Game #27: Monday, February 19, 7:05 p.m. CST
Chicago State (9-19, Independent) at Valpo (16-10, 9-3 Mid-Con)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.
Coming Up in Crusader Hoops: Valparaiso steps out of Mid-Continent Conference action for the final time this season as the Crusaders entertain Chicago State on Monday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Valpo has won two straight and 12 of its last 15 games overall.
On the Air: Monday's game against Chicago State 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. Josh Weinhold and Adam Tein will call all the action live from the Athletics-Recreation Center.
Series Notes: Valparaiso and Chicago State are meeting for the 37th time on Monday evening in a rematch of former North Star Conference and Mid-Continent Conference foes. The Crusaders hold a 32-4 lead in the all-time series and are a perfect 17-0 at the Athletics-Recreation Center against the Cougars. Valpo won the first 23 meetings between the two schools dating back to the first contest on January 21, 1988 at the ARC. Last season, Chicago State registered a 53-50 victory in Chicago while the Crusaders were 75-67 double-overtime victors at the ARC.
Wrapping Up Western Illinois: Trailing by seven at halftime, Valparaiso's bench scored 26 of the Crusaders' 37 second half points as the Brown and Gold rallied for a 58-46 victory over the Westerwinds on Saturday at the ARC. Launa Hochstetler scored a career high 21 points, including 16 in the second half, while Whitney Farris added a career best 13 points to pace the Crusaders. Valpo shot just 27.6% in the first half from the floor, but made 52.4% of its shots in the second half in the comeback. Runs of 10-2 and 10-0 in the second 20 minutes helped lead the way for the Crusaders, who held Western Illinois without a field goal for the first 8:35 of the second half.
Scouting Chicago State: The Cougars, playing as an independent this season, are wrapping up their 2006-2007 season on Monday evening against Valpo. Chicago State has dropped five of its last six games following a 76-55 loss at Oral Roberts on Saturday. The Cougars are 2-6 against Mid-Con foes this season, defeating Oakland and Centenary. Jasmin Dixon leads the way for Chicago State scoring 12.0 points per game. Chandra Timberlake has chipped in 11.3 points and a team leading 7.4 rebounds per game while Ayesha Neasley is scoring 10.7 points per night. As a team, the Cougars are forcing opponents to commit 20.5 turnovers per game.
A Winning Tradition at Valpo: With Valpo's victory against Western Illinois on Saturday, the Crusaders have now assured themselves their 16th winning season in the last 17 years. Valpo has also assured itself of a winning conference mark for the 14th time in the 15 years the Crusaders have been in the Mid-Con for women's basketball.
Hochstetler Produces for Crusaders: Launa Hochstetler scored a game high 21 points for Valpo in the win over Western Illinois on Saturday. For the sophomore, her total marked a career high and was accomplished on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor as well as a perfect 5-of-5 night from the free throw line. The Crusaders point guard came off of the bench and also did not commit a turnover.
Farris Has Breakout Game: Freshman Whitney Farris had her biggest game in her relatively young career against Western Illinois. The rookie scored a career best 13 points, making 4-of-5 from the field and all four free throws in the contest. She also grabbed a season high four rebounds while dishing out two assists, registering two steals, and blocking a shot.
Valpo League's Top Free Throw Shooting Team: The Crusaders have moved into the league lead from the free throw line making 73.3% of their attempts on the season. Valpo has been even better in Mid-Con play, connecting on 79.4% from the charity stripe. Launa Hochstetler is the team's top shooter on the season, making 85.7% overall and 92.3% in league action.
Who Will Step Up and Score Tonight?: With Whitney Farris breaking into double figures on Saturday, 11 of the 13 Crusaders have tallied double figure scoring numbers at least once this season. Betsy Rietema leads the way with 21 games of 10 or more points this year.
