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Women’s basketball: Tabitha Gerardot wills Valpo to a win over BSU

Valparaiso's Tabitah Gerardot (second from left) congratulates ShaquirScott scoring basket drawing foul first half Valparaiso women's home game against Ball

Valparaiso's Tabitah Gerardot (second from left) congratulates Shaquira Scott on scoring a basket and drawing a foul in the first half of Valparaiso women's home game against Ball State in Valparaiso, Ind. Saturday December 29, 2012. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 31, 2013 6:51AM



VALPARAISO — The Crusaders needed a win. Tabitha Gerardot made sure it happened.

VU’s standout senior forward notched career highs in both points (28) and rebounds (17) as the Crusaders rallied from a 19-point deficit for a 58-53 win over Ball State (3-10).

“I had no idea,” Gerardot said when asked if she was aware of her point total during the game. “I figured that there were a lot of rebounds, but I had no idea about the points.”

Not only was Gerardot the leader of the Valparaiso (4-8) offense, she also made several key stops on the defensive end.

“I think that’s the best defensive game I’ve seen her play,” said VU head coach Tracey Dorow. “She moved her feet well and I can’t tell you how many times I saw her player either travel or turn the ball over because Tabitha was in the right spot.”

The win snapped a three-game losing streak and was only the second VU win in the last 10 games, a stretch that dates back to mid-November.

That was the best part about what we just did: the win,” Gerardot added. “especially against an in-state rival.”

The finish was perfect for the Crusaders, but the game couldn’t have started much worse, as Ball State held a 27-8 lead at the 5:08 mark of the opening half. With 3:44 to go in that half, the Crusaders had more turnovers (12) than points (11).

VU closed the first half on a 14-3 run to narrow its deficit to just eight and later tied the game at 42 on a Jessi Wiedemann trey with 8:19 remaining.

“I knew that I had to step up on the game was on the line,” said Wiedemann, who hit a trio of shots from behind the arc in her first career start. “I really wanted to help get this win for our team.”

Gina Lange hit a jumper on the Crusaders’ next possession and VU would never trail again in the game, despite some tense moments as the clock wound down.

Two factors helped Valparaiso complete the comeback. First, the Crusaders went 19 of 22 from the free-throw line in the game, including 18 of 19 in the second half. VU also dominated the rebound battle 47-27 which led to a 20-3 advantage in second-chance points.

“We don’t win if we don’t rebound today; we rebounded the ball like crazy,” Dorow said. “It came down to the fact that we were able to get second chance points and really took it to them on the glass.”



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