The Valpo women’s basketball team showcased its shooting prowess from deep at the ARC on Thursday evening, matching a program record with 17 made 3-pointers — including a 10-of-16 mark from downtown in the second half — to lift it to a 71-66 victory in MVC play over visiting Bradley. Junior Shay Frederick (Greenville, Wis./Hortonville) led the barrage from deep with five triples as Valpo overcame separate double-figure deficits three different times to earn another top-100 win within conference play.
How It Happened
– Bradley pulled away early in the first quarter with a 12-0 run, giving the Braves a 17-5 lead with 3:37 to play in the quarter.
– Valpo closed the opening period on an 8-0 run, including a 3-pointer from sophomore Cara VanKempen (Coopersville, Mich./Coopersville) and a triple in the final seconds of the quarter by Frederick, to close to within 17-13 at the end of one.
– Valpo trailed by as many as seven in the second quarter, but finally erased the entirety of its first-quarter deficit on a triple from junior Carie Weinman (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South [Denver]) with 3:35 to play in the half. Bradley eventually took a slight 30-28 lead into halftime.
– The third quarter proved to be a period of runs. Bradley posted the first run, opening the half on a 9-1 push to again take its lead into double figures at 39-29 with 7:15 to play in the period.
– Valpo came back with a massive run of its own to take its first lead since early in the first quarter. Weinman got the run going with a 3-pointer, freshman Lauren Gunn (Fishers, Ind./Lawrence North) nailed a triple during it and Frederick connected on two shots from deep, the last of which put Valpo ahead 43-41 and capped a 14-2 run over a span of 3:11.
– The Braves came right back with 12 straight points to again earn a double-figure advantage at 53-43 with 1:45 to play in the quarter, but 3-pointers from Frederick and senior Caitlin Morrison (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) and then a last-second turnaround jumper from Frederick closed the gap to 53-51 with 10 minutes to play.
– Bradley connected on a 3-pointer on its first trip of the fourth quarter, but Valpo responded with triples by Frederick and Gunn to take the lead. Gunn’s 3-pointer set up a battle for control of the game, as the team’s traded the lead five times over a span of 2:30.
– Valpo looked like it might have separation as senior Grace White (Redby, Minn./Red Lake [Denver]) connected on a third-chance 3-pointer with 5:10 to play to push the lead to 64-60, but the Braves scored four points on their next two trips to tie the game again.
– Bradley actually had the ball with a chance to take the lead on the latter possession after an offensive rebound on a free throw, but Gunn forced a jump ball to give Valpo the ball and then converted at the rim on the other end to make it 66-64 with 3:05 to play.
– After the teams traded empty trips, Bradley had three shots to tie on its next trip, but missed all three. Weinman grabbed the defensive board off the third miss and pushed ahead to White, who pulled the trigger on a fast-break triple that rippled the net cords on the way through, making it 69-64 Valpo with 1:57 to play.
– Bradley scored with 54 seconds to play, and after Valpo had an empty possession, the Braves had the ball with the chance to potentially tie. But a turnover gave the ball back to the Brown and Gold, and eventually Weinman was sent to the foul line, where she calmly connected on both attempts in the final seconds for the final margin.
Inside the Game
– All three of Valpo’s MVC wins to date have been over teams ranked in the top-100 of the NCAA NET rankings.
– The 3-point shooting was the story of the day, as Valpo matched its program record for 3-point makes by going 17-for-39 from beyond the arc. It is the third time in program history that Valpo has made 17 triples (Bowling Green, 12/21/18; Central Michigan, 12/8/04), but the first time it’s happened within conference play.
– The 17 3-pointers are also tied for fourth-most in a single game in MVC history.
– Six different Valpo players hit multiple attempts from deep.
– 10 of Valpo’s 17 triples came after halftime, as the Brown and Gold went 10-for-16 from deep in the final 20 minutes.
– The 39 3-point attempts are the fifth-most by the program in a single game all-time.
– This marks the seventh time this season that Valpo has connected on at least 10 3-pointers in a game. Each of the last two games has seen Valpo reach double digits in made 3-pointers while connecting at least at a 40% clip from deep.
– Leading the way, both from deep and overall, was Frederick. The junior finished with a team-best 17 points, hitting 5-of-9 of her 3-point attempts. Frederick also led the way with nine rebounds, matching her career high in the category, and a game-high five assists.
– 11 of Frederick’s 17 points came in the third quarter, her seventh quarter of 10+ points through Valpo’s first eight MVC games.
– Weinman cashed in on three 3-pointers en route to 15 points and added five rebounds as well.
– Gunn came off the bench with a career-best 10 points to round out Valpo’s trio of double-figure scorers.
– Gunn went 2-for-4 from deep on Thursday and is now 4-for-10 from 3-point range over the last three games after going 0-for-4 from downtown in the first 12 games of her career.
– White added nine points, including two 3-pointers, and seven rebounds as well, while Morrison and VanKempen each connected on two triples too.
– Valpo erased three separate deficits of at least 10 points, with its largest deficit coming in the first quarter at 12 points. This marks the third time this year Valpo has won a game it’s trailed by double figures and the ninth time it has done so in head coach Mary Evans’ three seasons.
– Valpo has eight wins in games it has trailed by double figures since the last time it surrendered a double-digit lead in a loss.
– Valpo committed a season-low seven turnovers — its lowest total since committing just seven miscues at Loyola Jan. 6, 2019 — and held a +12 advantage in the turnover column, its biggest edge of the year. The Brown and Gold held a 27-6 edge in points off turnovers.
– Valpo also enjoyed a large 21-2 advantage in points off the bench in the win, while Bradley outscored Valpo in the paint, 32-10.
Thoughts From Coach Evans
“Defensively, Bradley mixed in man and zone, which we haven’t seen a ton of zone. Our players did a great job making some adjustments with our zone offense, and really executed quite well. I’m really proud of the toughness they showed — they played through a lot of physical basketball tonight. That’s Missouri Valley Conference basketball, and I’m proud of the way our team is stepping up and playing against some of those more physical teams.”
“Bradley is a really talented team. Their guards are so good — they can score in a variety of ways and put pressure on your defense with how hard they drive the basketball. I thought our players made some great adjustments on that end as well — Bradley went away from some of their normal offense, went to dribble drive, and our players did a good job on the fly making adjustments to that change.”
Valpo (7-8, 3-5 MVC) looks to close out its first half of MVC play with a sweep of the Braves on Friday evening at the ARC. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m., and the game can be seen live on ESPN+.