VALPARAISO | Valparaiso’s women’s basketball team had a half unlike any in recent memory in the opening 20 minutes against Detroit on Thursday night.
After trailing by two early, the Crusaders closed out the first half on a 43-6 run and cruised to a 85-44 victory, getting their first Horizon League victory of the season.
“It’s a coach’s dream,” Valparaiso coach Tracey Dorow said. “They worked the ball well. They passed it and shared the ball. It was a total team effort.”
Abby Dean, who finished with a career-high 20 points, scored 18 before halftime.
“I was feeling it,” Dean said. “Everyone was playing well. It was a great team effort.”
The Crusaders (3-15, 1-4) had three players score in double figures in the first half, with Charae Richardson scoring 13 and Jessi Wiedemann adding 10. Richardson finished the game with 16 points, while Wiedemann had 12.
Valparaiso led 13-11 at the 14:20 mark and held the Titans without a field goal for the remainder of the half.
“They were well-prepared and excited about playing (Thursday), and we were excited to get going,” Dorow said.
The Crusaders were 18-of-35 from the field in the first half and made eight 3-pointers. Valparaiso also forced 14 Detroit turnovers.
Nine of the 10 players who saw action scored points. Liz Horton totaled 14, while Sharon Karungi had nine and Jessica Carr eight.
“We work so hard in practice, and it is frustrating to not be able to show what we can do,” Horton said. “It’s great to show what we can do and have everything come together like that.”
The Crusaders totaled 18 steals on the night and scored 25 points off 25 Detroit turnovers.
Carr led the way with seven steals and Dean had six.
“These guys defended their butts off,” Dorow said. “We were active and moved and reacted to every pass.”
Senee Shearer led Detroit (3-15, 0-5) with 10 points.