Four Crusaders in Double Figures in Loss to Milwaukee
The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team dropped Saturday’s matinee with Milwaukee 85-74 at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Four Valpo players finished in double figures as the Crusaders put together their best performance in Horizon League play thus far this season against the team picked to finish third in the league.
How It Happened
- The Crusaders started strong, jumping out to an 8-3 lead at the 7:44 mark of the first quarter.
- Valpo opened up a six-point edge when Amber Lindfors (Elk Grove Village, Ill. / Elk Grove) finished a layup with 6:11 left in the first to make it 12-6. Lindfors had 10 of Valpo’s 12 points, reaching double figures just four minutes into the game.
- The Panthers clawed back to even as Lizzie Odegard and Alexis Lindstrom knocked down 3-pointers to tie the game at 12 with 4:47 to go in the first quarter.
- By the time the first quarter concluded, the Panthers had seven made 3-pointers accounting for all 21 of their points. The game was even at 21 after a crisp quarter during which the two teams combined for just three turnovers.
- Lindfors went 5-of-9 shooting and had 12 points in the opening 10 minutes.
- Valpo’s best quarter of the league season so far was the second quarter of Saturday’s game. The Crusaders outscored the Panthers 23-15.
- Meredith Hamlet (McBain, Mich. / McBain) hit an important 3-pointer with 5:01 to go in the second, putting Valpo ahead 33-31. The quarter ended with a barrage of Valpo baskets from distance, as Grace Hales (Cromwell, Ind. / Westview), Allison Schofield (McCordsville, Ind. / Heritage Christian) and Hamlet all converted triples in the final 2:35 of the quarter to give the Crusaders a 44-36 advantage at the half.
- Steph Kostowicz had nine of her team’s 15 points in the second quarter. She eventually led all scorers with 29 points including 10-of-12 at the free-throw line.
- Kostowicz had 10 points in the third quarter alone to help the Panthers turn it around. They outscored the Crusaders in that period 27-19 to draw even heading to the fourth.
- Hales swished a fastbreak 3-pointer with 8:08 remaining in regulation to tie the game at 68, but the Panthers regained the lead with 7:46 to go on a made free throw by Kostowicz and led for the remainder of the game.
- Valpo was within three with under two minutes remaining, but the Panthers iced the victory at the free-throw stripe.
Inside the Game
- Dani Franklin (Cedar Rapids, Iowa / George Washington) turned in her third double-double of the season and first since Nov. 30 by totaling 17 points and 13 rebounds.
- Franklin bumped up another spot on Valpo’s all-time career scoring list, climbing above Aimee Litka and moving into 17th in Valpo history.
- Lindfors finished with 16 points, 12 of which came in the first quarter. She added two blocks and seven rebounds. She finished one point shy of a career high and had her highest career point total in a game against a Division-I opponent.
- Hamlet returned to double figures with 15 points and eight rebounds. She has now scored 15 points or more in two of her last three games.
- The Crusaders outrebounded the Panthers 40-37.
- Valpo committed just 11 turnovers, its lowest total since Nov. 21 against IU Kokomo.
- Hales matched a career high that she set on Dec. 29 against Detroit Mercy with 13 points including a 5-for-5 performance at the charity stripe.
- Valpo had four players finish in double figures for the third time this season.
The Crusaders (5-10, 0-4 Horizon) will hit the road for a game on Thursday at Cleveland State (7-7, 2-1) at 4:30 p.m. Central Time. The game can be seen on ESPN3 and heard on WVUR, 95.1 FM Valparaiso. Links to live video, audio and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.
Dorow to Undergo Neck Surgery
Valparaiso University women’s basketball head coach Tracey Dorow will undergo neck surgery on Wednesday, Jan. 11, necessitating a medical leave of absence from the team.
Dorow was recently encouraged by doctors to undergo immediate surgery.
“I’m not going to be any good for our team or my family if I don’t take care of it now,” Dorow said.
Valpo assistant coach Justin Rees will coach the team in Dorow’s absence, starting with the game at Cleveland State on Thursday, Jan. 12. Rees is in his third season on Valpo’s staff and his 18th in women’s college basketball. During his career, the veteran coach has developed three All-Americans and 32 all-conference award winners. Valpo’s coaching staff also features veteran Division-I assistant John Motherwell and former WNBA player Megan Leuzinger.
“No person is any bigger than the program,” Dorow said. “I’m very confident in my staff and the players.”
Dorow is in her fifth season in charge of the Valparaiso women’s basketball program. Prior to arriving at Valpo, she spent 14 seasons as the head coach at Ferris State University, where she guided the Bulldogs to four NCAA Division-II Tournament appearances. Valpo matched its highest nonleague win total since joining the Horizon League with five nonleague victories this year. The Crusaders currently stand at 5-10, 0-4 in Horizon League play.
Dorow is expected to miss several games, and once a return date is set, Valparaiso University Athletics will provide an update.
“Everybody trusts Coach Rees, and he’s very serious about running the program the right way,” Dorow said. “Our staff is going to surround Coach Rees and help him do the job very well in my absence.”