VALPARAISO | Cleveland State entered Monday’s night game at the Athletics-Recreation Center with the reputation as the best 3-point shooting team in the Horizon League.
The Vikings lived up to their billing as Adesuwa Aideyman and Cori Coleman combined for 12 3-pointers in a 76-66 victory over Valparaiso.
Aideyman entered the game shooting just 17.6 percent in conference play from beyond the arc and proceeded to burn the Crusaders from deep. As Valparaiso made adjustments, Coleman took over to hit five triples.
“(Aideyman) is a streaky shooter that hasn’t had many streaks,” Valparaiso coach Tracey Dorow said. “We were hoping they wouldn’t beat us in the paint so we took our chances of picking our poison (with perimeter shooting). She made us pay.”
Despite Cleveland State’s efficient 3-point shooting and Valparaiso’s tendency to turn the ball over — the Crusaders had 23 miscues — the game was within two possessions in the latter stages of the second half. Coleman scored 16 of her game-high 24 points in the second half, including two late 3-pointers that kept the Crusaders at bay. Aideyman added 22 points.
Jessi Wiedemann had four 3-pointers of her own and the sophomore led the Crusaders (3-16, 1-5) with 21 points.
“It was nice to see (Jessi) come out of her slump,” Dorow said. “She hit a couple of big shots. We were doing a good job of getting her good passes.”
Turnovers continued to be Valparaiso’s major downfall as the Vikings (9-11, 4-3) scored 20 points turnovers. Coleman had seven steals for Cleveland State.
“Our players try so hard to please us that sometimes they just need to relax and play the game,” Dorow said.
Liz Horton had 15 points and six rebounds for the Crusaders while Abby Dean added 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Horton is playing the best stretch of her career with 14 or more points in her last three games.
“It’s nothing in particular right now,” Horton said. “We go over what we think will work in practice. We trust in the coaches and the shots have been there. It gives me some confidence, but it’s discouraging when that’s not enough sometimes.”