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Crusaders Look for Back-to-Back Conference Victories Monday at Centenary
Sunday, January 07, 2007Game #15: Monday, January 8, 7 p.m. CST
Valpo (7-7, 1-0 Mid-Con) at Centenary (4-11, 0-1 Mid-Con)
Gold Dome (3,000) - Shreveport, La.
Coming Up in Crusader Hoops: After knocking off the Mid-Continent Conference's preseason favorite in their league opener, Valparaiso returns to the hardwood on Monday evening to complete its two game road trip as the Crusaders head to Centenary. Valpo is riding a three-game winning streak and is looking to match its longest winning streak of the season at four.
On the Air: Monday's game against Centenary will be carried live by WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics. The student-run radio station plans on carrying all Crusader women's basketball games this season live both over the air and online. Andrew Hansen and Matt Engelbrecht will call all the action live from the Gold Dome.
Series Notes: Valparaiso and Centenary are meeting for the seventh time since the Ladies joined the Mid-Continent Conference during the 2003-2004 season. The Crusaders are a perfect 6-0 all-time in the series, including a 3-0 mark at the Gold Dome. Last season, Valpo posted a 66-47 victory over Centenary in Shreveport before winning 91-44 at the ARC.
Wrapping Up Oral Roberts: Valparaiso rallied from a seven-point second half deficit to hand the Golden Eagles their first home loss of the season, 57-54, in the Mid-Continent Conference opener for both schools on Saturday afternoon in Tulsa, Okla. Betsy Rietema led the Crusaders with 16 points, including an 8-of-9 performance from the free throw line. Tamra Braun added a double-double, 13 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 6-of-7 from the floor, as Valpo improved to 7-3 all-time at the Mabee Center. The Crusaders committed just 12 turnovers in the game, including just seven over the final 32 minutes of the game.
Scouting Centenary: The Ladies had won three of their last five games prior to a 67-58 defeat at the hands of Western Illinois on Saturday afternoon in their Mid-Con opener at the Gold Dome. Centenary has already surpassed last year's victory total of three. Holli Wilkins leads Centenary in scoring, averaging 13.2 points per game this season. Jelena Aleksic has added 11.7 points per night while Cierra Bush leads the Ladies on the glass with 5.8 rebounds per contest.
Valpo in Mid-Con Openers: The Crusaders will finish their tenure in the Mid-Continent Conference with a 10-5 record in conference openers. Valpo has won four straight openers following the 57-54 victory at Oral Roberts.
Crusaders Against the Mid-Con: As the Brown and Gold plays in its final season of Mid-Con competition, Valpo has posted a 144-80 (.643) record all-time in conference play. The 144 victories are a conference record, and with a win against Centenary, Valpo will be assured of leaving the league with the most wins ever in the Mid-Con. The Crusaders have won a pair of conference regular season crowns while finishing runner-up four times.
Myers Continues to Drain Three-Pointers: Carrie Myers had made at least one three-point field goal in all 14 games thus far this season. In fact, the senior guard has made two or more in 11 games, highlighted by five triples against both Bradley and Indiana State. Myers leads the Mid-Con with 2.8 threes made per game.
Taylor Ties Career High at Oral Roberts: Krystal Taylor gave Valpo a big lift off of the bench at Oral Roberts. The fifth-year senior forward tied her career high with eight points in 12 minutes of action. Her three-pointer, just the second of her career, with 10:13 to play gave the Crusaders the lead for good.
Braun Now Third All-Time in Rebounding After Reaching 700 Boards: Tamra Braun has moved into third place on the Crusaders' career rebounding charts with 719 boards during her four-year career. The senior center is 47 boards behind Jeanette Gray (1999-2003) for second place all-time. Sarrah Stricklett (1996-2000) holds the school mark with 772 rebounds, 53 more than Braun's current total.
Braun Two Blocks Shy of School Record: Tamra Braun is closing in on the Valparaiso University record for career blocked shots. She trails Michelle Mader's (1988-1992) school record by just two rejections with her 164 career swats. She already has 21 swats on the season, including at least one in each of the last 12 games.
Rietema Becomes 11th Member of Valpo's 1,000 Point Club: Betsy Rietema became the 11th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark in her career with her jumper at the 9:32 mark of the first half against Saint Francis (Ind.).
Home Sweet Home: Valparaiso continues to have success at home in recent years. The Brown and Gold has a 179-100 (.642) record all-time at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Since the 2001-2002 season, Valpo has posted a 57-15 (.792) mark at the ARC.
Valpo Leads the Mid-Con From Downtown: The Crusaders' 39.1% shooting clip from beyond the arc is currently best in the Mid-Continent Conference. In addition, the Brown and Gold's 6.4 triples per game also lead the league.
