January 06, 20241st2nd3rd4thFinal
Southern Ill.2320181475
Stats at a GlanceVALPOSIU
FG Percentage.436 (24-55) .431 (22-51)
3P FG Percentage.368 (7-19) .313 (5-16)
FT Percentage.524 (11-21) .897 (26-29)
Offensive Rebounds89
Defensive Rebounds2129
Total Rebounds2938
Bench Points2821
PointsJackson - 15
Randle - 24
ReboundsJackson - 6
Hughes - 8
Allmond - 8
AssistsEarnest - 6
Mason - 5
StealsJackson - 3
Randle - 5
Mason - 5
BlocksJackson - 1
Gold - 1
Prochaska - 2
Fourth-Quarter Rally Comes Up Short for Beacons
Saturday, January 6, 2024
Fourth-Quarter Rally Comes Up Short for Beacons
Leah Earnest delivered 12 points and a career-best six assists Saturday.

The Valpo women’s basketball team was able to erase the majority of a 21-point fourth-quarter deficit at Southern Illinois Saturday afternoon, limiting the Salukis to just three points in a stretch of seven-plus minutes, but the Beacons were unable to get closer than seven points down the stretch, falling to SIU, 75-66.

How It Happened

  • The Beacons trailed by as many as 12 points in the first quarter, but a 3-point play by Emma Tecca (Tallmadge, Ohio/Archbishop Hoban [Akron]) with 1:13 to play in the period cut the deficit to six. That is where SIU’s lead sat at the end of the quarter, with the Salukis enjoying a 23-17 lead.
  • It took SIU just 1:22 into the second quarter to push its lead from six points to 15, as the Salukis scored three points apiece on each of their first three possessions of the period. The run eventually reached 14-0 before a basket from Saniya Jackson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop) with 6:18 to play in the half got the Beacons on the board in the second quarter.
  • The rest of the second quarter was played within two points of that mark on either side. Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) hit a jumper in the paint which beat the game clock to end the half, cutting the Valpo deficit to 43-27 at intermission.
  • The Beacons were unable to make any headway into the SIU lead in the third quarter. The Salukis pushed their edge to as many as 23 points in the period and led 61-42 with 10 minutes to play.
  • SIU led by 21 times multiple times early in the fourth quarter, the latest after a Laniah Randle basket made it 67-46 with 8:10 remaining. From that point, however, Valpo limited the Salukis to just three points over the next seven-plus minutes, allowing the Beacons to put together a rally to get back into the game.
  • The run started innocuously enough, as Ella Van Weelden (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Marion) connected on a 3-pointer with 7:45 to play. Neither squad found the basket for a stretch of over four minutes, until Van Weelden drilled another triple to cut the lead to 67-52 with 3:16 remaining.
  • After an SIU free throw, Earnest converted a driving layup, and the Beacons then countered a Saluki basket with another 3-pointer by Van Weelden to make it a 13-point game with 2:16 to go.
  • Valpo got a stop on the defensive end and converted it into points offensively, as Raeven Raye-Redmond (Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood Madison) hit Jackson for a layup with 1:34 remaining. Raye-Redmond did it all herself on the next trip, coming up with a steal and a fast-break basket while being fouled, and when she converted the free throw, the Beacons were within 70-62 with 1:11 to go.
  • After a couple attempts at steals, Valpo was forced to foul, allowing SIU to add a pair of points at the foul line with 52 seconds remaining, but yet again Van Weelden came up with another big shot, hitting her fourth 3-pointer of the quarter with 38.7 seconds left to bring the Beacons within 72-65. Valpo was unable to get any closer in the final possessions, however.

Inside the Game

  • Jackson set a season high with 15 points, shooting 6-of-12 from the field. Beyond the scoring column, the freshman also paced the Beacons with six rebounds and three steals.
  • Earnest scored in double figures for the 11th time in 12 games this season, finishing with 12 points. She also handed out a game-high six assists to match her career best and tallied a pair of steals as well.
  • Van Weelden scored all 12 of her points in the fourth quarter, knocking down a career-best four 3-pointers. The 12 points outpaced her previous career high of nine points, which she set back in her collegiate debut.
  • Van Weelden is the third Valpo player to score in double digits in a single quarter this year.
  • Tecca enjoyed a perfect shooting day, hitting 2-of-2 from the floor — including a 3-pointer — and 3-of-3 from the foul line for a season-best eight points.
  • Raye-Redmond delivered six points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals off the bench.
  • Making her first collegiate start, Layla Gold (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) recorded four points and a season-high four rebounds.
  • Gold was starting Saturday in place of Olivia Brown (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids [St. Bonaventure]), who missed out due to injury. It is the first game Brown has missed in her three seasons at Valpo.
  • Gold combined with Saniya Jackson and Nevaeh Jackson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop) to give the Beacons three freshmen in the starting lineup for the first time since March 11, 2016.
  • The two teams enjoyed a pretty even shooting effort from the floor. Valpo hit at a 43.6% (24-of-55) clip and knocked down seven 3-pointers, while Southern Illinois hit 43.1% (22-of-51) and connected on five triples.
  • The difference between the two squads came at the foul line. The Beacons were just 11-of-21 from the charity stripe, versus a 26-of-29 mark at the line from the Salukis.
  • Valpo limited SIU, which entered the game averaging 12.6 offensive rebounds/game, to just nine offensive boards. In fact, the Beacons — who gathered eight offensive rebounds of their own — enjoyed a 13-10 edge in second chance points.
  • Led by Saniya Jackson’s three thefts, Valpo came up with 10 steals as a team, reaching double figures in the category for the seventh time this season.

Next Up

Over a month removed from its last home game at the ARC, Valpo (1-11, 0-3 MVC) returns home to the friendly confines for its next four games, starting on Friday night at 6 p.m. against Drake.