VALPARAISO, Ind. – Karli Rucker scored a team-high 18 points, but UNI women’s basketball couldn’t overcome a 14-2 third-quarter run and fell 63-56 Thursday night at the ARC in Valparaiso.
Valpo started the game on a 12-2 run before UNI battled back to cut the lead to 18-15 at the end of the first quarter.
The Panthers hit back-to-back buckets to start the second to take a lead, but the two teams traded leads throughout the second quarter. The Panthers led 30-29 with a minute to play before the break before a Valpo layup gave the Crusaders a 31-30 advantage at the break.
UNI started the third on a 9-0 run a 14-2 run to build a 44-33 lead. With 4:56 to play in the third, but Valpo closed the quarter on their own 14-2 run to lead 45-46 heading into the fourth.
The Crusaders extended their lead to 59-51 with 3:50 to play and UNI couldn’t overcome the deficit and fell by 7.
The Panthers outrebounded Valpo 48-34, including eight by Cynthia Wolf. The Panthers were 22-64 (34.4%) from the field.
Three Valpo players scored in double figures led by Shay Frederick with a game-high 20 points.
The Panthers are now 5-5 on the season and 2-1 in MVC play.
The Panthers and Crusaders again meet Friday at 6 p.m. in Valparaiso. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and live on KXEL 1540 AM.