Valparaiso (8-16, 6-7 MVC)
Game #25 - February 18, 2022 - 6 p.m.
at Evansville (8-15, 2-10 MVC)
Meeks Family Fieldhouse (1,164) - Evansville, Ind.
Next Up in Valpo Basketball: With the regular season hitting the final stretch, the Valpo women’s basketball team embarks on its last road trip of the regular season this weekend, starting with a Friday evening visit to Evansville. Currently in fifth place in the MVC standings, the Beacons are in a tight race to earn a top-six regular season finish and avoid playing on Thursday at Hoops in the Heartland.
Previously: Valpo went blow-for-blow with MVC leader Illinois State on Saturday afternoon at the ARC, rallying multiple times from large deficits to get back into contention, but at the end of the day, the Redbirds edged by the Beacons by an 85-80 final.
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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 45-65. 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: Valpo and Evansville have met 22 times in the all-time series, with Valpo owning a 13-9 advantage - including an 8-2 lead in the series since joining the MVC prior to the 2017-18 campaign. In the first meeting this season, last month at the ARC, Evansville led by as many as 14 points in the first quarter before the Beacons turned things around in an eventual 74-62 win. Olivia Brown led Valpo in the win with 21 points, while Grace White finished with 18 - 13 of which came in a three-minute stretch in the third quarter.
- 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.
- 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 Illinois State
- The Redbirds hit their first seven shots from the floor and led by as many as 12 in the first quarter before Valpo rallied to make it 20-16 at the end of the period.
- Illinois State led for the entire second quarter and took a 45-40 lead into halftime.
- Illinois State scored on eight of its first nine possessions of the second half and was 7-for-7 from the floor over the first six minutes of the third quarter to pull away to a 65-47 advantage with under four minutes to play in the period.
- A 10-0 run cut the deficit back to single digits for Valpo, and it was a 69-63 game at the end of the third.
- A fast-break layup from Shay Frederick with 3:32 to play brought Valpo within 77-75 — the closest it had been since the game’s opening minutes.
- Valpo actually had a shot to take the lead on its next trip, but it was off the mark, and back-to-back turnovers helped the Redbirds extend their lead back out to six points.
- Valpo shot a season-best 55.8% from the floor on Saturday. The Beacons went 10-for-23 (43.5%) from deep — the seventh time in conference play they have hit at least 10 triples — and were 19-for-29 from inside the arc.
- Leading the way for Valpo was Carie Weinman, who was nearly perfect in a 22-point effort which was one off her season best. Weinman hit all four of her 3-point attempts and was 9-for-10 from the field — tying for the fifth-best shooting performance in a game in program history (minimum eight attempts) and the best since December 2015.
- White followed up a 20-point performance on Thursday with 19 points on Saturday, including a perfect 7-for-7 mark from the foul line. White also led all players with eight rebounds and blocked three shots as well.
- The Braves led for most of the first half and their lead reached an apex of 12 points in the second quarter before Valpo battled back to within 46-44 at intermission.
- The Beacons gained their first lead since the game’s opening minutes on a layup by Carie Weinman with 3:10 to play in the third quarter.
- The teams were tied 65-65 at the end of the third, and were still tied at 70-70 before Valpo forced three consecutive Bradley turnovers during a 6-0 spurt to take the lead for good approaching the midway mark of the fourth.
- Valpo never relinquished the lead, holding off the Braves despite Bradley having four separate shot attempts in the final 2:30 with a chance to tie or take the lead.
- Valpo earned its first season sweep of Bradley since joining the Valley with Thursday’s win.
- Grace 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Beacons play their final road game of the regular season on Sunday afternoon, heading to Terre Haute to take on Indiana State.
- Valpo then returns home for the final three games of the regular season, starting on Friday, Feb. 25 against Loyola.
...on the road
- Friday marks the 15th of 16 road games for Valpo this season. The Beacons are 3-11 on the road so far this season and 2-5on the road in MVC play.
- Valpo had 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.
- Evansville enters Friday’s game at 8-15 overall and 2-10 in MVC play, sitting in ninth place in the conference standings.
