Valparaiso (2-9, 0-0 MVC)
Game #12 - December 31, 2021 - 2 p.m.
at Southern Illinois (5-5, 0-0 MVC)
Banterra Center (9,000) - Carbondale, Ill.
Next Up in Valpo Basketball: The Valpo women’s basketball team returns to action following the Christmas holiday with the start of Missouri Valley Conference play this weekend, opening up the conference slate Friday afternoon with a matinee at Southern Illinois. The Beacons enter conference play coming off back-to-back wins.
Previously: Valpo closed out non-conference play with a bang Dec. 21 at the ARC, as seven different Beacons combined to connect on 14 3-pointers in a 69-57 victory over Detroit Mercy. Grace White led the way, hitting four triples on her way to a game-high 19 points.
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Head Coach Mary Evans: Mary Evans is in her fourth year at the helm of the program in 2021-22 and owns a record of 39-58. Evans has made an immediate impact on the program in her first three years, raising the team’s level of play to be competitive in a strong Missouri Valley Conference. Evans’ preferred style of play has been a big part of the program’s turnaround, as Valpo has led the MVC in 3-pointers made per game and in steals per game in each of the last two seasons.
Series Notes: It’s a brief series between SIU and Valpo, as the two programs did not meet prior to Valpo joining the MVC in 2017-18. The Salukis claimed victories in each of the first five meetings, but Valpo has won each of the last three matchups, including 75-64 and 70-63 wins on Feb. 27-28 last season in Carbondale. The former game saw Valpo go 15-for-20 from 3-point range, led by a 6-for-6 effort from Shay Frederick, while the latter featured a comeback from an 11-point deficit to win in overtime.
- Valpo has been picked to finish in sixth place in the MVC preseason poll, totaling 208 points - just one point shy of fifth place.
- Valpo is in its fifth season as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference in 2021-22.
- The Valley was ranked seventh nationally in conference NET in 2020-21 and was eighth nationally in conference RPI in 2019-20.
...looking back at last year
- Valpo posted a 12-13 overall record during the 2020-21 season and went 7-9 in Missouri Valley Conference play.
- Valpo finished the regular season in seventh place in the MVC standings.
- Included among Valpo’s 12 victories were wins at Illinois and at Purdue, the program’s first Power Five wins since 2012-13.
- Valpo closed the season with a NET of 122 - the program’s best final NET/RPI ranking since the 2003-04 campaign.
- Shay Frederick was a First Team All-MVC honoree as she led the Valley in assists and ranked sixth in scoring.
- Carie Weinman earned Honorable Mention All-MVC notice and repeated on the All-Defensive Team as she led the Valley in steals for a second straight season.
...versus Detroit Mercy
- A back and forth first half saw Valpo take the lead for good on a 4-point play from Cara VanKempen with 2:30 to go in the second quarter.
- The Beacons led 31-27 at halftime and held a slim 48-47 edge with 10 minutes to play.
- Valpo’s defense and rebounding carried the way in the fourth quarter, as it allowed just two field goals and one offensive rebound to the Titans over the first eight minutes of the period.
- Shay Frederick connected on a 3-pointer on Valpo’s first possession of the final quarter, and two trips later, Grace White converted on a 3-point play to extend the lead to seven points.
- White, Carie Weinman and Olivia Brown all knocked down 3-pointers over the next few minutes, Brown’s with 3:04 to play all but icing the game as it gave Valpo a double-digit lead it would not relinquish.
- Valpo made a season-high 14 3-pointers on Tuesday and connected at a season-best .438 clip (14-for-32) from behind the arc. Seven different players combined to knock down the 14 triples, with four players making multiple 3-pointers.
- White led the way for the Beacons, hitting on four 3-point attempts en route to a game-high 19 points. White added three steals as well.
- Weinman’s three triples accounted for her nine points. She also tallied a season-best four steals, leading the way as Valpo registered a season-high 11 thefts as a team.
- Valpo continued its strong recent effort at the foul line, going 11-for-13 (.846) from the stripe. Over the last three games, the Beacons have hit at an .884 clip from the foul line.
- After the Titans shot .529 from the field in the first three quarters, Valpo limited UDM to .267 shooting (4-for-15) over the final 10 minutes.
...at Morehead State
- Valpo shot 70% from the field in the first quarter, capped by a backdoor layup from Shay Frederick to give it a 20-12 lead at the end of 10 minutes.
