January 27, 20231st2nd3rd4thFinal
Illinois St.2321201478
Stats at a GlanceILSVALPO
FG Percentage.491 (27-55) .326 (15-46)
3P FG Percentage.421 (8-19) .154 (4-26)
FT Percentage.800 (16-20) .667 (12-18)
Offensive Rebounds102
Defensive Rebounds2921
Total Rebounds3923
Bench Points2534
PointsRobinson - 23
Johnston - 14
ReboundsRobinson - 6
Wilson - 6
Earnest - 5
AssistsWong - 6
Saunders - 4
StealsStinson - 2
Interrante - 3
BlocksWong - 1
Robinson - 1
Bullman - 1
Kelle - 1
Women’s Basketball Falls to MVC Leader Illinois State Friday
Friday, January 27, 2023
Women’s Basketball Falls to MVC Leader Illinois State Friday
Jayda Johnston scored 14 second-half points Friday.

The Valpo women’s basketball team fell in its return to the ARC Friday evening, as conference-leading Illinois State came in and earned a 78-46 victory over the Beacons.

How It Happened

  • It looked like Valpo took an early lead when junior Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) knocked down a 3-pointer on the Beacons’ first possession of the game, but the play was reviewed at the first quarter media timeout and reversed to a shot clock violation.
  • The removal of the trifecta meant Valpo trailed 12-2 at the media stoppage, a lead Illinois State extended to 23-6 at the end of the first quarter.
  • The Redbirds continued applying the pressure, pulling out to a 36-8 lead with just under four minutes to play in the half.
  • Valpo looked to enter the locker room with momentum, putting together an 11-2 run which included two 3-pointers from freshman Ali Saunders (Depauw, Ind./North Harrison) and a triple by junior Ava Interrante (McHenry, Ill./McHenry) to close to within 38-19.
  • But the Redbirds’ Paige Robinson hit 3-pointers on each of ISU’s final two possessions of the first half to make it a 44-19 game at intermission.
  • Valpo played Illinois State even in the third quarter, thanks in large part to six strong minutes from junior Jayda Johnston (Roseville, Minn./Roseville Area). Johnston came in and delivered 13 points in the third period alone, hitting all five of her field goal attempts.

Inside the Game

  • Johnston, who entered halftime scoreless, ended up leading the Beacons with 14 points on Friday — just two points off her career high.
  • It is the third time this year a Valpo player has scored 14 or more second-half points after going scoreless in the first half.
  • Saunders delivered strong offense off the bench as well, finishing with 13 points and connecting on three 3-pointers for the first time in her career.
  • Saunders also paced Valpo with four assists, while Earnest grabbed a team-best five rebounds.
  • Interrante finished with eight points and a team-high three steals as the Beacons registered 10 steals as a team — the third time in the last five games Valpo has recorded double-digit steals.
  • Valpo shot just 32.6% from the field and was a season-worst 4-for-26 from the 3-point line.
  • Sophomore Katie Beyer (McHenry, Ill./McHenry) received her first career start on Friday.

Postgame Press Conference With Head Coach Mary Evans



Next Up

Valpo (3-15, 1-8 MVC) closes out the first half of the Valley schedule on Sunday afternoon when Bradley comes to the ARC. Game time is set for 1 p.m., and the game can be seen live on ESPN+.