Game #24: February 17, 2009, 7:05 p.m. CST
Chicago State (13-11, Independent)
Valparaiso (12-11, 7-6 Horizon)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.
Coming Up in Crusader Hoops: Valparaiso will begin its final four-game homestand of the season on Tuesday evening, as the Crusaders step out of conference for the final time in 2008-2009 to host Chicago State. The Crusaders will be looking to build momentum as they begin the final three weeks of the regular season in a competitive Horizon League race.
On the Air: Tuesday’s game against Chicago State will be carried live on the Horizon League Network at horizonleaguenetwork.tv or through the link at valpoathletics.com. In addition, the game can be heard live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and through the Valpo athletics website. David Schroeder and Adam Amin will call all of the action live from the ARC. Live stats are also available via Gametracker through valpoathletics.com.
Series Notes: Valparaiso leads the all-time series against Chicago State 33-4 and has won all 18 meetings between the two schools in Valparaiso. Valpo won the first 23 meetings overall between the two former Mid-Continent Conference foes, and has won the last two contests. The two schools have not met since February 19, 2007, when Valparaiso defeated the Cougars 57-46 at the ARC.
Wrapping Up UIC: Launa Hochstetler scored 17 points, tied her career high with nine rebounds, and dished out four assists, but the rest of the Crusaders could not get on track Saturday evening as the Flames defeated Valpo 61-50 in Chicago. Valpo shot just 32.7% for the game and was outrebounded by UIC 41-31 for the contest. Agnieszka Kulaga added 14 points for the Brown and Gold while Jessie Miller led UIC with 20 points and six assists, scoring 16 points in the second half. Shameia Green added 13 points and Meghan Hutchens had 10 for the Flames.
Scouting Chicago State: The Cougars had their two-game winning streak snapped on Saturday afternoon with a 79-66 loss to Utah Valley State. Chicago State is just 3-7 on the road this year. Jasmin Dixon leads the Cougars offensively, averaging 15.2 points per game on the year. Alyssa Waldon adds 11.9 points per contest for Chicago State while Courtney Waldon is the third Cougar scoring in double figures with 10.8 points per night.
Hochstetler From Deep: Launa Hochstetler tied a career high with four three-point field goals on Saturday evening at UIC, matching her total set earlier this year at North Texas. The senior is shooting 37.8% from long range on the season, ranking fifth in the Horizon League in three-point shooting percentage. Her four triples on Saturday helped her to a team-high 17 points.
Hochstetler Gets to the Boards as Well: In addition to filling up the cylinder on Saturday at UIC, Launa Hochstetler also matched her career best with nine rebounds. The 5’6” guard led Valpo with the nine caroms, as the Crusaders had just 31 total on the night. She also had nine boards last season against Saint Xavier, and on both occasions needed just one more to record the first double-double of her career.
Taking Care of the Ball: Valpo is averaging just 16.2 turnovers per game during Horizon League action after committing 18.5 miscues during non-conference action. The Crusaders committed a season-low 10 miscues at Loyola last Thursday, and over the last four games have averaged just 13.5 per game.
Looking for a Winning Non-Conference Mark: Valpo enters the game 5-5 in non-conference action this season, and with a win against the Cougars would finish over .500 despite a difficult schedule. The Crusaders defeated the top team in the Atlantic Coast Conference (Florida State), top team in the Mid-American Conference (Bowling Green) and third place team in the Big Ten (Purdue) while also battling top-25 foes Notre Dame and South Dakota State.
A Quick Start is Key: Valparaiso is 10-2 on the season when leading at intermission, however the Brown and Gold is just 1-8 when trying to rally from a halftime deficit.
Big Homestand On Deck: The Crusaders begin the final homestand of the year on Tuesday evening, which ironically is their longest home stretch of the season as well. Valpo will play four straight home games beginning with the Cougars, including contests with the top two teams in the league, Butler and Green Bay. The Bulldogs visit this Saturday afternoon while the league-leading Phoenix come to town next Thursday as part of a doubleheader with the men. The home slate wraps up on Saturday, February 28 with a Senior Day contest against Milwaukee.
Think Pink: The Saturday, February 21 games against Butler has been designated as “WBCA Pink Zone” to raise awareness against breast cancer. Prior to the game, breast cancer survivors will be honored and the first 200 fans will be given pink t-shirts.
Among the Nation’s Best at the Free Throw Line This Year...: Agnieszka Kulaga and Launa Hochstetler rank 5th and 23rd respectively in all of NCAA Division I at the free throw line this season through games of February 12. Kulaga also leads the Horizon League shooting 90.2% (55-of-61) from the line this year while Hochstetler is an 6.0% (80-of-93) shooter this year.
... and Also All-time at Valpo: Launa Hochstetler and Agnieszka Kulaga both have surpassed the 225 attempt minimum from the free throw line to qualify on the all-time free throw percentage charts at Valpo. Hochstetler enters the game tops all-time as an 84.3% career free throw shooter while Kulaga ranks second making 84.0% of her attempts. Entering this season, Mo Drabicki (1994-1998) was at the top of the list shooting 83.0% for her career.
Kulaga and Litka Move Into Top-20 All-Time at Valpo in Scoring: Agnieszka Kulaga and Aimee Litka continue to leap frog one another on the all-time scoring charts. Kulaga has moved into a tie for 17th place with Michelle Russell (1991-1994) with 876 career points after scoring 14 at UIC on Saturday. Litka has moved into 18th place all-time at Valpo with 873 career points, three behind Kulaga. Kulaga needs 20 more points while Litka needs 23 more to reach Heidi Diefenthaler’s (1992-1996) 16th place total of 896 career points.
Surpassing 300 Assists: Launa Hochstetler’s feed to Whitney Farris with 13:53 to play in the second half against Loyola made the senior just the sixth Crusader in school history to reach the 300 assist mark for a career. Hochstetler currently has 325 career assists and needs just 15 more helpers to move into the top-five all-time wearing the Brown and Gold.
Kulaga Moves Into Top-15 in Assists: Agnieszka Kulaga had six assists against Loyola and now has 240 career assists to move past rank Jeanette Gray (1999-2003) into 12th place all-time wearing the Brown and Gold. She now trails Megan Newcomer (1996-2000) by just seven helpers for 11th on the all-time list.
Litka Moves Into Top-5 All-Time in Triples: Aimee Litka made one more three-pointers against UIC on Saturday evening and has moved into fifth place all-time at Valpo for triples made in a career. Litka now has 159 treys in four seasons, and is 12 triples shy of Sarah Lenschow’s fourth place total of 171 threes.