Crusaders Drop League Opener to Titans
The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team suffered an 85-60 loss to Detroit Mercy in the Horizon League opener on Thursday evening at Calihan Hall in Detroit. Amber Lindfors (Elk Grove Village, Ill. / Elk Grove) reached a significant career milestone, as she blocked three shots to become the third player in Valpo history with 100 career blocks.
How It Happened
- The Crusaders got off to a wobbly start as Detroit Mercy went on a 12-0 run to open the game. Valpo didn’t score for the first 5:40.
- Valpo broke through with a Dani Franklin (Cedar Rapids, Iowa / George Washington) jumper with 4:20 left in the first quarter, a shot that put the Valpo junior over 900 points for her career.
- The Crusaders pulled within six at 14-8 with 3:01 left in the first after a made layup by Georgi Donchetz (Savage, Minn. / Burnsville), but then Detroit Mercy rattled off seven straight points to make it 21-8.
- After scoring the final five points of the first quarter, the Crusaders faced a 21-13 deficit through 10 minutes despite committing nine early turnovers. They outscored Detroit Mercy 13-6 to begin the second quarter.
- The Crusaders erased the early 12-point hole entirely, grabbing a 28-27 lead on a made free throw by Meredith Hamlet (McBain, Mich. / McBain) with 4:52 left in the second quarter. The Crusaders had tied the game when Caitlin Morrison (Glenview, Ill. / Glenbrook South) banked in a 3-pointer with 5:30 to go in the first half.
- Valpo’s lead was short-lived, as freshman Anja Marinkovic swished a fast break triple 10 seconds after Hamlet’s go-ahead free throw. Detroit Mercy’s lead fluctuated between two and six for the half’s duration. The Crusaders entered the locker room down 38-34.
- The Crusaders suffered another long scoring drought to begin the third quarter, as they failed to score for the period’s first 3:39. During that time, the Titans went on an 11-0 run, eerily similar to the one they compiled to begin the game.
- Detroit Mercy continued to dominate for the remainder of the third quarter, outscoring the Crusaders 30-6 in the stanza. Valpo bettered the Titans in the fourth 20-17.
Inside the Game
- In addition to reaching the 100-block mark as only a sophomore, Lindfors climbed into third place on Valpo’s all-time blocks list with her three blocks on Thursday. She passed Debbie Bolen (1989-93), who finished her Valpo career with 98 blocks. Lindfors is 66 blocks behind Michelle Mader for second all-time and 92 behind all-time career leader Tamra Bruan.
- Franklin becomes the 19th player in program history to score 900 career points. She is seven points away from matching Sarah Schomoyer (1992-96) for 18th in Valpo history.
- Grace Hales (Cromwell, Ind. / Westview) scored 13 points on 4-of-11 shooting to establish a new career high. The Valpo freshman cracked double figures for the second consecutive contest.
- Donchetz surpassed 100 points for her career with six points on 2-of-6 shooting.
- The Crusaders held Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year Rosanna Reynolds to one field goal attempt and no made field goals. She accumulated seven points, all at the free-throw line. The seven points matched a season low for Reynolds, who had made at least two field goals in every game this year before Thursday. It was the first time since March 27, 2013 that Reynolds played at least one minute in a game and did not have a made field goal.
- Brianne Cohen did the most scoring damage against Valpo, notching 22 points to pace the Titans.
- The Crusaders committed 19 turnovers, nine of which came in the first quarter. Detroit Mercy only turned it over 11 times.
- The Titans attempted 32 free throws to Valpo’s 25. The Crusaders did limit the Titans to 6-of-28 (21.4 percent) from beyond the arc.
The Crusaders (5-7, 0-1 Horizon) will remain in the state of Michigan for a showdown with Oakland (7-5, 1-0) on Saturday. The game tips off at 11 a.m. Central Time and can be seen on ESPN3 and heard on ValpoAthletics.com (via UStream) with Brandon Vickrey (play-by-play) and David Horak (color) providing the hometown call. Links to live video, audio and stats are available on ValpoAthletics.com.