NORMAL — The Illinois State women's basketball team struggled to score points against Valparaiso for the initial seven quarters this season.
In the fourth quarter Sunday at Redbird Arena, however, it was all Goods.
Junior Simone Goods seized command in the post, scoring 10 fourth-quarter points as the Redbirds upended Valparaiso, 63-55, before a crowd of 681.
"We were able to play through Simone. She played with tremendous poise and patience," ISU coach Kristen Gillespie said. "She got good looks and she got some calls. Some days there is not a foul called on her (defenders) all game."
At 10-12 overall and 4-7 in the Missouri Valley Conference, Gillespie has guided the Redbirds to their first 10 or more win season since 2013-14.
"I'm really excited and proud," Gillespie said after ISU's second win in three days. "We went into the second half (of the Valley schedule) with a clean slate. I told them things could change dramatically in the second half."
Goods' 19 points represented her best scoring performance since Dec. 31 and her first double digit outburst since Jan. 7.
"I definitely felt a lot more confidence," said the 6-foot-2 Goods. "It's been a struggle being limited in practice (by a foot injury)."
A 67 percent shooter from the free throw line before Sunday, Goods drilled 11 of 13 at the foul line and was perfect on eight fourth-quarter free throws.
"We're always working on free throws. We all take a big responsibility for that," Goods said. "Once you recognize you're getting fouled and the refs are calling it, you have confidence going up there."
Valparaiso coach Tracey Dorow, a former Redbird player, had no issue with the fouls whistled on her players attempting to slow Goods.
"I know we fouled her. We had to do something to stop her," said Dorow. "We made adjustments in the huddle, but they didn't carry over to the court. Nobody would sacrifice their body (to draw a charge)."
A Viria Livingston 3-pointer handed the Redbirds a 46-38 cushion early in the fourth quarter. The Crusaders (10-12, 3-8) stormed back within 54-53 on the wings of 3-pointers from Meredith Hamlet, Dani Franklin and Caitlin Morrison.
After Valpo squandered an opportunity to forge ahead, ISU's Katrina Beck delivered a clutch 3-pointer in the final minute for the second time this weekend.
Franklin missed a pair of shots from beyond the arc on the Crusaders' next possession, and two Beck free throws at the 38-second mark extended the Redbird margin to 59-53.
ISU shot 24.6 percent from the floor in an earlier loss to Valpo and stood at 30.8 percent through three quarters before the Redbirds matched their entire first-half output with 24 fourth-quarter points.
Connecting on 25 of 28 free throws, ISU logged in at a season-best 89.3 percent from the line.
Livingston and Beck each scored 11 points in support of Goods and Megan Talbot added 10. Livingston was 3 of 5 from 3-point range after converting just 8 of 34 before Sunday.
"I'm happy my shots were able to fall," Livingston said after her first double figure game since Jan. 5. "The team depends on me for defense, and I was able to make some shots at the offensive end."
The No. 2 scorer in Valpo history, Franklin did not start for the first time this season. The 6-1 senior still played 35 minutes but was 4 of 22 from the floor while scoring 15 points. Hamlet topped the Crusaders with 17 points.
"I was disappointed the way we shot (30.2 percent). But I was expecting they wouldn't make it easy for us," said Dorow, who let her players decide the starters. "They played really hard and made some big plays down the stretch."
Neither team led by more than four points the entire first half. ISU grasped a 24-20 edge on two Talbot free throws 1:54 before halftime but did not score again before retreating to the locker room in a 24-24 deadlock.