- Morehead State got to within three with 2:40 to play in the first half, but Valpo scored four of the half’s final five points — including a Frederick layup — to take a 32-26 lead into intermission.
- Neither team could gain control in the third quarter. Valpo’s lead never exceeded the six-point margin from halftime, but the Beacons also did not allow the Eagles to close to closer than two points in the period. Valpo entered the fourth quarter with a 42-38 lead.
- Morehead State got within two points three times in the fourth quarter, but all three times, the Beacons held them off - twice thanks to 3-point plays.
- A 9-2 spurt just past the midway point of the final quarter proved to be the decisive run to secure Valpo’s win, highlighted by a triple from Olivia Brown which extended the lead to eight points with 3:29 to play.
- Valpo shot 50% from the field Sunday, its second-best effort of the season, thanks to great efforts in the opening and closing periods. The Beacons went 7-of-10 (70%) from the floor in the first quarter and 8-of-11 (72.7%) in the fourth quarter.
- Valpo also enjoyed a significant advantage from the foul line, going 17-of-20 (85%) from the stripe as compared to Morehead State’s 1-of-6 effort from the free throw line.
- Carie Weinman led Valpo on Sunday with 17 points, her seventh double-digit scoring effort of the season.
- Frederick was just behind Weinman with 15 points, while Grace White needed just four field goal attempts to score 11 points.
- The Beacons continue the longest road trip of the conference schedule on Sunday as they play at Missouri State.
- Valpo then returns home to the ARC to host UNI on Friday, Jan. 7.
...on the road
- Friday marks the eighth of 16 road games in all for Valpo this season.
- Valpo has finished at or above .500 in each of the last two seasons in true road games, going 6-6 on the road last year and 9-5 in 2019-20.
- Southern Illinois enters Valley play with a 5-5 record on the year, most recently falling 70-37 at Indiana on Dec. 23.
- The Salukis earned a 66-51 victory over Illinois four days prior to their matchup with the Hoosiers.
- Abby Brockmeyer and Makenzie Silvey both average better than 15 points per game for SIU, with Brockmeyer also pulling down 10.3 rebounds per game.
From Way Downtown
- Valpo made a season-high 14 3-pointers in the win over Detroit Mercy and connected at a season-best .438 clip (14-for-32) from behind the arc.
- Seven different players combined to knock down the 14 triples, with four players making multiple 3-pointers.
- The 14 made 3-pointers are tied for eighth-most in a single game in program history.
- Valpo has more games with 14+ 3-pointers in the four-season tenure of head coach Mary Evans (10) than it did in the entire program history prior to her arrival (nine).
Entering Conference Play With Momentum
- Valpo enters MVC play coming off back-to-back victories over Morehead State and Detroit Mercy to close out non-conference action.
- It is the third time in five seasons in the Valley that Valpo has closed the non-conference with at least two straight wins.
- The 2017-18 squad carried a four-game winning streak into the MVC slate, while the 2019-20 team won its final six non-conference games.
Winning the Opener
- With a win over SIU, Valpo would start MVC play 1-0 for a second straight season.
- Last year’s squad kicked off conference action with a 63-56 win over UNI.
- Prior to that, the last time Valpo opened league play with a victory was the 2015-16 season.
- Valpo has not opened league play with a 2-0 record since 2007-08.
Frederick Reaches 1,000
- Senior guard Shay Frederick became the 17th player in Valpo women’s basketball history to reach the 1,000-point milestone for her career earlier this month at South Dakota.
- Frederick passed Carrie Forsman for 16th place in program history at Morehead State and now owns 1,028 career points after scoring 10 against Detroit Mercy.
- Next up for Frederick would be Suzie Hammel, who sits 15th in program history with 1,077 career points.
- Frederick also has 396 career assists, good for fourth in program history as she passed Laura Richards on Valpo’s all-time chart last time out.
- Frederick is one of just two players in program history with at least 1,000 career points and 300 career assists.
Another 1,000 Approaching
- It won’t be long until this year’s team has a pair of 1,000-point scorers on the court at the same time.
- Carie Weinman enters Friday’s game at Southern Illinois with 966 career points after a nine-point effort against Detroit Mercy.
- 191 of Weinman’s points came in one season at Denver, with the other 775 coming in her three seasons at Valpo.
- Weinman is averaging 12.0 points/game in her time at Valpo, tied for sixth-best in program history.
Suiting Up Again and Again
- Sixth-year forward Caitlin Morrison cracked Valpo’s career top-10 for games played earlier this season at UIC.
