The Valpo women’s basketball team cut a 15-point second-half deficit to as few as three points on Friday evening at the ARC, but could not get over the hump and take the lead as visiting Loyola pulled away in the final minutes to earn a 66-52 victory.
How It Happened
- Valpo never led, as the Ramblers knocked down a triple on their first trip of the game. The Beacons were tied on a pair of occasions in the opening minutes, but Loyola extended its lead to as many as eight points in the opening period and led 20-14 at the end of the first.
- Loyola scored the first four points of the second quarter to push its lead into double figures before Shay Frederick (Greenville, Wis./Hortonville) and Olivia Brown (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids [St. Bonaventure]) hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to bring Valpo back within 24-20 with 5:47 to play in the period and force a Rambler timeout.
- Following the second triple, Valpo went scoreless for over five minutes, allowing Loyola to score seven straight points. A basket from Carie Weinman (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South [Denver]) snapped the scoreless skid and brought the Beacons within 31-22 at intermission.
- Valpo’s offense got things going to start the second half, scoring 15 points in the first five minutes of the third quarter — including eight from Cara VanKempen (Coopersville, Mich./Coopersville) — as it scored on six of its first nine possessions of the half.
- But the Beacons lost ground during that stretch, as the Ramblers scored points on each of their first nine possessions of the half. The Loyola lead reached an apex of 15 points on multiple occasions.
- With the Loyola advantage at 48-34 at the halfway mark of the period, Valpo locked down defensively, holding the Ramblers scoreless for over five minutes. That allowed the Beacons to reel off 11 straight points — five of which came from Frederick — to pull back to within one possession. The Loyola lead was just 51-47 with 10 minutes to play.
- It was a slow start both ways to the fourth quarter, as neither team scored a point in the first two minutes of the period. A free throw by the Ramblers was answered by a pair from the charity stripe by Weinman to make it a 52-49 game with 7:35 remaining.
- Valpo actually had the ball with a chance to tie the game, but a turnover led to a Loyola basket, which sparked a eight-point spurt for the Ramblers over the next two minutes. That sealed the game for Loyola, as Valpo’s lone basket of the fourth quarter came on a Frederick triple in the final 90 seconds.
Inside the Game
- The loss drops Valpo into sixth place in the MVC standings with two games remaining. The Beacons sit at 8-8 in conference play, with Drake at 6-9 and Indiana State at 5-10.
- After shooting 50% or better from the field in three of its last four games, Valpo was limited to 35.4% shooting on Friday evening.
- Valpo did go 10-of-12 from the foul line on Friday, eclipsing the 80% mark from the stripe for the fourth time in its last five contests.
- Valpo tallied just four steals as a team, a new season low, as it forced just nine Rambler turnovers.
- Weinman led the Beacons with 15 points, the seventh time this year she has paced the squad in the scoring column.
- Frederick was the only other Valpo player in double figures, tallying 11 points. The senior also tied for game-high honors with seven rebounds and led all players with seven assists.
- Frederick moved into eighth place in program history in career scoring on Friday, passing Stephanie Greer as she ended the evening with 1,230 points. She also rocketed up into a tie for seventh place on Valpo’s single-season assists chart with 134 assists this year — matching the most by a Valpo player since 2000.
- The Beacons hit on eight 3-pointers Friday, giving them 220 triples on the season — sixth-most in program history.
Valpo (10-17, 8-8) will close the regular season at home next weekend, starting with a Thursday night matchup against Missouri State. Tipoff against the Lady Bears is set for 6 p.m.