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Women's Basketball Thinking Pink Saturday against Youngstown State
Stephanie Thomas and Valpo wrap up their homestand Saturday. (Ray Acevedo)
Stephanie Thomas and Valpo wrap up their homestand Saturday. (Ray Acevedo)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Game #23: Feb. 13, 2010, 1:35 p.m. CST
Youngstown State (0-23, 0-12 Horizon)
at Valparaiso (6-16, 3-8 Horizon)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.

Coming Up in Crusader Hoops: Valparaiso wraps up its three-game homestand on Saturday afternoon with its annual Pink Zone game.  The Crusaders host Youngstown State as part of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) initiative to raise awareness for breast cancer.

On the Air: Saturday’s game against Youngstown State will be carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at valpoathletics.com. David Schroeder and Chris Kleinhans Shultz will call all the action from the Athletics-Recreation Center.  The game can also be viewed live online through the Horizon League Network.  Live stats will be available through www.valpoathletics.com as well.

Series Notes: Valparaiso and Youngstown State are meeting for the 27th time in a series that dates back to 1993.  The Penguins hold a 14-12 all-time advantage against the Crusaders in a match-up of former Mid-Continent Conference foes prior to both schools joining the Horizon League.  Valpo has won three of the last four meetings between the two schools, including a 66-41 win in the Buckeye State back on January 14.  The Crusaders hold an 8-4 advantage against Youngstown State at the ARC.

Upcoming Promotions: At this Saturday’s game against Youngstown State, fans can receive four tickets for just $20.  The game against the Penguins is also “Pack the House” and “Pink Zone” day.  Valpo will be recognizing breast cancer survivors at the game while looking to fill the ARC as part of the WBCA women’s basketball initiative.

Head Coach Keith Freeman: In his 16th season on the Valparaiso bench, Keith Freeman has a 266-197 record at the helm of the Brown and Gold.  In his 22nd season overall, Freeman has a 395-244 career mark.  He is Valpo’s all-time winningest coach and has amassed more than half of the victories in the program’s history.

Wrapping Up Cleveland State: Kailey Klein scored 24 points and Shawnita Garland added 22 for the Vikings as the visitors posted an 82-59 victory over Valpo on Thursday night at the ARC.  The Crusaders trailed by just three, 38-35, at the break before Cleveland State went on a 31-12 second half run to break the game open.  Lauren Kenney and Ashley Varner led the Crusaders with 11 points each while Rashida Ray came off of the bench to add nine more.

Scouting Youngstown State: The Penguins are still looking for their first victory of the season following an 82-36 loss at Butler on Thursday night.    Youngstown State has had just eight different players see action this season, and are led by Bojana Dimitrov who is scoring 11.7 points per game.  Brandi Brown adds 11.3 points and 11.0 boards per contest while shooting 44.4% from the floor.  As a team, Youngstown State is shooting 31.3% from the floor and 64.2% from the charity stripe.  The Penguins are being out rebounded by 8.4 boards per night.

The First Time Around: A 25-4 run spanning both halves helped Valpo rally from a 13-point first half deficit to defeat the Penguins 66-41 on January 14.  Betsy Adams scored a career-high 25 points and Valpo shot 64.5% from the floor in the second half.  Lauren Kenney added 14 points for Valpo off of the bench while Kenya Middlebrooks paced Youngstown State with 15 points and eight rebounds.

Detroit’s Game Time Set: Valparaiso will face Detroit at 12 p.m. CST on February 20 at Calihan Hall.

Ray Helps Lead Valpo Bench:
Rashida Ray came off of the bench for a season-high nine points on Thursday evening against Cleveland State, connecting on a pair of three-pointers.  She also pulled down a pair of rebounds for Valpo.  Ray helped the Crusaders to a 30-23 scoring advantage off of the bench.

Making the Free Throws Count: Valpo had one of its best shooting nights from the charity stripe against Cleveland State, making 14-of-17 attempts to shoot 82.4%.  It was the best night for the Crusaders since shooting 91.7% at #3/4 Notre Dame back on December 12 and the third best shooting night of the season.

Lange Makes the Most of Her Opportunity: Gina Lange took advantage of the six minutes she played against Cleveland State, scoring two points and pulling down a career-high three rebounds.  The freshman entered the game having grabbed just three rebounds total in her career until Thursday.

Adams in Single Season Top-10:
Betsy Adams has moved into 10th place on Valpo’s single season three-point list with 59 triples this season.  The sophomore guard just passed Michelle Russell (1993-1994) and is six treys behind Suzie Hammel (2001-2002) for ninth place on the single season charts.

Balanced Minutes: Eight difference Crusaders are averaging at least 15 minutes a game for the Brown and Gold this season while nine different players have started at least one contest.  Betsy Adams is the only Valpo player to have started all 22 games this year.

Adams Among Nation’s Leaders:  Betsy Adams ranks 29th in all of NCAA Division I making 2.7 three-pointers per game this season.  Her total ranks second best in the Horizon League as well.  Adams has made five or more triples in six games this season while draining four treys in another two contests. 

Keeping Them Off the Scoreboard: Valpo allowed just 39 points against Loyola (Chicago) on January 4, matching the sixth fewest points ever allowed by a Crusader team in the 39th year of the program’s existence.  The 39 points were the fewest allowed since the team set the school record of 31 on December 30, 2005 against UMKC.

A Perfect Effort: Betsy Adams went a perfect 10-for-10 against Colorado State from the free throw line.  Her performance against the Rams marked the fourth most makes without a miss ever at Valpo.

Horizon League Player of the Weeks: Lauren Kenney was named the Horizon League’s Player of the Week on November 23 after leading Valpo to wins over SIU Edwardsville and Colorado State.  The senior forward averaged 20.0 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 2.5 steals per game while registering double-doubles in both contests for the Crusaders.  Ashley Varner then earned the honor on December 28 after scoring a career-high 23 points against Cincinnati. 

Kenney Earns Preseason Honors: Lauren Kenney was named to the Horizon League’s Preseason Second Team in the voting by the league’s head coaches, media, and sports information directors.  The senior forward averaged 10.9 points and 6.0 rebounds per game for Valpo as a junior.

Valpo Tabbed Sixth in Horizon League: The Crusaders were picked to finish in sixth place this season in the Horizon League according to the conference’s preseason poll.  Last year the Crusaders finished 16-14 overall and 10-8 during the league campaign, finishing fourth.  Green Bay was selected to win the Horizon League title for the 12th consecutive season.

Valpo Adds Four for Next Year’s Class:
Head coach Keith Freeman has signed four players to National Letters of Intent for next year.  Joining the Crusaders for the 2010-2011 season are: Maegan Callaway, a 6’0” center from Mooresville High School in Mooresville, Ind.;  Tabitha Gerardot, a 6’0” forward from  Canterbury High School in Fort Wayne, Ind.; Liz Horton, a 6’1” forward from Barr-Reeve High School in Cannelburg, Ind.; and Stefanie Lang, a 6’4” center from Valparaiso High School in Valparaiso, Ind.