finishing with its worst shooting performance from the field in over four years as visiting Evansville earned a 57-43 win at the ARC.
How It Happened
- The opening quarter proved to be a harbinger of how the game would play out, as Valpo was just 2-of-12 from the field over the first 10 minutes and trailed 12-7 at the end of the first period.
- The Brown and Gold hit 3-pointers on three straight possessions early in the second quarter — courtesy of Caitlin Morrison (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South), Maya Dunson (Dayton, Ohio/Wayne [Loyola]) and Lauren Gunn (Fishers, Ind./Lawrence North) — to go ahead 18-14 and force an Evansville timeout with 7:51 to play in the period.
- The Purple Aces limited Valpo to just four points the remainder of the first half, however, as they went on an 18-4 run to close the half with a 32-22 lead.
- Valpo held Evansville scoreless for the first six minutes of the third quarter, but was only able to score seven points itself over that stretch to close to within three.
- The Purple Aces scored the final five points of the third quarter and led 39-31 with 10 minutes to play.
- Valpo got no closer than six points in the fourth quarter.
Inside the Game
- Valpo shot just 12-for-57 on Friday evening. The 21.1% clip was the program’s worst since going 10-for-50 in a loss at Green Bay in January 2017.
- 42 of Valpo’s 57 field goal attempts came from behind the 3-point line, tied for second-most in a game in program history. The Brown and Gold were just 7-for-42 from deep.
- Valpo held a +10 advantage in the turnover column (23-13), but was only able to convert that into a two-point edge (12-10) in points off turnovers.
- Shay Frederick (Greenville, Wis./Hortonville) led Valpo with 10 points, while Carie Weinman (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South [Denver]) notched eight points and team highs of six rebounds and three steals.
- Morrison tied her career high Friday with four assists.
- Freshman Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) made her first career start Friday evening as Grace White was sidelined due to injury. Fellow rookie Ava Interrante (McHenry, Ill./McHenry) played a season-high 16 minutes, finishing with four points and two assists.
- Mid-year newcomer Molly Sheehan (Hinsdale, Ill./Benet Academy) made her debut in the Brown and Gold Friday night, playing seven minutes in the fourth quarter and tallying four points, a rebound and a steal. When she stepped onto the court, Sheehan became the youngest Division I women’s basketball player to see action this year, as she turned 17 just over a month ago.
Valpo (7-10, 3-7 MVC) looks to rebound on Saturday and earn a split of the two-game series with Evansville. Saturday will serve as the program’s Senior Night. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN3.