Women’s basketball: Valparaiso’s huge run snuffs UIC
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent February 16, 2013 11:18PM
Updated: March 18, 2013 7:13AM
VALPARAISO — Three times in the game’s opening 27 minutes, VU got within two points of visiting UIC, just to see the Flames quickly respond with points of their own. But after reaching that deficit for a fourth time, VU took off on a 38-10 run to blow away its Horizon League rivals 88-62.
“Our defense got better; that’s what did it,” said VU (9-14, 4-6 Horizon) junior Tabitha Gerardot, who — again — led the Crusaders’ offense with 18 points and 14 rebounds. “I thought that they slowed down and tried to run sets because our defense was getting better. They got a little hesitant and we took advantage. We got aggressive.”
VU trailed by as many as 11 in the first half, prompting a full lineup change from head coach Tracey Dorow.
“I thought they came in ready to play and executed the gameplan,” Dorow said of the players that entered the game. “They didn’t play outside of themselves. I thought we were trying to press and make things happen that weren’t there.”
One of those subs was freshman guard Lexi Miller, who scored nine points in the opening 20 minutes, including a buzzer-beater from halfcourt to bring VU within six at the half.
“I saw Laura (Richards) wasn’t open so I turned, (Gerardot) threw me the ball, and I just launched it,” said Miller, who finished with a career-high 13 points. “It felt like it was all in slow-motion, watching the ball fly.”
Added Dorow: “I think that gave us a big boost going into halftime. It lightened the mood for us.”
A layup from Gerardot tied the score at 52 at the 12:09 mark of the second half, part of a 14-0 VU run that put the Crusaders ahead 62-52. Back-to-back triples from Richards on the next two VU possessions ended any thoughts of a Flames (7-16, 3-7 Horizon) comeback. She finished the game with eight points, nine rebounds and five assists.