Take Five: Valpo Women Claim Fifth Straight Road Victory With Win at Evansville

 

The Valpo women’s basketball team extended its longest road winning streak since 2005 and earned its first two-game sweep of a conference road weekend since 2008 as it capped the swing through its fellow Indiana schools with an 88-66 victory at Evansville Sunday afternoon. The Brown and Gold matched a season high with 14 3-pointers in the win and registered a season-best 21 steals, tying the most by a Valpo squad in a single game since 1995.

 

How It Happened

–          For the second consecutive game, Valpo got off to a quick start out of the gate to force its opponent into an early timeout. This time, it was 3-pointers from sophomore Carie Weinman (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South [Denver]) and junior Caitlin Morrison (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) and a driving layup from sophomore Shay Frederick (Greenville, Wis./Hortonville) giving Valpo an 8-0 lead just 2:30 into the game.

–          Weinman’s triple opened up an 11-point first quarter for the sophomore. Later in the period, she connected on a pair of 3-pointers in a three-possession span to help push Valpo’s lead to 13 points.

–          Valpo led 26-13 at the end of the first, as it shot 10-of-16 from the field in the opening 10 minutes, including 6-of-12 from the 3-point line.

–          The hot shooting continued into the second quarter, as the Brown and Gold were 9-of-13 from the floor in that period, including 4-of-6 from deep.

–          Evansville opened the second quarter scoring with a 3-pointer of its own, but Valpo scored eight of the next 10 points to extend its lead to 16 points.

–          The Valpo advantage reached 20 points for the first time on a layup from Weinman with 1:40 to play in the half off a feed from Frederick.

–          Evansville hit a 3-pointer on its final possession of the half, but junior Ella Ellenson (Rice Lake, Wis./Rice Lake) countered with a buzzer-beating triple of her own to make it 50-31 Valpo at intermission.

–          After a hot-shooting first half, Valpo cooled down to start the second half, as a layup by Morrison 6:20 into the third quarter was its first field goal of the period. But the Crusaders were able to keep pace thanks to the foul line, where they went 9-of-10 in the third quarter.

–          The Valpo lead was 63-46 at the end of the third, and the advantage never fell under 16 points as the Brown and Gold put away the game in the final quarter.

 

Inside the Game

–          With all the success Valpo has enjoyed in the first half of the season, Sunday’s win was a milestone in a number of ways for the 2019-20 squad.

–          It was the team’s 10th win of the season, making this year’s team the fastest Valpo team to reach double-figure wins since the 2005-06 squad started 10-5.

–          Sunday’s win extended Valpo’s road winning streak to five straight games, as it has not dropped a road game since Nov. 21. The five-game streak on the road is the program’s longest since the 2004-05 team won five straight road contests Dec. 18-Jan. 5.

–          Valpo now has six road wins on the year, the program’s most road victories since 2006-07.

–          Combined with Friday’s win at Indiana State, this weekend produced Valpo’s first two-game weekend sweep in MVC play since joining the conference.

–          In fact, it is Valpo’s first two-game sweep of a league weekend of any sort since beating Cleveland State and Youngstown State in January 2016, and it marks Valpo’s first two-game sweep of a league road weekend since winning at CSU and at YSU Feb. 28 and March 1, 2008.

–          Sunday’s win featured big numbers on both sides of the court for Valpo, starting on the defensive end. The Brown and Gold registered 21 steals in the victory, a season best and tied for 10th-most in a single game in program history. It is also the most steals this season by an MVC school against a Division I opponent.

–          In fact, the 21 thefts tied the most in a single game by a Valpo team since 1995. The 2002-03 team racked up 21 steals in a win over Southern Utah on Jan. 20, 2003.

–          Frederick and Weinman tied for the team lead, racking up six steals apiece. Frederick tied her career high and Weinman set a new career best, both of which were just one steal shy of Valpo’s individual single-game top-10 chart.

–          On offense, Valpo shot 14-for-29 (48.3%) from 3-point range, led by four triples from Weinman. The 14 made 3-pointers are tied for sixth-most in a single game in program history.

–          It is also the second time in the last three games that Valpo has drained 14 3-pointers, as it did so last Sunday afternoon against #21/19 Missouri State as well.

–          Valpo has now connected at 40% or better from the 3-point line in five of its last six games, and is shooting 48.8% from deep within MVC play so far.

–          Four Valpo players finished in double figures in the scoring column on Sunday as the Brown and Gold racked up 88 points, their highest total in a road game since an 88-77 win at UIC on March 6, 2010.

–          Weinman led the way as she went 7-of-11 from the floor for a game-high 19 points, while Frederick was right behind her with 18 points and shared game-high honors as well with five assists. For both sophomores, it was their second-highest scoring output of the season.

–          Senior Grace Hales (Cromwell, Ind./Westview) needed just six field goal attempts to finish with 12 points, including a 3-for-4 effort from deep. Hales now has 955 career points, passing Aimee Litka on Sunday for 19th in program history in career scoring and leaving her 16 points shy of Agnieszka Kulaga for 18th position.

–          Ellenson rounded out the quartet in double figures in scoring with a season-high 10 points, going 3-of-3 from the floor – including 2-of-2 from the 3-point line – and 2-of-2 from the foul line in 10 minutes of action.

–          Sophomore Ilysse Pitts (Aurora, Ill./Montini Catholic) matched Frederick with five assists as Valpo tallied 21 total assists, a season best, on its 30 field goals.

 

Thoughts From Coach Evans

“I was happy with the overall effort this afternoon. I thought the team came out with great focus and executed both offensively and defensively from the tip. We had a few mental lapses here and there, but it was nice to get out to an early lead and keep it for the remainder of the game.”

 

“The players have been making the offense work. They are continuing to get a better understanding of how we want to play and are really working well together. They are sharing the ball tremendously well and working together to get really good shots.”

 

“We try to be as consistent as possible with how we approach our road games. We stick to the same routine every road trip. I think the record is a testament to the maturity of our players. They treat every road trip as a business trip and know they have a job to do.”

 

“I think we approach the next two weekends at home as business as usual. We will get home tonight and get right back into our weekly routine. We will spend Monday closing the book on the weekend and get back to work on Wednesday getting ready for Illinois State and Bradley. That is the nice thing about conference play, you can really get into a routine since we play every Friday and Sunday.”

 

Next Up

Valpo (10-5, 2-2 MVC) plays its next three MVC games at home, starting on Friday evening at 6 p.m. at the ARC against Illinois State. The game can be seen live on ESPN+.