Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Women Tip-off Season #39 Saturday Evening
Kelly Peller returns after missing last year due to injury. (Ray Acevedo)
Kelly Peller returns after missing last year due to injury. (Ray Acevedo)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Game #1: Nov. 14, 2009, 7:05 p.m. CST
Indiana Tech (0-2, 0-0 WHAC)
at Valparaiso (0-0, 0-0 Horizon)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.

Coming Up in Crusader Hoops: Valparaiso will tip off the 39th season of women’s basketball on Saturday evening at the Athletics-Recreation Center as the Crusaders host Indiana Tech.  The contest begins a three-game homestand for the Brown and Gold to begin the season, matching the longest stretch Valpo will be at home all season.

On the Air: Saturday’s game against Indiana Tech will be carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at valpoathletics.com. Mike Targonski and Renee Turpa will call all the action live from the Athletics-Recreation Center.  In addition, the game can be viewed live online through the Horizon League Network at horizonleaguenetwork.tv or through the link at valpoathletics.com.  Live stats will be available through www.valpoathletics.com as well.

Series Notes: Valparaiso and Indiana Tech are meeting for the 10th time, but the first since January 5, 1988 when the Warriors posted a 77-55 victory over the Crusaders in Fort Wayne, Ind.  Indiana Tech leads the all-time series 7-2, and have won three straight.  Valpo’s last win against the Warriors was here at the ARC on December 6, 1984, a 72-62 triumph.  Indiana Tech is 3-1 against the Crusaders in Valparaiso.

Head Coach Keith Freeman: In his 16th season on the Valparaiso bench, Keith Freeman has a 260-181 record at the helm of the Brown and Gold.  In his 22nd season overall, Freeman has a 389-228 career mark.

Wrapping Up Exhibition Play: Betsy Adams scored a game-high 27 points, including five three-pointers, and Ashley Varner grabbed a game-best 10 rebounds but the Crusaders fell to Indianapolis 67-56 on Nov. 1.  Valpo bounced back on Nov. 9 with an 87-46 victory over Indiana Wesleyan.  Kelly Watts tallied game highs with 17 points and nine boards while Skyler Gick poured in 14 points and had eight assists for the Brown and Gold.

Scouting Indiana Tech: The Warriors are in the midst of a six-game season-opening road trip, having dropped the first two games of the 2009-2010 season.  Last Saturday Indiana Tech fell 80-63 in the season opener against Northwestern Ohio before being defeated 79-72 at Goshen on Wednesday evening.  Yasmine Coleman leads Indiana Tech in scoring and rebounding, averaging 15.5 points and 8.5 boards per game. Indiana Tech, a NAIA Division II program, also plays NCAA Division I IPFW this year.

Crusaders in Openers: Valpo is 11-26 all-time in season openers, with results from the 1973-1974 season unknown.  The Crusaders won their home opener last year 69-58 against Bowling Green at the ARC, snapping a two-game skid to open seasons.  Valpo has won four straight home openers dating back to the 2005-2006 season. 

Longest Homestand to Open a Season Ever: Valparaiso will open with three consecutive home games at the ARC.  The Crusaders have not even had two straight home games to open a season since 1986-1987 when Carthage and Lewis visited Valpo and has never started with three straight home games.

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.

Watts Looks for Immediate Impact: After having to sit out the 2008-2009 season per NCAA transfer rules after arriving at Valpo from Eastern Michigan, Kelly Watts will look to help the Crusaders from day one.  During exhibition play she averaged 12.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, including a 17-point, 9-rebound effort against Indiana Wesleyan in just 19 minutes of action.

Adams Tallies 27 vs. Indianapolis: Betsy Adams single-handedly kept the Crusaders in the exhibition game against Indianapolis, scoring 27 of the team’s 56 points.  The sophomore guard made 5-of-12 three-point field goals and finished the game 10-of-21 from the floor overall.  She also grabbed four rebounds.

Home Sweet Home: Valpo has had consistent success at the ARC over the past eight years.  Last season the Crusaders were 9-5 at home and since the beginning of the 2001-2002 campaign, Valpo has posted a 80-25 (.762) record at the ARC.

New Faces on the Roster: Four freshman all got their first taste of collegiate basketball for the Crusaders during exhibition play.  Skyler Gick averaged nine points per game and had eight assists for the Brown and Gold against Indiana Wesleyan while Laura Richards spearheaded the Valpo defense.  Raegan Moore tallied nine points and five boards against Indiana Wesleyan while Gina Lange missed the Indianapolis contest before playing 11 minutes against the Wildcats.

Lighting It Up from Downtown: Valpo, which graduated more than 2,700 career points a year ago, tried to make up for the loss from long range against Indiana Wesleyan.  The Crusaders drained 11-of-14 three-point attempts (78.6%), while shooting 60% (33-of-55) overall from the floor.  Skyler Gick led the charge making four of her five attempts.  In the first exhibition game against Indianapolis, Betsy Adams put on an outside shooting exhibition, making five triples in the loss.

Welcome Back Kelly: Kelly Peller returns to the floor this season after sitting out as a redshirt last year.  The fourth-year junior had surgery on her legs last fall, but started both exhibition games this season.

Freeman Among Winningest Active Coaches: Keith Freeman enters the 2009-2010 season ranked 42nd among all active Division I coaches for career victories.  He has guided the Crusaders to more than 50% of the program’s victories all-time at Valpo.

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.

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