- Morrison made her 123rd appearance in the Valpo uniform last time out against Detroit Mercy, moving into a tie for second place in program history with Grace Hales and Meredith Hamlet.
- She is just two games shy of reaching Kathryn Knoester’s program record of 125 career games played.
- Morrison has started in 119 of her 123 appearances, two games shy of Hamlet’s program record of 121 career games started.
- The last two seasons have featured a combined 29 wins for Valpo, including many notable victories.
- The 2020-21 squad counted some big wins among its 12 victories, including a pair of literal B1G wins, as the Brown and Gold beat multiple Big Ten teams in the same season for the first time in program history.
- Entering the season without a win over a Power Five program since 2012-13, Valpo won at Illinois for its first-ever win over the Illini, and followed four days later with a road win at Purdue - the second win in program history over the Boilermakers.
- Valpo became the first women’s basketball program with multiple nonconference road wins at Big Ten programs since 2017-18.
- The team picked up some big wins once the schedule flipped to Missouri Valley Conference play as well last season, as three of Valpo’s seven conference victories came over teams in the top-100 of the NET.
- The 2019-20 Valpo squad had one of the top turnarounds in program history from the previous year and one of the best turnarounds in the nation. It more than doubled the win total from the prior season, as the 2018-19 team went 8-24 overall, while the 2019-20 squad went 17-12.
- It was the second-largest improvement in the win column from one year to the next in program history, trailing only the 2001-02 team, which improved an astounding 19 wins from the previous season (7-22 -> 26-7).
- Valpo’s 10.5 game improvement ranked sixth nationally.
- Valpo’s 17 wins in 2019-20 made it the program’s winningest campaign since 2006-07.
- The wins in 2019-20 came in non-conference play, where Valpo posted an 8-3 record – the best pre-conference mark in program history.
- The wins came away from home, as Valpo went 9-5 in true road games – the most road wins since the 2001-02 team won nine true road games.
- The wins came when the schedule shifted to MVC action, as Valpo finished 2019-20 9-9 in MVC play – its first .500 or better record in league play since 2008-09.
- In her time at the helm of the Valpo program, head coach Mary Evans’ teams have become known for their propensity to shoot 3-pointers.
- Evans’ first three seasons at the helm have seen Valpo’s top-3 single-season total 3-pointers made, including a program-record 276 in her first season in 2018-19 - a mark which ranks seventh in MVC history.
- Valpo has ranked among the top-25 in the nation in 3-pointers/game all three years, with the 2020-21 squad setting a program single-season record by averaging 9.0 triples/game.
- Prior to Evans’ arrival, Valpo had made 14 or more 3-pointers in a game just nine times in program history.
- In the three seasons with her at the helm, Valpo owns nine more games with 14+ triples, including twice matching the program single-game record of 17.
- The style of play isn’t a surprise if you follow the coaching tree. Evans coached under Bob Boldon at Ohio for five years before getting the head job at Valpo, and Boldon was a former assistant coach at FGCU under their legendary head coach, Karl Smesko, whose teams have ranked among the top-5 in the nation in 3-pointers made in each of the last 10 years.
- As much as the offensive end has been highlighted by the 3-point numbers under Evans, the defensive side has seen prolific steal numbers over the last three seasons.
- Valpo has averaged at least 8.9 steals/game in each of Evans’ three seasons.
- Each of the last two years has seen Valpo rank among the top-40 teams nationally in steals/game.
- Carie Weinman has led the MVC in steals in each of the last two seasons. She ranked 16th nationally last year, averaging 2.9 steals/game.
- Valpo tallied double figures in steals 12 times in 25 games in 2020-21, after doing so 16 times the previous season.
- With 300 steals, the 2019-20 squad finished the campaign eighth in program history in the category. The 2001-02 team (330 steals) is the only Valpo team in the last quarter-century to have registered more steals.
- Four regular starters return for Valpo in 2021-22, including a trio who own extensive streaks of consecutive games started.
- Shay Frederick, Caitlin Morrison and Carie Weinman were three of the four players who started every game a season ago.
- Frederick has started 77 consecutive games dating back to the middle of her freshman year, while Morrison and Weinman have made 65 starts in a row.
- The three were members of a quintet which started every single game in the 2019-20 season - the first time in program history the same five players started every game.
- Grace White started all 22 games she was available for last season as well.
- Valpo had a shakeup in the starting lineup for the first time this season at WMU, inserting Cara VanKempen in place of Maya Dunson.