Game #25: February 21, 2008, 7:05 p.m. CST
Detroit (4-19, 1-11 Horizon)
at Valpo (11-13, 6-7 Horizon)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.
Coming Up in Crusader Hoops: Valparaiso returns to the Athletics-Recreation Center on Thursday evening as the Brown and Gold hosts Detroit. The Crusaders are looking to snap a two-game losing skid and help themselves in the race for seeding in the upcoming Horizon League Tournament. Valpo dropped its last contest, 76-70, on Saturday afternoon at Milwaukee.
On the Air: Thursday’s game against Detroit will be carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) as well as online at www.valpo.edu/athletics. David Schroeder and Maggie Foley will call all the action live from the ARC. All 29 regular season games will be broadcast live over the internet in addition to many games on the radio. In addition, the game can be viewed live online as part of the Horizon League Network at www.horizonleaguenetwork.tv.
Series Notes: Valparaiso and Detroit are meeting for just the sixth time in a series that began on February 20, 1989. The Titans hold a 3-2 edge all-time, but Valpo won the last meeting between the schools 71-50 back on January 26 of this season. In that game, Aimee Litka had 25 points while Agnieszka Kulaga added 16 for the Crusaders. Detroit is 2-0 against the Crusaders all-time at the ARC.
Wrapping Up Milwaukee: The Panthers shot 51.1% from the field and Traci Edwards tallied a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds as Milwaukee defeated Valpo 76-70 on Saturday afternoon in Wisconsin. The Panthers used runs of 10-0 and 10-2 in the second half to break the game open, and held the Crusaders to just 39.3% shooting for the game. Five Crusaders scored in double figures, led by Sarah Ott who tallied 18 points. Launa Hochstetler scored 12 for the Brown and Gold.
Scouting Detroit: The Titans snapped their nine-game losing skid on Saturday afternoon, posting a 68-57 victory over second place Cleveland State in the Motor City. Detroit is just 1-11 on the season away from home, having defeated IPFW in Fort Wayne, Ind. back in December. Sandi Brown leads the Titan attack averaging 10.0 points per game. She has increased her production in league games, though, averaging 12.0 points against Horizon League foes. Interim head coach Lee Piepho took over the Detroit program on December 12 of this season.
Time Change for Season Finale at Butler: Valparaiso’s season finale at Butler has been moved to 11 a.m. CST (12 p.m. Indianapolis time) on March 8. The move occurred because of the potential for Butler to host the Horizon League Men’s Championship that evening.
Ott Likes Playing Her Home State: Sarah Ott tied her career high with 18 points on Saturday afternoon in Milwaukee, shooting a perfect 6-of-6 from the floor. She was 4-of-4 from three-point range, a new career mark for triples as well. The Wisconsin native set her career mark earlier this year against Green Bay, tallying 18 points at home on January 19. She also scored 14 points earlier this year against Milwaukee and is averaging 13.8 points per game against schools from her home state.
Helenius Has Solid Outing: Playing a season-high 16 minutes at Milwaukee, senior Sanna Helenius scored a season’s best 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting from the floor. The effort was her second highest scoring output of her career.
Double Trouble: With Sanna Helenius scoring in double figures for the first time this season on Saturday at Milwaukee, 11 of Valpo’s 13 players have now tallied double figures at least once this season.
Senior Day Set for Saturday: Valpo will wrap up the home portion of the 2007-2008 regular season on Saturday afternoon against Wright State at 1:35 p.m. The Crusaders will recognize their two seniors, Sanna Helenius and manager Allison Wunsch, prior to the contest with the Raiders.
Litka Moves into Top-10 on Single Season Treys List: Aimee Litka drained two more three-pointers against Milwaukee, and is in 10th place on Valpo’s single season list. The junior has hit 55 triples on the season, one three shy of ninth place (Sarah Lenschow, 1997-1998, 56) and two treys shy of eighth place (Michelle Russell, 1993-1994, 57).
From Downtown: Valpo ranks 11th nationally making 7.5 three-pointers per game. Aimee Litka is hitting 2.3 per night, ranking 65th in all of Division I. As a team, the Crusaders are hitting 35.1% from beyond the arc, ranking 50th in the nation, while Litka is 40th individually connecting at 39.6%.
Overtime Success: Valparaiso’s overtime win against Green Bay was the Crusaders’ fourth straight when playing extra sessions. The Crusaders have not dropped an overtime contest since November 21, 2005, a double-overtime affair against Bradley.
Free Throw Shooting Among Nation’s Best: Valpo is currently ranked 19th in NCAA Division I shooting 76.0% from the charity stripe. Individually, Agnieszka Kulaga is 23rd in the country from the line, connecting on 85.4% of her tries. Aimee Litka is second in the Horizon League shooting 85.5% from the stripe, but is several attempts shy of being eligible for the national leaders.
Kulaga Earns Three League Honors: Agnieszka Kulaga earned her third Horizon League Player of the Week honor on January 21 after averaging 17.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 7.0 assists in two games. Kulaga first earned the award on December 10 after turning in a then career-best 26 points against North Texas in a Crusader victory. She then earned the honor again on January 7 after pouring in a career-high 29 points while adding six steals, six rebounds, and four steals in a victory over Butler.
Making Free Throws in Crunch Time: With the game on the line in the closing minutes, Valparaiso has been solid from the free throw stripe this season. Valpo is shooting 83.1% (59-of-71) as a team from the charity stripe in the game’s final two minutes. Agnieszka Kulaga has been virtually automatic in pressure situations, connecting on 27-of-29 tosses (93.1%) with the clock winding down. She proved her ability in the clutch against Green Bay, sinking three free throws with 0.2 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime.
Home Sweet Home: Valpo has had constant success at the ARC over the past seven years. This season the Crusaders are 8-3 at home and since the beginning of the 2001-2002 campaign, Valpo has posted a 70-19 (.787) record at the ARC.
Hochstetler Named Scholar-Athlete of the Week: Leah Hochstetler was the Horizon League Scholar-Athlete of the Week on December 18. The junior scored all five of her points in the final minute, including the game-winning three-pointer against South Dakota State. In the classroom, Hochstetler has a 3.87 grade point average in nursing.
Valpo Picked Fifth in Horizon League Race: Valparaiso has been tabbed to finish in fifth place in the Horizon League in its inaugural season according to the preseason poll conducted of the league’s head coaches, sports information directors, and selected media outlets. Milwaukee was picked to win the league followed by nine-time defending regular season champion Green Bay.
Valpo Adds Two for Next Year’s Class: Head coach Keith Freeman has signed two players to National Letters of Intent. Lauren Kenney is a 6’0” forward from Moorsville, Ind. who is currently playing at Lincoln Trail College. Sylwia Zabielewicz is a 6’6” center from Warsaw, Poland who is currently playing at Midland College. Both players will have two years of eligibility remaining.