Ladies Suffer Hard Loss to Valparaiso
Monday, January 8, 2007

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Box Score

Jelena Aleksic had 10 points
to lead the Ladies

SHREVEPORT, La. -- Centenary (4-12, 0-2) faces the crossroads of their season following a disappointing 69-43 loss to Valparaiso (8-7, 2-0) Monday at the Gold Dome. With the loss, the Ladies continue to search for their first victory in conference play.

Now 0-2 in Mid-Continent Conference games and with an upcoming two-game roadtrip to Southern Utah and UMKC, Centenary must regroup following Monday’s lopsided, 26-point loss to the Crusaders.

"This hurts. This is not what we want to do to represent Centenary, the Shreveport-Bossier area or each other," Centenary head coach Steve Curtis said following the game. "This is not the way we want to play, but we have a choice. We can sit around and cry about it or go on and beat Southern Utah."

Curtis and the Ladies faced a hot team in the Crusaders, winners of their past three games heading into Monday’s contest.

Leading the Mid-Con in three-point shooting percentage, hitting 39.1 percent as a team, Valparaiso relied on its outside shooting to extend its lead on Centenary Monday. Hitting 11 three-pointers as a team, the Crusaders were led by the outside shooting of sophomore guard Launa Hochstetler, who hit 4-of-5 three-point shots Monday. Held scoreless in the first half, Hochstetler led all players with 16 points, all coming following the intermission as the Crusaders would 42 points in the second half.

After a three by senior guard Holli Wilkins (Evadale, Texas) cut the lead to 13 points early in the second half, Centenary went into a four-minute scoreless drought, outscored 14-0 by Valparaiso and trailing by 27 points following a layup by Betsy Rietema.

Down by such a large margin, Centenary just could not recover for the remainder of the game.

Of the offensive breakdown by the Ladies that led to such a large deficit, Curtis commented on his team’s dealing with pressure. Throughout the season, Curtis has said his team must develop poise and must show more control in different situations.

"When the pressure gets on, we become complacent and stop moving around (on offense)," Curtis said. "We start playing one-on-one basketball which just isn’t our game. The most frustrating thing to me is, when we execute and play our game, we can be good."

Also scoring in double figures for Valparaiso was Rietema with 12 points and senior guard Carrie Myers with 11 points. As a team, the Crusaders shot 38.3 percent from the floor and hit 50 percent of its three-point shots.

Leading Centenary in scoring for the second-straight game, senior Jelena Aleksic (Belgrade, Serbia) had 10 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the floor. As a team, Centenary hit 30.5 percent of its shots.

The Ladies must move on after Monday’s loss and continue to build as the conference season continues.

"There’s 12 more games to go. The season’s just getting started," Curtis said. "We talk a lot about putting things behind us and going on to the next game."

Looking for a better result, Centenary next plays at Southern Utah Saturday in Cedar City, Utah.

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