The Valpo women’s basketball team came up short in a test against Big Ten opponent Northwestern Sunday afternoon in Evanston, Ill., falling to the host Wildcats by an 81-47 final.
How It Happened
- The Beacons got off to a slow start Sunday, as Northwestern scored the game’s first eight points. But Valpo was back within two at the first quarter media timeout thanks to five early points from Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) and a 3-pointer by Maya Dunson (Dayton, Ohio/Wayne [Loyola]).
- Valpo was limited to just one field goal over the final four-plus minutes of the opening quarter, allowing Northwestern to pull ahead 22-10 at the end of the period.
- Three free throws from Emma Tecca (Tallmadge, Ohio/Archbishop Hoban [Akron]) and a 3-pointer from Ella Van Weelden (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Marion) brought the Beacons to within 24-16 with 7:29 to play in the first half. The Wildcats closed the half on a 21-6 run, though, to go into halftime ahead 45-22.
- Northwestern scored the first three points of the third quarter, but Valpo outscored the Wildcats the remainder of the period, 16-8, to pull to within 56-38 with 10 minutes to play. Earnest had six points during the third quarter and Ilysse Pitts (Aurora, Ill./Montini Catholic) added five as well.
- The Wildcats scored the first six points of the final period to keep the Beacons from continuing their rally.
Inside the Game
- Valpo was limited to a season-worst 24.6% shooting from the field and committed a season-high 28 turnovers.
- The Beacons did force 17 Northwestern turnovers — 10 of which were steals, led by three from Pitts — but were outscored 27-3 in points off turnovers.
- Earnest was the only Valpo player to score in double figures Sunday, tallying 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting. The junior has been in double digits in the scoring column in all five games this season.
- Pitts added six points and a team-best five assists, one off her career best.
- Van Weelden paced Valpo with six rebounds, while all five rebounds for Jayda Johnston (Roseville, Minn./Roseville Area) came on the offensive end. As a team, Valpo lost the rebounding margin battle by just two boards (41-39), taking on a Wildcat squad which was a +32 on the glass in their last game.
Valpo (2-3) returns home to the ARC to host a pair of MAC opponents over the next week and a half, starting with a Friday night matchup against Bowling Green. The game, which tips at 6 p.m., can be seen live on ESPN3.