- The Purple Aces snapped a nine-game losing streak last time out, rallying from 18 points down to defeat Indiana State, 58-56.
- Je’Naiya Davis averages a team-best 15.9 points/game, while Abby Feit posts 15.3 points/game and 9.4 rebounds/game.
The Race For the Top Six
- Valpo is currently engaged in a tight three-team battle for fifth, sixth and seventh place - a vital tussle for positioning given seventh place will have to play on Thursday at Hoops in the Heartland.
- Valpo enters Friday tied for fifth place with Loyola at 6-7 in MVC play, with Indiana State one-half game back at 5-7.
- The three teams all face each other over the course of the next three game days, with Loyola-Indiana State on Friday, Valpo-Indiana State on Sunday and then Loyola-Valpo next Friday.
- Drake is lurking on the periphery as well, in eighth place at 4-9, but the Beacons not only have a two-game lead on the Bulldogs, they also own the tiebreaker by virtue of the season sweep of the series.
- Thursday’s game at the ARC was jam-packed with action en route to an 86-84 victory over Bradley.
- Valpo’s 86 points were a season high and the most the team has scored since an 88-83 win over Xavier in December 2020.
- The Beacons hit 31 shots from the floor, their first time hitting 30+ field goals since an 88-66 win at Evansville in January 2020.
- Meanwhile, the 84 points Valpo surrendered in the winning effort are the most the program has given up in a regulation victory since a 92-89 win over Western Illinois in January 1997.
- Then, Saturday resulted in an 85-80 loss to Illinois State. The 80 points marked Valpo’s highest scoring output in a regulation loss since falling 101-80 at Wright State in March 2014.
- Combined with Thursday’s 86-point effort, it is the first time Valpo has scored 80+ points in back-to-back regulation games since March 2014 as well.
Ups and Downs
- Valley play over the last month for the Beacons has been a yo-yo in terms of results, a string Valpo will attempt to keep going on Friday.
- Starting with the Jan. 9 victory over Drake, Valpo has alternated wins and losses in each of its last 10 games - most recently falling to Illinois State last Saturday.
- This is a new program record for the longest stretch of alternating results.
- Previously, the 1998-99 team oscillated between losses and victories for nine consecutive games to open the campaign, while the 1982-83 squad alternated between wins and defeats for a nine-game stretch as well.
What a Game
- Carie Weinman was nearly perfect on the offensive end last time out against Illinois State.
- Weinman finished with a team-best 22 points on 9-of-10 shooting from the field, including a 4-for-4 mark from the 3-point line.
- That ties for the fifth-best shooting performance in a game in program history (minimum eight attempts) and the best since December 2015.
- Weinman actually missed her second shot attempt of the game, meaning she hit eight straight field goal attempts to finish the contest.
- Each of Valpo’s last three wins and four of six MVC victories have seen the Beacons overcome double-digit deficits at some point during the game to earn the win.
- Valpo has now rallied from down 10 or more to win 14 times in head coach Mary Evans’ four-year tenure at the helm of the program.
- Most recently, Valpo overcame a 12-point deficit in the second quarter to earn the win over Bradley last Thursday.
- The previous weekend at Drake, the Beacons trailed by 10 in the first half before coming back for the victory.
- Valpo’s home win over UNI featured a comeback from down 13 in the fourth quarter, tying the program’s largest comeback in the final period since the move to quarters — Valpo previously rallied from a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter in a 66-64 win over Loyola on Jan. 24, 2020.
- Against Evansville, the Beacons trailed by as many as 14 points before picking up the win - it was Valpo’s largest comeback overall since the aforementioned Loyola game, which featured a 14-point deficit at one point.
- Senior Shay Frederick reached another level with her distribution of the basketball in Valpo’s win over Bradley on Thursday.
- Frederick surpassed her career high with 11 assists against the Braves, the second time this year she has reached double figures in the category.
- It also ties the season high for assists in a game by an MVC player.
- The assists comprised half of Frederick’s first career double-double, as she also scored 17 points in the win.
- But even more impressively, Frederick tallied the 17 points and 11 assists without committing a single turnover.