Myers Among Top Outside Shooters in the Country: Senior guard Carrie Myers currently ranks 14th in all of NCAA Division I in three-point field goals per game. Her 2.9 makes per contest lead the Mid-Continent Conference as well. In addition, her 43.2% accuracy beyond the arc ranks 26th best in the country through December 31.
Among the Nation's Best: Valpo ranks among the top-25 in the country in three statistical categories as a team. The Crusaders are 37th in three-point field goals per game, making 6.3 per night. In addition, Valpo's 38.6% shooting from beyond the arc ranks 20th in NCAA Division I through December 31. Finally, Valpo is committing just 14.8 fouls per game, 21st fewest among all schools.
Triple Double for Rietema: Betsy Rietema turned in a rare triple-double for the Crusaders in the loss to Indiana State. The senior forward scored 14 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished out a career-best 10 assists. In addition, she committed just one turnover on the day.
Bombs Away from Three: Valpo's assault from three-point range against Bradley was nearly one for the record books. The 14 made triples tie for the third most by any Crusader team in a game all-time. The school record is 17, set against Central Michigan on December 8, 2004. Valpo made 15 threes last year against UMKC.
Rietema Player of the Week December 5: Betsy Rietema was honored as the Mid-Continent Conference's Player of the Week on December 5 after averaging 15.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 2.7 steals per game for the Brown and Gold during a five-day stretch. She had a game-high 20 points while grabbing eight rebounds against Bradley then added 12 points and eight boards at Loyola (Chicago). She posted a triple-double, 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, against Indiana State.
Rietema Moves Into Top-10 in School History in Scoring: Betsy Rietema has moved into 10th place all-time in school history in scoring. The senior forward has tallied 1,044 points, passing Carrie Forsman's (1992-1996) total of 1,015 points. Rietema is 33 points shy of Suzie Hammel (2000-2004) for ninth place on the career list and 37 points behind Lynda Kukla (1988-1992) for eighth place all-time.
Braun Among Top-15 in Scoring Also: Senior Tamra Braun has also moved into the top-15 on Valpo's career scoring list. The Valpo center currently has scored 945 points over her career passing Sarah Schmoyer (1992-1996) for 14th place all-time. She now needs 33 more points to match Cheryl Wilbrandt (1989-1993) for 13th place all-time.
Rietema Finds the Rebounding Charts: Betsy Rietema has moved into 15th place on Valparaiso's career rebounding list. The senior forward has brought down 471 rebounds to date. With 24 more boards she will match Denise Dunbar (1982-1986) for 14th spot all-time in a Crusader uniform.
Braun Among Mid-Con Best in Blocks: Tamra Braun's 164 career blocks are sixth best in Mid-Continent Conference history. Kim Wood (UW-Green Bay, 1992-1994) is fifth with 191 blocks.
Dishing the Rock: Betsy Rietema has also cracked the top-20 all-time at Valparaiso in assists. The senior moved into a tie for 18th place with her 194 career helpers, matching Tracy Saller's (1985-1987) mark. She needs three more assists to equal Sheila Kalas' (1982-1985) total of 197.
Myers Deadly from Long Range: Carrie Myers enters play in fourth place on the career three-point list with 169 triples. Myers trails Sarah Lenschow (1996-2000) by two threes for third all-time.
Rietema Likes Freebies: Betsy Rietema's 289 career free throws are third most in school history. She is more than 200 behind second place Sarrah Stricklett's (1996-2000) total of 494.
Braun 9th in Scoring from the Floor, Rietema on Verge of Top-10: Tamra Braun's 382 career field goals rank ninth in Valparaiso history. With her six makes at Oral Roberts, she past Shari Toelke (1990-1994) and is now 34 baskets behind Carrie Forsman (1992-1996). Betsy Rietema is on the verge of the top-10 with her 366 field goals, 11 behind Toelke for the tenth spot.
Freeman Winningest Coach in Mid-Con History: Head coach Keith Freeman's 216 victories are not only most in Valpo history, but also rank tops in Mid-Continent Conference history for career wins.
Freeman Adds Five Hoosiers for 2007-2008: Keith Freeman has signed five Indiana prep players to National Letters of Intent for the 2007-2008 season. Joining the Crusader roster next year are forward LaTice Jones (Gary, Ind./Roosevelt H.S.), guard Rashida Ray (Fort Wayne, Ind./Harding H.S.), guard Stephanie Thomas (Avon, Ind./Avon H.S.), Jasmine Ussery (Newburg, Ind./Castle H.S.), and Ashley Varner (South Bend, Ind./Washington H.S.).