Exhibition Game No. 1
Valparaiso 89, St. Joseph's 62
The short-handed Crusaders used scoring runs of 10-1 to close out the first half and 29-9 midway through the second half to knock off the visiting Pumas 89-62. Four players scored in double figures and the Crusaders had 20 assists and 12 steals to go along with 19 second-chance points. The contest was Valparaiso's lone exhibition game and marked the Crusader debut for three different players.
Game Ball -- There's no doubt that the Crusaders will miss Tabitha Gerardot before the year is said-and-done, but JUCO transfer Sharon Karungi filled in quite nicely on Tuesday night. The Uganda native had 23 points and 14 rebounds in her first game with the Crusaders as well as four blocks. The junior center grabbed six offensive rebounds and helped Valparaiso score 40 points in the paint. Fouls could become a concern as the Crusaders face more athletic competition, but it was a solid debut for Karungi.
Air Ball -- Valparaiso's two freshmen guards had a rough debut on Tuesday. Aliyah Issac and Faith Miller shot a combined 20 percent from the floor and had eight fouls. Miller had a 3-pointer and tallied four turnovers in 16 minutes while Issac added a steal. To be fair, Miller is a walk-on who was forced into 16 minutes of action due to injuries and Issac has been hampered by a back injury that has limited her in practice. Valparaiso coach Tracey Dorow is confident that both players will improve as the season continues.
Medical Report -- The Valparaiso sideline has nearly had more players in street clothing on the bench over the last two years and Tuesday night was no different. Jessica Carr (hand), Sarah Godwin (knee) and Liz Hamlet (concussion) were all sidelined in the exhibition opener and Hamlet is the only once expected to play this season. Carr had her cast removed earlier this week and will resume basketball activities in two weeks, but her return for the season is still doubtful.
Quotable -- "Jess (Carr) wants to get back and we want her back, but there is no sense wasting half a season. She wants to play with Charae (Richardson) and she wants to play with Liz (Horton), but at this point we are anticipating a redshirt year for Jess." -- Valparaiso women's basketball coach Tracey Dorow on Carr's possible return
Up Next -- The Crusaders travel to St. Louis on Sunday for the 2013-14 season opener. Valparaiso is 1-0 in season openers under second-year coach Tracey Dorow. The Billikens beat the Crusaders 53-47 at the Athletics-Recreation Center last season. Charae Richardson had seven points and six rebounds to lead Valparaiso's returning players.