VALPARAISO | There was a bright spot in Valparaiso's 72-50 loss to visiting Western Michigan on Sunday at the Arc.
Number 0 returned to the floor for the Crusaders.
Jessica Carr played her first game of the season after suffering a broken hand in an auto accident last fall. The 5-foot-8 guard scored five points on 2-of-9 shooting.
Neither Carr nor Crusaders coach Tracey Dorow were worried about the stat line.
"She will score more than she did today once she gets back into her rhythm," Dorow said. "We're not really worried about her. She'll help us a lot on Horizon play."
Carr spent 20 minutes on the floor for Valparaiso (2-9), which hadn't played a game in 16 days, since a 65-50 loss to Butler.
"We would have liked to see her out there longer, but considering the way the game went, it was best not to," Darow said. "We're going to need her in two days. She's going to lead us to better things."
Valparaiso took an early lead at 16-15 on a Carr 3-pointer and stayed close to the Broncos (4-7) in the first half.
Charae Richardson led the first-half charge with 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting. She finished with 18 points — the only Crusader to score in double figures.
"This is the best game Charae has played," Dorow said. "She was consistent, she competed and she got after people."
Turnovers and poor shooting doomed Valparaiso in the second half as Western Michigan went on a 13-0 run. The Broncos extended their lead to 29 points to complete the 21-2 run. Faith Miller came off the bench to score the Crusaders' lone basket at the 15:05 mark.
"We weren't focused," said Carr. "We didn't come out with a lot of energy and they played harder than we did."
Valparaiso shot 1 of 11 from the field and 0 of 6 from the 3-point line to open the second half, and finished with 22 turnovers.
Dorow doesn't think the 16-day layoff between games was the problem.
"We're not playing together and we have a lack of confidence," she said. "A number of things need to change for us to do better.
"We've had good practices, but they aren't translating to the court. There are no excuses. We need to step it up."