January 12, 20241st2nd3rd4thFinal
Stats at a GlanceDRAVALPO
FG Percentage.519 (27-52) .353 (18-51)
3P FG Percentage.375 (9-24) .344 (11-32)
FT Percentage.909 (20-22) 1.000 (7-7)
Offensive Rebounds86
Defensive Rebounds2718
Total Rebounds3524
Bench Points1114
PointsDinnebier - 26
Earnest - 14
ReboundsMiller - 10
Earnest - 4
AssistsDinnebier - 6
Jackson - 5
StealsMcAulay - 3
Dinnebier - 3
Hawthorne - 3
Interrante - 3
BlocksFornshell - 1
Jackson - 1
Gold - 1
Preston - 1
Beacons Return Home, Fall to Drake
Friday, January 12, 2024
Beacons Return Home, Fall to Drake
Olivia Sims drives for a layup Friday.

The Valpo women’s basketball team matched a season high on Friday evening by connecting on 11 3-pointers in its first MVC home game of the season, falling to Drake 83-54.

How It Happened

  • Drake opened the game on an 8-0 run over the opening two minutes. Valpo came back with three 3-pointers over its next four possessions, getting two triples from Saniya Jackson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop) and one from Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) to get to within 10-9 with 5:36 to play in the quarter.
  • The Bulldogs got their lead back up to five points before 3-pointers in the final minute of the quarter from Ella Van Weelden (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Marion) and Earnest gave Valpo a brief lead late in the period. Drake’s Katie Dinnebier drove for a layup in the waning seconds to put the Bulldogs on top at the end of one, 18-17.
  • Valpo went scoreless for nearly four minutes to start the second quarter, but the Beacons allowed just four points over that same stretch to stay within striking distance.
  • The Bulldogs scored six in a row over a two-minute stretch late in the quarter to push their lead to its first-half apex at nine points. Earnest beat the shot clock with a turnaround jumper on Valpo’s final possession of the period to bring the Beacons within 31-24 at halftime.
  • A basket by Layla Gold (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) 74 seconds into the second half made it a five-point game, and after Drake extended out to an 11-point edge, Earnest and Ava Interrante (McHenry, Ill./McHenry) converted driving layups on consecutive possessions to make it 37-30 with 5:45 to play in the third period.
  • Drake came up with a 19-3 run over the next four-plus minutes to pull away. Dinnebier hit a 40-footer at the buzzer to give the Bulldogs a 62-36 lead with 10 minutes to play, and Valpo got no closer in the fourth quarter.

Inside the Game

  • Friday’s game was the first home game for the Beacons in 34 days, the longest stretch between home games since a 35-day stretch in the 1999-2000 season.
  • It also was Valpo’s third home game of the year, the latest in the calendar the program has played its third home game since the 1988-89 squad played its third home game on Jan. 18.
  • The Beacons hit 11 3-pointers to match their season high, previously accomplished against Chicago State. Eight different players combined for the 11 triples.
  • Earnest scored a team-best 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting Friday. It is the sixth time this season the senior has led Valpo in scoring, while she also paced the Beacons in rebounds for the ninth time.
  • Interrante knocked down a pair of triples on her way to a season-best 10 points. She also came up with a team-high three steals to match her season high.
  • Nevaeh Jackson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop) led Valpo with a season-high five assists.
  • Valpo limited Drake, which entered the game averaging 81.9 points/game to just 31 points in the first half. The Bulldogs were just 11-of-24 from the floor, 2-of-10 from the 3-point line, 7-of-8 from the foul line and committed 13 turnovers over the first 20 minutes.
  • Drake scored 52 points in the second half, however, hitting 16-of-28 from the field, 7-of-14 from the 3-point line and 13-of-14 from the foul line. The Bulldogs also turned the ball over just six times in the second half.

Postgame Press Conference - Head Coach Mary Evans & Leah Earnest



Next Up

Valpo (1-12, 0-4 MVC) hosts Valley preseason favorite UNI on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. It will be Carnival Day at the ARC, featuring a halftime show by Christian & Scooby from America’s Got Talent.