Crusaders Receive Balanced Scoring Effort in Rout of IU Kokomo
The Valparaiso University women’s basketball started the home portion of the season on the right foot with a 102-47 whitewash of Indiana University Kokomo on Monday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center. The Crusaders received a game-high 24 points from Dani Franklin (Cedar Rapids, Iowa / George Washington), Amber Lindfors (Elk Grove Village, Ill. / Elk Grove) turned in a double-double and Haylee Thompson (Hailey, Idaho / Wood River [Utah State]) also reached double figures to help the Crusaders improve to 2-2 on the season.
How It Happened
- The Crusaders built an 18-1 lead out of the gate. The Cougars didn’t make their first field goal of the game until nearly seven minutes in. Franklin had seven points during the early burst.
- The Cougars scored just six points in the first quarter. Valpo held a 47-20 edge at halftime.
- IU Kokomo struggled from beyond the arc, particularly in the first half. The Crusaders limited the Cougars to 2-for-11 (18.2 percent) from 3 in the opening half, and 6-of-20 (20 percent) from the floor.
- The Crusaders heated up from long range in the third quarter, compiling an 18-0 run to turn a 49-25 advantage into a 67-25 lead. Valpo connected on four 3-pointers during that stretch, with Franklin swishing a pair and sophomore Hannah Schaub (Brooklyn Park, Minn. / Park Center) and freshman Caitlin Morrison (Glenview, Ill. / Glenbrook South) each knocking down one.
- The Crusaders had their most productive offensive quarter in the fourth, scoring 28 points. The Cougars didn’t score more than 14 in any one period.
Inside the Game
- Lindfors pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds, outdoing her previous best of 11 also set against the Cougars last season. She also scored 13 points, becoming the first Valpo played to notch a double-double this season.
- Franklin’s 24 points came on 9-of-14 shooting and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.
- Thompson matched a career-high with 16 points, a mark she last reached on Dec. 7, 2015 against Cardinal Stritch. She went 6-of-8 from the floor on Monday.
- Valpo received balance up and down the roster, as 12 players scored in the game.
- The Crusaders outrebounded the Cougars 48-33 and won the turnover battle 18-9.
- The Crusaders racked up 23 assists on 37 made field goals. Schaub led the way with six assists, while Georgi Donchetz (Savage, Minn. / Burnsville) contributed four.
- Donchetz, Addison Stoller (Cissna Park, Ill. / Cissna Park) and Imani Scott-Thompson (Akron, Ohio / Firestone [Dakota College at Bottineau) scored seven points apiece.
- Valpo reached triple digits for the first time since Dec. 30, 2014, a 109-81 victory over Purdue Calumet.
Thoughts from Head Coach Tracey Dorow
- On the home opener: “It was great to be home. I thought the crowd was pretty excited about what we did and the way we played. I’m proud of the effort we had. We had a lot of moments where we made the extra pass and got the easy buckets.
- On building confidence: “The biggest key was to give our defense a sense of confidence in what we’re doing. Amber had some blocks early. It’s extremely important, but we wanted to gain confidence and momentum going into the next game against Liberty.”
- On Haylee Thompson: “I thought she battled for position. We moved the ball to get her the ball. She worked hard for it. Those are things we’ve been working on in practice a lot.
- On passing: “We made it a focal point to make the extra pass. We did a really good job of not trying to thread the needle every single time.”
- “The biggest factor is that nobody cared who got the credit today. It didn’t matter who did what. They just moved the ball, and whatever happened happened.”
The Crusaders (2-2) will seek to continue their winning ways on Friday at 5 p.m. as they welcome Liberty to the Athletics-Recreation Center. The contest will tip off at 5 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app. Links to live video and stats can be found on ValpoAthletics.com.