Braun Has Played Lots of Games: Tamra Braun has moved into a tie with Cheryl Wilbrandt (1989-1993) for eighth place on Valpo's all-time games played list with her 115th appearance Saturday against Western Illinois. When she takes to the floor against Chicago State, she will register game number 116, tying Crusader graduate assistant Jamie Gutowski (2002-2006) for seventh place on the all-time list. By the time the regular season ends, Braun should be fifth all-time.
Shooting and Rebounding Well Equals Victories: Valparaiso is 13-1 this season when shooting better from the floor than their opponents. The Crusaders have also won 10 of the 12 games in which they have grabbed more boards than their opposition.
Senior Day Set for Saturday: Valparaiso will honor its four senior members of the class of 2007 prior to Saturday's game with UMKC.
On Pace For Record-Setting Year from Outside: Valparaiso is currently on pace to break the team's single season three-point percentage record. The Crusaders are currently shooting 37.7% from beyond the arc, while the 1997-1998 squad currently holds the school mark at 37.1%.
Myers Among Best Triple Shooters in Mid-Con History: Carrie Myers' 202 career three-pointers ranks as the seventh most makes in Mid-Continent Conference laurels. The senior needs 14 more threes to match Kristin (Brady) Atkinson (Oral Roberts, 1998-2003) for sixth place in league history.
Rietema and Myers Earn Academic All-District Honors: Betsy Rietema and Carrie Myers have each been named to ESPN The Magazine's Academic All-District V Teams. Rietema was named to the First Team for the second straight season while Myers was a Second Team pick as voted upon by members of CoSIDA.
Braun Sets Valpo's Career Block Record: Tamra Braun rejected three Centenary shots on January 8, moving past Michelle Mader (1988-1992) to become the school's blocked shot leader. She currently has 183 career blocks, while Mader finished her career with 166. Braun ranks among Valpo's single season leaders in each of her four seasons with the Brown and Gold. This year she is currently tied for sixth on the single season charts with 40 swats.
A Record Setting Night from the Stripe: When the Crusaders made all 10 free throws against Oakland on January 15, Valpo set a new single game record for free throw percentage (minimum 10 attempts). The previous best free throw shooting night in school history was 94.4% (17-of-18) against Evansville on February 13, 1988.
Home Sweet Home: Valparaiso continues to have success at home in recent years. The Brown and Gold has a 183-101 (.644) record all-time at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Since the 2001-2002 season, Valpo has posted a 61-16 (.792) mark at the ARC.
Braun Among Mid-Con Best in Blocks: Tamra Braun's 184 career blocks are sixth best in Mid-Continent Conference history. Kim Wood (UW-Green Bay, 1992-1994) is fifth with 191 blocks.
Myers Among Top Outside Shooters in the Country: Senior guard Carrie Myers currently ranks 8th in all of NCAA Division I in three-point field goals per game. Her 2.8 makes per contest lead the Mid-Continent Conference as well. In addition, her 43.3% accuracy beyond the arc ranks 11th best in the country through February 15.
Among the Nation's Best: Valpo ranks among the top-25 in the country in three statistical categories as a team. The Crusaders are 16th in three-point field goals per game, making 6.8 per night. In addition, Valpo's 38.0% shooting from beyond the arc ranks 14th in NCAA Division I through February 11. Finally, Valpo has committed just 14.5 fouls per game, 17th fewest among all schools.
Crusaders Against the Mid-Con: As the Brown and Gold plays in its final season of Mid-Con competition, Valpo has posted a 152-83 (.647) record all-time in conference play. The 152 victories are a conference record, and Valpo is 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.
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.
Myers Among Single Season Best Three-Point Shooters: Carrie Myers has made 72 triples this season, ranking fourth on Valpo's single season list for most makes. Myers also holds third place on the single season charts after making 76 threes last season. Lynda Kukla holds the single season record with 101 treys in the 1991-1992 campaign, while Kukla's 1990-1991 total of 91 ranks second all-time for a season.
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. The 14 triples are tied for seventh most in a game by any team in the country this season.
