Shooting Struggles Plague Crusaders in Loss to Cleveland State
The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team put together a strong defensive performance on Saturday at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, but a rough shooting night overshadowed the defensive effort in a 71-60 loss to Cleveland State. Dani Franklin posted her second consecutive double-double to pace Valpo.
How It Happened
- Hannah Schaub (Brooklyn Park, Minn. / Park Center) shined in the early stages of the game, as she earned both a basket and an assist in the first minute to put Valpo ahead 4-2.
- After a Georgi Donchetz (Savage, Minn. / Burnsville) layup to put Valpo up 4-2 at the 9:04 mark, Valpo didn’t score for the next three minutes, a sign of things to come in a game that was filled with scoring droughts on both sides.
- Franklin got on the board with a fast break basket with 6:10 left in the first quarter to cut Cleveland State’s lead to two at 8-6.
- The Vikings heated up from 3-point range, using a string of baskets from distance to leap ahead 21-10 with 2:04 left in the first after a made 3 by Olivia Voskuhl.
- The Crusaders ended the first on a seven-point burst sparked by a 3-pointer by Allison Schofield (McCordsville, Ind. / Heritage Christian) with 1:28 left in the opening stanza. A short jumper by Franklin with four seconds to go in the quarter made it 21-17 after one.
- Valpo featured an incredibly balanced scoring effort in the first quarter as each of the first seven made baskets came from different Valpo players.
- Defense reigned supreme in the second stanza, as the Crusaders held the Vikings to nine points but managed just 10 of their own, allowing Cleveland State to hold a 3-point halftime edge.
- In the first 6:41 of the second quarter, Valpo and Cleveland State had just one made field goal apiece. No player on either team was in double figures at halftime.
- The third quarter was Valpo’s worst of the game, as the Vikings outscored the Crusaders 19-7.
- The Crusaders trailed by double figures for most of the fourth quarter, but cut within nine on a Franklin made 3 with 1:15 remaining in regulation.
- Valpo whittled the lead to seven on two occasions, on an old-fashioned 3-point play by Meredith Hamlet (McBain, Mich. / McBain) with 55 seconds left and a 3-pointer by Donchetz with 30 seconds to go.
Inside the Game
- Franklin finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds, her fourth double-double of the season and the fifth of her Valpo career. It also marked the second straight game Franklin posted a double-double, the second time this year she’s had them in consecutive contests.
- Franklin leapfrogged Agnieszka Kulaga (2005-2009) for 16th in Valpo history in career scoring and drew even with Cheryl Wilbrandt (1989-93) for 15th all-time.
- Donchetz matched a career-high with 10 points on 5-of-10 shooting. She also hauled in four rebounds.
- Hamlet finished with eight points and has now scored eight points or more in six straight. She also totaled seven rebounds, one shy of the career high that she established last week against Milwaukee.
- Strong free-throw shooting has been a constant for the Crusaders in recent years, but they went just 3-of-14 at the stripe on Thursday. In addition, Valpo shot just 23.8 percent from beyond the arc and 36.1 percent overall.
- The Vikings were led in scoring by Khayla Livingston (20 points, nine rebounds), while Ashanti Abshaw turned in a double-double of 17 and 11.
- Franklin and Abshaw finished the night tied for the league lead in scoring at 18.8 points per game.
- As a team, the Crusaders pulled down a season-high 19 offensive rebounds. Before Thursday, Valpo hadn’t collected more than 15 offensive boards in a game this year. The last time Valpo had that many offensive rebounds was Feb. 28, 2015, when they also racked up 19 caroms against Detroit Mercy.
- Amber Lindfors (Elk Grove Village, Ill. / Elk Grove), who had four points and five rebounds, has now scored more points (115) than she did all of last season (111).
- With 120 rebounds this season, Franklin has already surpassed her rebound total of a year ago (114).
The Crusaders (5-11, 0-5 Horizon) seek their first Horizon League win of the season as they head to Youngstown, Ohio on Saturday to meet the Penguins (5-10, 1-3 Horizon) for a 3:30 p.m. CT tip. The game can be seen on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app. In addition, the hometown call can be heard with David Horak (play-by-play) and Brandon Vickrey (color) via UStream. Links to live video, audio and stats can be found on ValpoAthletics.com.
Men’s Tennis Picked to Repeat at Horizon League Champs
Fresh off the first NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, the Valparaiso University men’s tennis team is expected to win the Horizon League again this season, based on voting from the league’s head coaches.
The preseason polls were released on Friday, as Valpo compiled 49 points and earned all seven possible first-place votes. Cleveland State received the remaining first-place vote, with coaches not allowed to vote for their own team. The Vikings amassed 35 points and are expected to finish second.
This marks the first time since joining the Horizon League the Crusaders were tabbed as the outright Horizon League preseason favorite. Last season they were the league co-favorites alongside Green Bay, which is picked tied for third with Northern Kentucky this year.
Horizon League women’s tennis preseason polls were also unveiled on Friday, with Valpo expected to finish ninth. Youngstown State is the preseason favorite with 72 points, narrowly ahead of UIC (70). Youngstown State and UIC each garnered four first-place votes.
The Crusaders women open the season on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Western Michigan, while the Valpo men are slated to begin the spring next week.