Women’s basketball drops Crusaders

Kendyl Nunn

Kendyl Nunn sparked the offense in the second half. — Photo: Steve Woltmann

Redshirt senior Ruvanna Campbell recorded her 13th double-double Saturday as the Flames won their second consecutive contest at Valparaiso, 54–50.

The Flames host Northern Kentucky at 7 p.m. Thursday at the UIC Pavilion. Students are free with i-card.

UIC  (11-9, 2-7 Horizon League) led from start to finish Saturday, using a combination of defenses to limit Valparaiso’s shooting from behind the three-point stripe. The Flames jumped out to an early 13-6 lead but the Crusaders used an 8-0 run to take their only lead of the game at 14-13 with 1:59 remaining in the period. Campbell (20 points, 10 rebounds, four steals) set the tempo for the Flames, scoring nine of UIC’s 18 points in the quarter.

Kendyl Nunn (15 points) came off the bench to spark the UIC offense, scoring eight points in the second period to stretch the Flames’ lead to as many as 11 points. The Flames defense took over, forcing Valparaiso into five turnovers and 13 percent shooting from three-point range.

“We controlled the tempo for the majority of the game through our defense,” head coach Regina Miller said. “Switching defenses (from man to traps) threw them off and they were not able to establish an early rhythm. Our plan was to defend the three-point shooters by extending the zone along with some traps.”

Both teams struggled to make baskets in the fourth period, combining for a total of 15 points. Trailing by three, Valparaiso cut the Flames’ lead to 51-50 after Dani Franklin’s three-pointer with 5:44 left in the fourth period. UIC called a time-out and regrouped as Campbell nailed a jumper with 3:26 remaining. Marissa Grossfeld added a free throw for the 54-50 win.

“We made plays down the stretch when the game got close,” said Miller. “The players are beginning to understand the value of possessions and the team is getting better. When we limit mistakes, good things will happen.”

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