It might have looked completely different than Saturday’s victory, but the end result was the same Sunday for the Valpo women’s basketball team. Junior Shay Frederick (Greenville, Wis./Hortonville) tied the game at Southern Illinois with 11.7 seconds to play and Valpo out-scored the Salukis in the extra session 13-6 to earn a 70-63 win in Carbondale, Ill. and complete a road sweep of SIU. The win extended Valpo’s winning streak to four straight games, its longest within conference play since joining the MVC.
How It Happened
- The seemingly Sisyphean task of completely overcoming what was once an 11-point SIU lead finally came to a close with a basket from Frederick with 4:44 to play in regulation, capping a 11-2 run to tie the game at 49-all.
- SIU scored the next four points from the free throw line over the next two minutes before senior Grace White (Redby, Minn./Red Lake [Denver]) came up with an inside basket to make it a 53-51 game with 2:27 remaining.
- Two more SIU free throws again pushed its advantage to two possession before a huge 3-pointer from senior Caitlin Morrison (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) with 1:16 remaining in regulation cut the deficit to one point.
- SIU got a basket on its next possession and Frederick split a pair of free throws to make it a two-point game before a steal from White gave Valpo the ball with the shot clock off.
- In what was a near carbon copy of her game-winner at Loyola on Wednesday, Frederick got the ball at the top of the key on the ensuing possession and drove the right side of the lane, finishing a layup at the rim with 11.7 seconds remaining to tie the game at 57-all.
- Strong defense from Valpo on SIU’s final possession forced a contested 18-footer that came up well short, sending the game into overtime.
- Valpo took the lead for good on its first trip to the offensive end in overtime as freshman Lauren Gunn (Fishers, Ind./Lawrence North) drained a 3-pointer 49 seconds into the extra period.
- After a defensive stop, junior Carie Weinman (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South [Denver]) converted a 3-point play to push the lead to six points just 1:27 into overtime.
- SIU scored on its next trip, and after the teams traded empty possessions, Frederick drove and finished while being fouled with 1:51 to play. She missed the free throw, but despite no Valpo players being lined up on the lane, Frederick was able to get her own rebound and the extra possession resulted in a pair of free throws from Weinman to make it an eight-point game. SIU never got closer than six points the rest of the way.
- In what looked early like a repeat of its Saturday performance, Valpo connected on a pair of early 3-pointers to jump out to an 8-0 lead less than three minutes in on Sunday. But the Salukis went on a 20-2 run, and only a basket from Frederick inside the final minute of the opening quarter cut the deficit to 20-12 at the end of the first.
- SIU pushed its lead to its apex at 11 points early in the second quarter, and still led by 10 with 3:44 to play in the first half before a 9-0 spurt from Valpo which included two baskets from White. SIU scored the final bucket of the half and led 31-27 at halftime.
- Valpo pulled within one point on multiple occasions in the third quarter, the latest on a basket from White with 5:41 to play in the period. But the Brown and Gold did not score for the remainder of the quarter as SIU led 46-38 with 10 minutes to play.
- SIU pushed its lead to nine points on a free throw with 8:13 to play in regulation before Valpo scored 11 of the next 13, including two baskets from freshman Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) and capped by the aforementioned tying basket from Frederick.
Inside the Game
- The win extended Valpo’s winning streak to four consecutive games, its longest winning streak within conference play since joining the MVC.
- In fact, the last time Valpo won four straight conference games came to close out the 2006-07 regular season in its final season as a member of the Mid-Con.
- Valpo’s sweep of Southern Illinois — its first MVC sweep this season — extends its conference road winning streak to three games. January 2007 was the last time Valpo had won three consecutive road games in conference play.
- Valpo has now won three straight in the series with SIU, all of which have come in Carbondale, after the Salukis won five in a row to open the all-time series.
- The win moves Valpo into a three-way tie for fifth place in the MVC standings with one weekend of action remaining.
- After scoring a career-high 28 points on Saturday, Frederick followed up with another 20-point effort on Sunday — her sixth game with at least 20 points this season. She also matched her career high and tied for team-high honors with nine rebounds and dished out a game-high six assists.
- White finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and four assists, while Weinman tallied 13 points as well.
- After going 15-for-20 from 3-point range on Saturday, Valpo was just 6-of-23 from deep on Sunday. But the Brown and Gold used 17-of-27 shooting from inside the arc and a 34-22 advantage in points in the paint to earn the win in the series finale.
- Valpo limited SIU to just 35% shooting in Sunday’s contest.
- Valpo overcame a double-figure deficit to win for the fourth time this season. The Brown and Gold have now rallied from down 10 or more to win 10 times in Mary Evans’ three seasons at the helm and have done so nine straight times since losing a game they led by at least 10 points.
Thoughts From Coach Evans
“I am really proud of the way this team stayed together tonight. We knew it was going to be a physical game and we couldn’t rely on shooting the ball as well as we did last night.”
“We got off to a rough start and were turning the ball over a lot in the first quarter and giving SIU easy baskets. I thought we settled down after that and took much better care of the ball and guarded SIU much better. Collectively, we did a great job on the boards tonight and limited them to just seven second-chance points. We talked a lot about toughness tonight — not just physical toughness, but mental toughness to stay the course and trust each other to do their jobs. I think we did that well after halftime.”
“We did a great job attacking the rim tonight and winning the points in the paint was huge for us tonight. We drove it really strong and did a great job finishing at the rim. We continued to share the ball and worked together to create space for each other to drive into.”
“Shay plays with a ton of composure and calmness, and I think that really helps her in late-game situations. The moment doesn’t seem to ever get too big for her, and her teammates do a great job of creating space and responding so that she can either finish or find the open player. I thought that she had a great weekend and was aggressive in attacking SIU both games.”
“We stayed together as a team in overtime tonight. Our players were great during the huddle in between regulation and overtime. Everyone was talking and encouraging each other to stay focused and to finish the job. They showed a lot of toughness and focused on getting stops and scores. I also think we did a great job limiting SIU to one shot in overtime and executing our offense. We took advantage of some matchups that we liked and were really attacking the basket.”
Valpo (11-10, 7-7 MVC) closes out the regular season next weekend with a pair of games at Drake. Friday’s series opener is slated for a 5 p.m. tip and can be seen live on The Valley on ESPN and heard live on WVUR (95.1 FM, Valparaiso).