Women’s Basketball grounds Rockets Wednesday night

By: Valparaiso University Last Updated: December 2, 2019

A combination of lock-down defense in the third quarter and one of the best shooting nights in program history from the 3-point arc by sophomore Carie Weinman (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South [Denver]) helped lift the Valpo women’s basketball team to a 61-54 road victory at Toledo Wednesday night. Weinman finished the night 6-of-8 from downtown and poured in a game-high 20 points in the win.

How It Happened

-          Valpo never led in the first quarter, but also never let Toledo gain more than a four-point lead, thanks in large part to hitting 4-of-6 from deep in the first 10 minutes.

-          Weinman connected on two of her triples in the first period, and sophomore Shay Frederick (Greenville, Wis./Hortonville) nailed a trifecta in the waning seconds of the quarter to cap a late stretch for Valpo with eight points over three possessions, tying the game at 18-18 at the end of one.

-          Junior Ella Ellenson (Rice Lake, Wis./Rice Lake) knocked down a triple with 8:31 remaining in the second quarter to even the score at 23-23, but that would be Valpo’s last point for nearly five minutes. The Rockets scored seven points during that stretch to pull ahead, 30-23.

-          Senior Grace Hales (Cromwell, Ind./Westview) broke the schneid with a pair of free throws with 3:36 to play in the first half, and those freebies sparked a 10-0 run for Valpo over a stretch of 97 seconds.

-          Weinman hit another 3-pointer as part of the run, while junior Grace White (Redby, Minn./Red Lake [Denver]) made a triple of her own and then capped the run with a steal and coast-to-coast layup with 1:59 to play, forcing a Toledo timeout as Valpo led 33-30.

-          The Rockets came back with four straight points to close the half as they took a one-point lead into halftime, 34-33.

-          Toledo scored baskets on each of its first two trips in the third quarter, the latter putting it ahead 38-34 with 9:11 to play in the period. But Valpo locked down the Rockets for the remainder of the period, allowing them just a single field goal at the 5:06 mark as Toledo went 1-of-10 from the field and committed five turnovers over the final nine minutes of the third quarter.

-          Valpo took advantage on the offensive end as well, scoring 15 points over the final nine minutes of the period to pull out to a 49-40 lead at the end of the third. Weinman added her final three 3-pointers as part of an 11-point quarter, while Frederick and junior Addison Stoller (Cissna Park, Ill./Cissna Park) also had baskets during the stretch as well.

-          The Brown and Gold held their largest lead at 51-41 with 8:36 to play on an inside basket from sophomore Ilysse Pitts (Aurora, Ill./Montini Catholic), who had five points over the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, no other Valpo player scored during that stretch and Toledo methodically whittled the lead down to as few as two points at 54-52 on a 3-pointer by Tatyana Davis with 3:12 left.

-          Looking for someone to step up, Valpo received a pair of big plays from junior Marlee Profitt (Medina, Ohio/Highland). Back in her home state, Profitt delivered a basket at the rim with 2:43 to go off a feed from Frederick. Then, after a Valpo stop on the defensive end, Profitt battled inside to gain an offensive rebound and put it back for two more, giving the Crusaders a 58-52 lead with 1:57 to play.

-          Toledo wouldn’t go quietly, as it got a second-chance basket on its next possession to cut the lead to four points with 1:41 to play and then forced a Valpo turnover.

-          But the Rockets committed a turnover of their own to give possession back to the Brown and Gold, and with the shot clock winding down, White was fouled and calmly hit two free throws with 40 seconds remaining to push the lead to 60-54. Toledo was unable to convert any of its looks on its final possession as Valpo closed out the win.

Inside the Game

-          Valpo heads into the Thanksgiving holiday with back-to-back wins this week over MAC opponents over the last four days, as it previously beat Bowling Green on Sunday. Both victories came over teams it lost to a season ago.

-          In fact, to date this year, Valpo is 3-1 when facing teams it lost to last year. Valpo has also improved its scoring margin in those four games by an average of 11 points.

-          Wednesday’s win came over a postseason team from a season ago, as Toledo advanced to the second round of the 2019 WNIT. The Rockets also lost by just three points earlier this year at Notre Dame.

-          The victory was highlighted by the long-range heroics of Weinman, who finished the night with a game-high 20 points and who hit 6-of-8 from deep. Weinman’s 75% 3-point percentage is tied for the sixth-best in a single game in program history and is the best single-game percentage by a Crusader (minimum seven attempts) since 2011.

-          Meanwhile, the overall defensive performance stood out as well. Toledo shot 47.1% from the field in the first quarter, but was just 12-of-44 (27.3%) from the field over the final 30 minutes – highlighted by the nine-minute stretch in the third when it was just 1-of-10 from the floor.

-          Weinman was the only Valpo player to finish in double figures, but four others scored at least six points. White tallied nine points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds off the bench.

-          Hales chipped in seven points and extended her consecutive free throws made streak to 30 straight, while Pitts added seven points as well and Frederick finished with six points and a game-high seven assists, just one off her career best.

Thoughts From Coach Evans

“I'm really excited for our group - tonight is a big win for us, as we continue to learn how to win and learn how to do it together. Anytime you go on the road into a hostile environment, you have to come together and be tighter as a unit to come out with a win, and this group did a great job to do that tonight.”

“We ended up having a really strong second half tonight, especially on the defensive end. Toledo was getting into our paint and keeping us stretched out in the first half, and we went more to our zone in the second half to help keep our defense compact. I'm really proud of our defensive effort in that second half - everybody executed their assignments well, and it was a big step for this team.”

“This game was a collective effort tonight. Carie led us in scoring, had a great night and hit a lot of shots, and her teammates really did a good job moving the ball and finding her in open positions to shoot.”

“Marlee's just going to keep better and better. We've been trying to take it slow with her coming back from her injury and remaining careful with her minute load. She's by far our best communicator defensively, and I'm really happy for her to come back to Ohio tonight, give us eight really great minutes and make a couple of big plays down the stretch.”

Next Up

Valpo (3-3) will have eight days away from competition before they return to action on Thursday morning, December 5 at Detroit Mercy. The Field Trip Day at Calihan Hall will tip off at 10 a.m. CT, and all the action can be seen live on ESPN3.