Amber Lindfors had a career night, and Valparaiso got off to big runs in each of the final three periods to beat the Youngstown State women's basketball team 77-60 on Thursday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
With the score tied at 25-25 after the first period, Valparaiso started the second on a 15-2 run. The lead was double digits for all but 17 seconds the rest of the game. The Crusaders started the third period on a 12-3 spurt, and they began the fourth on a 12-2 run.
With YSU starting center Mary Dunn out with an injury, Lindfors scored a career-high 22 points and matched her high with 11 rebounds. She had 12 points in the last three matchups against YSU over the previous two years.
Alison Smolinski led the Penguins with 14 points and made four 3-pointers, and Indiya Benjamin was the only other YSU player in double figures with 11 points. Melinda Trimmer and Natalie Myers both had eight off the bench.
Trimmer hit a 3-pointer at the end of the first period to tie the score at 25-25, and Valparaiso held YSU to two points in the first 7:37 of the second to take a 40-27 lead. A Smolinski 3-pointer at the 1:07 mark got the Penguins within seven, but Grace Hales answered with a triple for Valpo to get the lead back to 10 at 43-33 at halftime.
Valpo's lead grew to 60-39 with 2:46 left in the third when YSU made a charge by scoring the final nine points of the period to get within a dozen. Trimmer had five points in that stretch, including another 3-pointer at the end of the period. The Crusaders' run to start the fourth thwarted any comeback chance.
Valparaiso scored 21 of its points on 21 offensive rebounds, and the Crusaders also held a 32-14 edge in the paint.
Youngstown State will play at UIC on Saturday at 4 p.m. Eastern. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and 570 WKBN.