January 19, 20241st2nd3rd4thFinal
Illinois St.1718212177
Stats at a GlanceILSVALPO
FG Percentage.469 (23-49) .397 (23-58)
3P FG Percentage.462 (6-13) .304 (7-23)
FT Percentage.781 (25-32) .833 (15-18)
Offensive Rebounds109
Defensive Rebounds2718
Total Rebounds3727
Bench Points318
PointsWilson - 19
Earnest - 20
ReboundsWilson - 12
Earnest - 10
AssistsLenz - 3
Bullman - 3
Interrante - 3
Earnest - 3
StealsLenz - 2
Smith - 2
Jackson - 3
BlocksSmith - 1
Coffey - 1
Wilson - 1
Bullman - 1
Tecca - 1
Jackson - 1
Jackson Enjoys Great Second Quarter Friday; Valpo Falls to Illinois State
Friday, January 19, 2024
Jackson Enjoys Great Second Quarter Friday; Valpo Falls to Illinois State
Nevaeh Jackson scored 17 points in the second quarter Friday.

Behind a massive second quarter from freshman Nevaeh Jackson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop), the Valpo women’s basketball team led visiting Illinois State at the half on Friday evening at the ARC, but the Redbirds turned the tables in the third quarter as the Beacons fell by a 77-68 final.

How It Happened

  • Valpo led by as many as four points in the opening minutes of Friday’s game. The Beacons still held the advantage at 8-7 just past the halfway mark of the first quarter after a pair of free throws from freshman Layla Gold (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral).
  • Illinois State ended the opening period on a 10-3 run to lead 17-11 after the first 10 minutes.
  • The Redbirds scored the first bucket of the second quarter before Jackson started to shine. Her first points of the game came at the 8:11 mark of the period as she buried a 3-pointer.
  • Illinois State responded with a triple, which was answered immediately within seconds by Jackson from deep to force the Redbirds into using a timeout. ISU got a layup out of the stoppage, but again Jackson came right back and got two more points of her own.
  • After an empty trip, the Beacons got a runout off a steal and Jackson got a putback basket at the rim to cut the ISU lead to three points. One defensive stop and 3-pointer by senior Ava Interrante (McHenry, Ill./McHenry) later, and the game was tied at 24-24 approaching the halfway mark of the period.
  • Interrante came up with a steal on the next defensive possession, which led to yet another fast break basket for Jackson as the Beacons led for the first time in the quarter.
  • A pair of free throws for Jackson with 3:17 to play in the half pushed Valpo’s edge to three points at 32-29. ISU scored the next five points to take a brief lead, but again there was Jackson, connecting on her third 3-pointer to wrap up a 17-point quarter and return the lead to Valpo.
  • Senior Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) converted a layup in the final seconds of the quarter to send the Beacons into the locker room with a 37-35 lead.
  • While Valpo held the lead for the vast majority of the first five minutes of the second half, it was unable to extend the edge past the three-point mark.
  • A driving layup by Interrante with 6:25 to go in the quarter put Valpo on top, 44-43, but the Beacons went scoreless over the next three-plus minutes as the Redbirds scored six in a row to take the lead for good.
  • A 3-pointer from senior Emma Tecca (Tallmadge, Ohio/Archbishop Hoban [Akron]) with 2:22 remaining in the period brought the Beacons within three at 52-49. ISU hit four free throws over its next two possessions to cap the scoring in the period, as the Redbirds led 56-49 into the final quarter.
  • Earnest scored on Valpo’s first trip in the fourth quarter to make it a five-point game, and when Tecca drilled another 3-pointer with 7:24 to play, the Beacons were within 58-54.
  • ISU scored 10 points on its next four trips, however, to extend its lead to 68-58 past the halfway mark of the quarter. Valpo was unable to get any closer than the final margin in the final minutes.

Inside the Game

  • Jackson’s 17-point second quarter matches the second-highest quarter in the scoring column by a Valpo player since the move to quarters. It has only been surpassed by Meredith Hamlet’s 19-point fourth quarter at Loyola in February 2018.
  • Impressively, Jackson needed just 6:30 of game time in that second quarter to pour in the 17 points, as her first points came at the 8:11 mark and her final points with 1:41 to play. Jackson went 6-of-8 from the field in the quarter, including a perfect 3-of-3 from 3-point range.
  • Jackson set her season high for scoring in that quarter alone, as she came into the game with a season-best of 11 points. She is the second Valpo player this year to surpass a previous career high in a single quarter, as Ella Van Weelden (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Marion) did so with her 12-point fourth quarter at Southern Illinois.
  • Earnest had a double-figure quarter of her own on Friday, finishing with a flair as she poured in 13 points in the final 10 minutes. It is the highest-scoring quarter of her career and the fourth time she has dropped at least 10 points in a single period.
  • Earnest finished with her third double-double of the year, scoring a game-high 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. It marked the fourth game this season Earnest has scored at least 20 points.
  • Jackson ended up with 19 points on the night and also tied her season high with three steals.
  • Interrante rounded out the trio of Valpo players in double figures with 14 points, a season high and one off her career best, as she hit 5-of-7 from the field, including both her 3-point attempts.
  • Valpo shot just 39.7% from the floor (23-of-56) versus Illinois State’s 46.9% (23-of-49) clip, but the Beacons hit seven triples to the Redbirds’ six.
  • ISU enjoyed a 10-point advantage at the foul line, going 25-of-32 to Valpo’s 15-of-18. The Beacons’ 83.3% clip from the charity stripe was the team’s best single-game performance of the year (minimum 10 attempts).
  • Valpo committed just 13 turnovers to match its season low. On the defensive end, the Beacons hit the double-figure mark in steals for the eighth time this year, coming up with 12 thefts.

Postgame Press Conference - Head Coach Mary Evans, Nevaeh Jackson, Ava Interrante


Next Up

Valpo (1-14, 0-6 MVC) closes out its four-game homestand on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. when Bradley visits the ARC. The Slam Dunk Weekend at the ARC features a free pre-game basketball clinic for youths 12 and under, a meet and greet with Valpo female teams before the game, free pom poms to the first 500 fans, player autographs after the game and a halftime show from the world-famous Pacers Power Pack!