VALPARAISO | The first Duneland Athletic Conference win of the season didn’t come easy for the Vikings.
Valparaiso (4-5, 1-3 DAC) outscored Chesterton 20-9 in the fourth quarter to secure a come-from-behind 54-45 win. The Vikings were led by a game-high 20 points from junior point guard Grace Withrow. Steph Parker added 12 for Valparaiso while Caroline Puntillo scored 16 for Chesterton (5-4, 2-2 DAC) in the loss.
Turnovers were an issue for both teams in the beginning of a back-and-forth fourth quarter. Just over a minute into the period, Valparaiso took its first lead since 24-23 in the second quarter, 37-36 on a jumper by Heather Felta.
The game was tied for the last time 42-42 with just under four minutes left in the game after a pair of free throws by Chesterton junior Hailee Norton. The Trojans would score just three more points, however.
Valpo took the lead for good on Felta’s 3-pointer with three-and-a-half minutes left on the clock. The Vikings sealed the win at the free throw line, going 4-for-6 down the stretch.
Fouls plagued Chesterton in the second half and the Trojans put Valparaiso into the bonus early in the fourth quarter. Lipscomb was called for her fifth foul with just over two-and-a-half minutes remaining in the game, a blow to the Chesterton offense. The senior spent most of the game in foul trouble and finished with four points. Sarah Richards was called for her fifth foul with 33 seconds left and also finished with four points.
Valparaiso held a two-point lead after the opening stanza but it was quickly erased as Chesterton got back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers from Lipscomb, Puntillo and Hayley Sekula to open the second quarter, building a 19-12 lead.
The Vikings fought back with a 10-2 run capped by Lexi Ferngren’s steal-and-layup that put Valpo ahead 24-21, but Chesterton closed the half with a pair of free throws by Lauren Kusbel and an acrobatic and-1 by Puntillo to hold a 26-24 lead at the break.
Trojans senior Kelsey Conway left the game with an apparent lower leg injury with just over two minutes left in the first quarter. She would not return to the contest and finished with two points on a pair of free throws.