Valpo women’s basketball freshman Raeven Raye-Redmond (Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood Madison) made an immediate impact in her collegiate debut Saturday at the ARC, recording one of the most prolific single-game steal totals in program history, but visiting Western Illinois came away with a 76-54 victory.
How It Happened
- It was an early defensive struggle, as the score was tied 4-4 past the halfway mark of the first period before Western Illinois went on an 11-2 run to grab a lead it never relinquished.
- The Leathernecks’ lead was 21-11 at the end of the opening quarter.
- Valpo was still within 11 with under three minutes to play in the second quarter after a steal and fast-break layup from Raye-Redmond, but WIU scored 10 of the final 12 points of the half to take a 44-25 lead into the intermission.
- Led by eight points from fifth-year Jill Harris (Navarre, Fla./Crestview [Johnson C. Smith]), Valpo enjoyed its most prolific offensive quarter of the young season in the 10 minutes after halftime, as the Beacons put 21 points on the board.
- Unfortunately for Valpo, that coincided with a stellar offensive period for the Leathernecks, as they extended their lead by going 8-of-11 from the floor — including 4-of-5 from 3-point range. When the dust settled, WIU held a 68-46 advantage with 10 minutes to play.
- The fourth quarter was a complete flip-flop from the third quarter. The Beacon defense held WIU to just nine points, as the Leathernecks were just 3-of-11 from the field and committed seven turnovers. But offensively, Valpo hit just one field goal and committed seven turnovers of its own as the Beacons scored just eight points over the final 10 minutes.
Inside the Game
- Raye-Redmond enjoyed a debut to remember Saturday. The rookie was called upon midway through the second quarter and played 23 of the game’s final 25 minutes, scoring nine points on 4-of-7 shooting.
- But of course, it was her output on the defensive end of the floor which was most eye-popping, as Raye-Redmond recorded three steals in the second quarter, three in the third quarter and two in the fourth quarter to finish with eight steals.
- Her eight steals were just one off Valpo’s single-game record, leaving her tied with seven others for second-most in a single-game in program history. Prior to Saturday, the last Valpo player to tally eight steals in a game was Jeanette Gray against Houston in the 2002 WNIT.
- Raye-Redmond is the first MVC player to record eight steals in a game since UNI’s Ellie Herzberg did so against Indiana State on Feb. 19, 2017.
- Raye-Redmond was responsible for nearly half of the Beacons’ steals as a team on Saturday, as Valpo notched 18 steals — the program’s best single-game mark since tallying 21 steals at Evansville on Jan. 12, 2020.
- Senior Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) had three of those steals and recorded four assists and two blocked shots as well, all three marks matching her career bests in the respective categories. Earnest also scored in double figures for a second straight game, finishing with 10 points.
- Harris scored a team-best 13 points, one off her career high, as she made it back-to-back games with double-figure scoring efforts to open her Beacon career. Harris knocked down 3-of-4 from the 3-point line, tying her career high for triples made in a game.
- Raye-Redmond was one of two Valpo players to make her collegiate debut on Saturday, as fellow rookie Layla Gold (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) came off the bench with one point and two rebounds in eight minutes of action.
- Valpo finished the game shooting just 39.1% from the field and was just 5-of-20 from 3-point range, while WIU hit at a 48.1% clip from the floor and went 9-of-18 from deep.
- The defensive effort by the Beacons in the fourth quarter resulted in the first single-digit quarter by a Valpo opponent since Bradley scored just eight points in the second quarter of Valpo’s win in Peoria last season on Feb. 23.
- Saturday’s game was the Beacons’ second of the season, making Valpo the nation’s last D-I program to step on the floor for its second game of the year.
Postgame Press Conference - Head Coach Mary Evans
Click here for postgame press conference.
Valpo (0-2) hits the road for its next four games, starting with an extended trip featuring games on either side of the Thanksgiving holiday. The Beacons return to action Tuesday night at Southern Miss, slated for a 6 p.m. tip live on ESPN+.