- According to HerHoopStats.com, Frederick is one of only eight players in D-I this season to record 11+ assists in a game without committing a turnover.
- Drilling further down into the Her Hoops Stats data, Frederick is one of only three D-I players this season to finish with a stat line of 17 PTS/6 REB/11 AST or better in those categories and also finish with 0 turnovers.
- Frederick nearly reached double figures in the assists column again last time out against Illinois State, handing out nine assists.
- Valpo has recorded a number of firsts in program history during conference play this year.
- The Beacons have registered their first road win over two MVC teams this season, winning for the first time both at Drake and at Bradley.
- Both Drake and Bradley were previously 6-0 at home versus Valpo before this season.
- The win at the Knapp Center completed Valpo’s first season sweep of Drake, the program’s first two wins ever against the Bulldogs.
- Prior to the Beacons’ win at the ARC over Drake earlier this season, the Bulldogs held a 13-0 advantage in the all-time series.
- The win over Drake in January also gave Valpo its first sweep of the UNI/Drake weekend in MVC play.
- It is Valpo’s fourth sweep of a weekend set since joining the Valley. Valpo previously swept both the home and road Indiana State/Evansville weekends in 2019-20, and took down Southern Illinois twice on back-to-back days last season.
- Valpo completed its first season sweep of Bradley last time out with the home win over the Braves.
- Valpo has had two players reach the 1,000-point milestone for their collegiate career already this season, with a third being within striking distance of doing so as well by season’s end.
- Last month, Carie Weinman reached the milestone at UNI.
- Earlier this season, Shay Frederick surpassed 1,000 career points in Valpo’s game at South Dakota.
- Meanwhile, Grace White comes into the Evansville game with 979 career points, putting her on track to potentially reach the milestone this weekend.
- White scored 277 points in her two years at Denver and is at 702 points in her time at Valpo.
Top 100 Wins
- Valpo has made a habit of knocking off top-100 opponents in MVC play over the last few seasons and has done so three times this year.
- The home win over UNI came over a team which entered the night ranked #46 in NET, and the home victory came over a Drake squad which was #65.
- Most recently, the road win at Drake came over a Bulldogs squad which entered the day at #84.
- Valpo now has eight top-100 NET/RPI wins in Valley action over the last three seasons.
- Prior to its Feb. 16, 2020 win at Illinois State - its first top-100 win in conference play since joining the Valley - Valpo had gone nearly seven years without a top-100 victory.
White Does It All
- Senior Grace White has continued to stuff the stat sheet in her final season in the Brown and Gold, and took it to another level in the victory at Drake.
- White finished the game with a team-high 20 points, a career-best 11 rebounds and six steals, also matching a career high.
- White needed just the first 20 minutes to record her third double-double at Valpo, entering halftime with 14 points and 10 rebounds - the first Valpo player since November 2016 to post a double-double in the first half.
- White again paced Valpo in scoring last Thursday with 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting in the win over Bradley, and finished with 19 points and a team-high eight rebounds last time out against Illinois State.
- White leads the team in scoring, rebounding and steals, and ranks second in assists and blocked shots.
- White leads the Valley in steals (2.4/game) and ranks eighth in rebounding (6.0/game).
- She currently ranks among the top-50 nationally in steals/game as well.
Frederick Moves On Up
- One season after leading the Valley in assists, Frederick again tops the chart this season as she’s averaging 4.8 assists/game.
- Frederick is trying to become the first MVC player to lead the conference in assists in consecutive seasons since Caitlin Ingle of Drake did so three straight seasons (2014-15 through 2016-17).
- Last weekend, Frederick surpassed Katie Boone for second place in program history in career assists and now has 463 career helpers.
- One of 17 players in program history to reach the 1,000-point milestone for her career, Frederick ranks 12th all-time at Valpo with 1,182 career points - just 35 points from the top-10.
- Frederick is one of just two players in program history with at least 1,000 career points and 400 career assists, and just one of three active MVC players above those marks (Brice Calip, MSU and Karli Rucker, UNI).
- Frederick also cracked Valpo’s all-time top-five for career 3-pointers made last weekend as well.