January 28, 20241st2nd3rd4thFinal
Stats at a GlanceVALPOEvans
FG Percentage.418 (23-55) .322 (19-59)
3P FG Percentage.286 (8-28) .111 (2-18)
FT Percentage.800 (16-20) .655 (19-29)
Offensive Rebounds612
Defensive Rebounds3529
Total Rebounds4141
Bench Points2320
PointsEarnest - 19
Tomancova - 15
ReboundsTEAM - 6
Tomancova - 11
Hartwig - 11
AssistsInterrante - 3
Mason Striverson - 3
Palomo - 3
StealsVan Weelden - 3
Thomas - 2
BlocksInterrante - 1
Gold - 1
Tomancova - 1
Late-Quarter Runs Key Women’s Basketball Win at Evansville
Sunday, January 28, 2024
Late-Quarter Runs Key Women’s Basketball Win at Evansville
Nevaeh Jackson hit 6-of-8 from the field for 16 points Sunday.

Playing the back half of its Hoosier State road swing Sunday at Evansville, the Valpo women’s basketball team closed the first half on a 13-2 run to take a seven-point lead into the locker room and the Beacons followed with a 14-2 run late in the third quarter to take down the Purple Aces by a 70-59 final.

How It Happened

  • It was a slow start offensively for both teams, as a layup from Nevaeh Jackson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop) just over three minutes into the game accounted for the first points.
  • Valpo trailed 7-4 halfway through the first quarter before reeling off nine straight points, six of which came on a pair of 3-pointers by Ella Van Weelden (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Marion), to take a six-point lead. Evansville ended the quarter on a 6-0 run, however, to even the score at 13-13 after one period.
  • The Purple Aces took a four-point lead at 25-21 just past the halfway mark of the second quarter, but the Valpo defense limited Evansville to just two points over the last four-plus minutes of the first half.
  • On the offensive end, the Beacons poured in 13 points over the final 4:24 of the half. Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) had seven points during the run, while Jackson had the final four points of the spurt — the last two coming on a drive and finish in the final seconds of the half to give Valpo a 34-27 lead at intermission.
  • Evansville scored the first basket of the second half, but Valpo responded with seven straight points — Earnest and Ava Interrante (McHenry, Ill./McHenry) finished at the rim on consecutive possessions, followed by a 3-pointer from Jackson — to push its lead to 41-29 with 7:15 to play in the third quarter.
  • The Purple Aces posted a 11-2 run of their own over the next two-plus minutes to force a Valpo timeout with the Beacons’ advantage cut to 43-40.
  • That set the stage for a 14-2 run over a four-minute stretch for Valpo which put the game out of reach. Jackson started the run with an inside basket, and two trips later, Olivia Brown (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids [St. Bonaventure]) connected on a 3-pointer while being fouled for the 4-point play.
  • Earnest scored Valpo’s next five points of the run, which was capped by another triple from Brown with 20 seconds to play in the period. The Purple Aces did hit a free throw in the final second of the quarter, but that just cut the Beacons’ lead to 57-43 with 10 minutes to play.
  • Valpo’s defense limited Evansville to just seven points over the first six-plus minutes of the fourth quarter, keeping the Purple Aces from closing the gap. The Beacons’ advantage reached its apex at 67-50 with 3:23 to play on a layup from Olivia Sims (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy [Oakland]), and while Evansville had one last push remaining, Valpo’s lead never dropped to single digits.

Inside the Game

  • Valpo’s defense limited Evansville to 32.2% shooting for the game, the second-lowest shooting percentage by a Valpo opponent this season. Two of the last three games have featured the two worst shooting nights by a Valpo opponent this year, both Beacon wins.
  • The Beacons matched the Purple Aces in the rebounding department, as both squads pulled down 41 boards — the second time this season Valpo has tied or outrebounded its opponent.
  • Valpo’s 41 rebounds was the program’s highest single-game total in a regulation game since a 41-rebound effort in the December 2020 win over Western Michigan.
  • Sunday’s rebounding performance was a total team effort, as no Beacon had more than five rebounds. All 10 players who played at least seven minutes secured multiple rebounds.
  • Earnest scored in double figures for the 16th time this year, pouring in a game-high 19 points, and also tied for team-high honors with five rebounds.
  • Jackson enjoyed a very efficient shooting performance, hitting 6-of-8 from the field — including 2-of-4 from 3-point range — and both her free throw attempts for 16 points while also sharing team-high honors with five rebounds.
  • Brown connected for 11 points — all of which came in the second half — and set a season best with five rebounds.
  • Van Weelden finished with eight points, three rebounds and a career-best three steals.
  • After missing 13 games due to injury, Jill Harris (Navarre, Fla./Crestview [Johnson C. Smith]) returned to action on Sunday. Harris came off the bench to play nine minutes, recording an assist on her first offensive possession back on the court and finishing with three rebounds.
  • Valpo led at halftime for the fourth consecutive game Sunday.
  • The win over the Purple Aces was Valpo’s fourth straight at Meeks Family Fieldhouse.

Next Up

Valpo (3-15, 2-7 MVC) finishes out the first half of the Valley schedule next Sunday afternoon at UIC. Tipoff from Chicago is scheduled for 1 p.m.