The Valpo women’s basketball team has made a habit of being able to rally from double-digit deficits to earn wins, and Thursday evening at the ARC was no difference, as the Beacons overcame a 12-point first-half Bradley lead and held off the Braves down the stretch to pick up an 86-84 victory and move back to .500 in MVC play. Shay Frederick (Greenville, Wis./Hortonville) set a new career best with 11 assists, recorded the first double-double of her career and moved into second place in program history in career assists.
How It Happened
- Valpo got out to an early 5-2 lead, but Bradley scored eight straight points to take a lead it would not relinquish until late in the third quarter.
- Back-to-back baskets at the rim from Olivia Brown (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids [St. Bonaventure]) brought Valpo within one at 18-17 before the Braves scored eight in a row in the final 90 seconds of the quarter to lead 26-17 at the end of the first.
- Bradley extended its lead to an apex of 12 points multiple times early in the second quarter. At the second instance, Valpo responded with 3-pointers on each of its next three possessions — two from Cara VanKempen (Coopersville, Mich./Coopersville) and one by Frederick — to quickly move back within 35-31 approaching the halfway mark of the quarter.
- The Braves scored the next four, but Valpo came back with a 9-2 spurt to make it a one-point game late in the quarter. Bradley eventually took a 46-44 lead into halftime.
- Much of the third quarter was a battle for the Beacons to try to regain the lead. Finally, trailing by four with four minutes to play in the period, Valpo got a 3-point play from Grace White (Redby, Minn./Red Lake [Denver]), followed by a defensive stop and a driving layup by Carie Weinman (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South [Denver]) to pull ahead 61-60 for its first lead since the game’s opening minutes.
- The teams traded the lead multiple times late in the third period, and when the dust settled, it was a 65-65 tie with 10 minutes to play.
- The key stretch of the fourth quarter came in a two-minute span approaching the halfway mark of the period. Valpo forced turnovers by the Braves on three straight possessions and took advantage to score six points in a row — two baskets by Weinman sandwiching a Frederick layup — to pull out to a 76-70 lead with 5:36 to play.
- Bradley closed back to within 78-77 with less than three minutes remaining, and after a Valpo miss, had a shot to potentially take the lead. The Braves missed and grabbed the offensive board, but would not get a second shot up, as Frederick came up with a steal and found Weinman for a fast-break layup to make it 80-77.
- Bradley split a pair of free throws on its next trip and had two shots at a potential tying bucket, but both were off the mark. After a Valpo miss, the Braves again had the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead before Weinman stepped up to take a big charge with 53 seconds to play to regain possession.
- Valpo ran the shot clock down before missing its effort, but White came up with a huge offensive board and was fouled with 29 seconds to go, hitting both free throws to push the lead to 82-78.
- An immediate 3-pointer on Bradley’s next trip cut Valpo’s edge to one point, but Frederick calmly stepped up and hit a pair from the line with 17 seconds to play to make it a three-point game. A foul sent the Braves to the line on their ensuing possession, where they hit the first and grabbed the offensive rebound on a miss of the second. But the potential tying putback was short out-of-bounds to Valpo.
- Frederick was fouled again with nine seconds remaining and once again hit both attempts from the stripe to put the game away.
Inside the Game
- Valpo earned its first season sweep of Bradley since joining the Valley with Thursday’s win.
- The Beacons’ 86 points are a season high and their highest scoring output since an 88-83 win over Xavier in December 2020.
- The 84 points Valpo surrendered are the most the program has given up in a regulation victory since a 92-89 win over Western Illinois in January 1997.
- Valpo overcame a double-digit deficit for the fourth time in six Valley wins this season. The program has now won 14 times in head coach Mary Evans’ tenure after trailing by 10 or more at some point in the game.
- White paced Valpo with an efficient 20-point effort off the bench — her third 20-point game of the season. White finished 6-of-9 from the field and was 4-of-7 from the 3-point line, matching a career high for 3-pointers made.
- 10 of White’s 20 points came in the third quarter, her eighth double-figure scoring quarter in a Valpo uniform.
- White continues to close in on the 1,000-point milestone for her collegiate career, as she ended the night with 960 career points.
- Weinman joined White with a strong effort off the bench as the Beacons out-scored the Braves in bench points, 46-4. Weinman went 8-of-11 from the field for 19 points.
- Weinman dropped 13 of her 19 points in the fourth quarter, going 5-of-6 from the field and 2-of-2 from the foul line over the final 10 minutes. It is her highest-scoring quarter at Valpo and the eighth time she has scored at least 10 in a single period. In each of the Beacon’s last two victories, Weinman has been in double figures in the fourth quarter.
- Frederick notched 17 points, two off her season best, in the win. The senior paced Valpo’s effort on the glass with six rebounds as well. She has now scored 1,173 career points, just 22 away from moving into 11th in program history, and also moved up into eighth place all-time at Valpo in free throws made Thursday.
- But the story for Frederick Thursday was her distribution. The Valley leader in assists, Frederick surpassed her career high with 11 assists — a mark which ties a season high by any MVC player. Not only did she set a career best in the category as half of her first career double-double, Frederick did so without committing a turnover.
- Frederick has handed out 454 assists in her four years at Valpo, and on Thursday moved past Katie Boone into second place in program history in the category.
- Valpo shot 51.7% from the field in Thursday’s win, its second-best clip of the season from the floor. The Beacons were 20-of-30 from inside the arc, and also knocked down 11 3-pointers — their sixth time in MVC play hitting at least 10 triples.
- Valpo also hit at an 86.7% rate from the foul line (13-of-15) and was a perfect 8-for-8 from the stripe in the decisive final period.
- Led by Frederick’s 11 assists, Valpo totaled 19 assists Thursday — its second-highest total of the year. The Beacons also tied a season best by committing just seven turnovers.
- Valpo won on Thursday despite Bradley connecting on 12-of-25 from the 3-point line, a season high for triples made by a Valpo opponent.
Valpo (8-15, 6-6 MVC) will try to snap a streak of nine straight games alternating wins and losses on Saturday afternoon at the ARC as it welcomes Illinois State to town for the Play4Kay game. Tipoff against the Redbirds is set for 1 p.m., and the game can be seen live on ESPN3.