Rietema Player of the Week on December 5: Betsy Rietema was named the Mid-Con's Player of the Week on December 5 after averaging 15.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 2.7 steals for Valpo during a five-day stretch. She had 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds against Bradley and 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 and Braun Become 11th and 12th Members 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 midway through the first half against Saint Francis (Ind.). Teammate Tamra Braun equalled the feat with a free throw midway through the second half at IPFW. The duo is the first to reach the mark in the same season since Amber Schober and Marlous Nieuwveen both did it during the 2001-2002 season.
Rietema Up to 7th in School History in Scoring: Betsy Rietema has moved into seventh place all-time in school history in scoring. The senior forward has tallied 1,209 points and is eight points shy of Marlous Nieuwveen (1998-2002) for sixth place all-time.
Braun Moves into 11th in Scoring at Valpo: Senior Tamra Braun has also moved near the top-10 on Valpo's career scoring list. The Valpo center currently has scored 1,050 points over her career passing Carrie Forsman (1992-1996) for 11th place all-time. She needs 27 more points to match Suzie Hammel (2000-2004) for 10th place all-time.
Braun Sets School Rebounding Record, Among Mid-Con's Best All-Time: Tamra Braun set a new Valpo career rebounding record with her 773rd career board at UMKC. The senior, who now has 828 rebounds, passed Sarrah Stricklett's (1996-2000) old record total of 772. Braun's current total ranks seventh in Mid-Continent Conference history, moving past Heather Farquharson (Northeastern Illinois, 1994-1998) on that list. Next up on the Mid-Con list for Braun is Sarah Judd (1998-2002) who grabbed 854 for her career.
Rietema Finds the Rebounding Charts: Betsy Rietema has moved into 12th place on Valparaiso's career rebounding list. The senior forward has brought down 552 rebounds to date. With 19 more boards she will match Deb Lahti (1981-1984) and Carrie Forsman (1992-1996) for 10th all-time in a Crusader uniform.
Dishing the Rock: Betsy Rietema has also cracked the top-15 all-time at Valparaiso in assists. The senior has moved into 14th place with her 216 career helpers, passing Lynda Kukla's (1988-1992) total of 208. She needs eight more to equal Stephanie Greer (1987-1991) for 13th place.
Myers Deadly from Long Range: Carrie Myers enters play in third place on the career three-point list with 202 triples. Myers trails Suzie Hammel (2000-2004) by 34 threes for second all-time.
Rietema Likes Freebies: Betsy Rietema's 326 career free throws are third most in school history. She is 168 behind second place Sarrah Stricklett's (1996-2000) total of 494.
Freeman Winningest Coach in Mid-Con History: Head coach Keith Freeman's 225 victories are not only most in Valpo history, but also rank tops in Mid-Continent Conference history for career wins.
Freeman Earns Career Victory #350: Head coach Keith Freeman's victory over UMKC on January 29 was the 350th of his career on the sidelines.
Rietema Perfect from the Line at IUPUI: Betsy Rietema was a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe at IUPUI, becoming just the fifth player in Crusader history to register a perfect night with a minimum of 10 attempts. Lisa Diefenthaler made 12-of-12 against Western Illinois back in 1994 while Debbie Bolen was 11-for-11 against UW-Green Bay in 1991. Amber Schober ( 1998) and Katie Boone (2002) both went 10-for-10 as well while wearing a Crusader uniform.
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.).
Indiana Governor Watches Valpo Down IUPUI: Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels was on hand Monday night to watch the Crusaders down IUPUI in a battle of instate foes. Governor Daniels then made a brief appearance in the Valpo locker room following the victory.
Mid-Con Championship to be Shown Live on ESPNU: The 2007 Mid-Continent Conference Women's Basketball Tournament's championship game will be carried live nationally on ESPNU for the second straight season. Tip-off is set for 12:30 p.m. on March 6 from John Q. Hammonds Arena in Tulsa, Okla.