Valpo women’s basketball juniors Jayda Johnston (Roseville, Minn./Roseville Area) and Ava Interrante (McHenry, Ill./McHenry) each smashed their career best in the scoring column Friday evening as the Beacons dropped an 83-67 decision at Western Illinois.
How It Happened
- Valpo led a couple minutes into the game, 6-2, but WIU held the Beacons to just one field goal over the next six minutes during an 18-4 run which gave the Leathernecks a double-digit lead. Western Illinois led 27-16 at the end of the first quarter.
- Johnston scored seven points in the second quarter alone as she surpassed her previous career best in scoring. The Leathernecks outscored Valpo in the period however, 23-12, to extend their lead to 50-28 at halftime.
- WIU scored the first three points of the third quarter to extend their lead to 25 points before Interrante entered the game and immediately nailed a 3-pointer as part of a nine-point quarter.
- All nine of Interrante’s points in the period came as part of a 15-4 run after she entered the game, a stretch which also included two 3-pointers from junior Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH). A layup by Interrante with 4:36 to play in the quarter brought Valpo back within 57-43.
- The Beacons got no closer than 14 points the remainder of the period, but ended up trailing just 68-52 with 10 minutes to play.
- Senior Olivia Brown (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids [St. Bonaventure]) finished at the rim on Valpo’s first possession of the fourth quarter, and after a miss by the Leathernecks, Interrante hit yet another 3-pointer to make it an 11-point game.
- Valpo actually had a shot to cut the deficit to single digits on its next trip, as WIU failed to convert on its end of the court, but a Beacon 3-pointer was off the mark. Following Interrante’s triple, the Beacons went scoreless for a six-minute span as WIU closed out the win.
Inside the Game
- Johnston surpassed her previous career high of six points early in the second quarter Friday and finished with a team-best 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting and four rebounds in 32 minutes of action off the bench.
- Meanwhile, Interrante’s third-quarter output of nine points broke her previous career best by itself. All 15 of the junior’s points came in the second half, as she hit 5-of-8 from the field, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range.
- Earnest registered her fourth double-double of the season on Friday, scoring 10 points and leading all players with 10 rebounds.
- After shooting just 9-of-26 from the field in the first half, Valpo shot nearly 50% (13-of-27) in the second half. The Beacons also were 6-of-14 from 3-point range in the final 20 minutes after going without a triple in the opening 20 minutes.
- Western Illinois took advantage of an edge at the charity stripe, going 28-of-37 from the foul line to Valpo’s 17-of-23. The Leathernecks also forced 22 Valpo turnovers and committed just 11 miscues, finishing with an 18-5 edge in points off turnovers.
Valpo (2-6) has 13 days between games, as the Beacons won’t return to competition until Thursday, Dec. 22 with a game at Wisconsin at 4 p.m.