Women’s Basketball Falls at Drake Saturday


The Valpo women’s basketball team closed out its Iowa road swing on Saturday afternoon in Des Moines, falling to host Drake by an 84-51 final.


How It Happened

–        Valpo got out to a strong start, buoyed by its early defense. The Beacons forced five Drake turnovers in the opening five minutes of the game, four of which were steals by fifth-year point guard Ilysse Pitts (Aurora, Ill./Montini Catholic).

–        Meanwhile, on the offensive end, the Beacons had fifth-year Maya Dunson (Dayton, Ohio/Wayne [Loyola]) and junior Jayda Johnston (Roseville, Minn./Roseville Area) hit early 3-pointers, while junior Ava Interrante (McHenry, Ill./McHenry) had a 3-point play as Valpo led 11-7 at the first media timeout.

–        Drake outscored Valpo 14-3 over the final five minutes of the first quarter to lead 21-14 at the end of one.

–        Senior Olivia Brown (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids [St. Bonaventure]) helped keep Valpo within striking distance in the second period, scoring 11 points in that quarter alone — including three 3-pointers. The Bulldogs led 42-31 at halftime.

–        Drake scored the first 11 points of the second half, and Valpo got no closer than 18 points the rest of the way. The Bulldogs were up 68-42 with 10 minutes to play.


Inside the Game

–        Drake shot 54% (27-of-50) for the game, while the Beacons were just 14-of-47 (29.8%) from the field.

–        Valpo also committed 25 turnovers, allowing Drake to score 24 points off turnovers. The Beacons did force 19 Drake miscues, 12 of which were steals — highlighted by four apiece from Pitts and Interrante. Pitts set a season high with her four thefts, while Interrante broke her career high.

–        Brown was the only Valpo player to score in double figures, finishing with 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Through eight Valley games, the senior is averaging 13.6 points/game and hitting at a 48.9% clip from the 3-point line.

–        Junior Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) led Valpo with five rebounds, while sophomore Olivia Sims (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy [Oakland]) paced the Beacons with three assists.


Next Up

Valpo (3-13, 1-7 MVC) steps out of Valley play for its makeup of December’s postponed game at Wisconsin. The Beacons will take on the Badgers Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. in Madison, and the game can be seen live on BTN+.