Game #18: Jan. 23, 2010, 1:35 p.m. CST
Wright State (5-11, 1-5 Horizon)
at Valparaiso (5-12, 2-4 Horizon)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.
Coming Up in Crusader Hoops: Valparaiso looks to bounce back from its tough overtime setback on Thursday night when the Crusaders return to the floor on Saturday afternoon to host Wright State. The game is Valpo’s final home contest during the first half of Horizon League play.
On the Air: Saturday’s game against Wright State will be carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at valpoathletics.com. Keaton Gillogly and Nick Garling will call all the action live from the Athletics-Recreation Center. The game can also be viewed live online through the Horizon League Network. Live stats will be available through www.valpoathletics.com as well.
Series Notes: Valparaiso and Wright State are meeting for the 15th time since 1990 with the Crusaders holding a 9-5 all-time advantage. The Raiders have won four of the last five games though, including two of three against Valpo last season. The Crusaders are 6-2 against Wright State at home all-time, winning the regular season meeting against the Raiders 64-58 last season on February 8 before falling in the Horizon League Tournament 64-59 on March 11. Wright State also won in Dayton 54-44 on January 8 of last season.
Head Coach Keith Freeman: In his 16th season on the Valparaiso bench, Keith Freeman has a 265-193 record at the helm of the Brown and Gold. In his 22nd season overall, Freeman has a 394-240 career mark. He is Valpo’s all-time winningest coach and has amassed more than half of the victories in the program’s history.
Wrapping Up Detroit: The Titans scored six points in the final 38 seconds of regulation to force overtime before scoring the first seven points of the extra session on the way to a 72-70 victory over Valpo Thursday night at the ARC. Lauren Kenney scored 24 points and had nine boards for Valpo while Kelly Watts added 14 points and nine rebounds.
Scouting Wright State: The Raiders have dropped three straight games following a 77-61 loss at Butler on Thursday night. LaShawna Thomas leads Wright State averaging 11.4 points per game while Molly Fox adds 9.4 points and 5.1 rebounds. Six different players are averaging at least seven points per game for the Raiders. As a team Wright State is shooting 40.6% from the floor and 30.4% from three-point range.
A Balanced Scoring Attack: Valparaiso had four players tally double figures for the second straight game against Detroit on Thursday. It marked the fourth time this season the Crusaders have had four players with 10 or more points in a game.
Season Highs in the Scoring Department: Lauren Kenney and Kelly Watts posted season highs in scoring on Thursday against the Titans. Kenney tallied 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting, making her first eight shots from the floor. Watts added 14 points, making 5-of-6 from the charity stripe.
Cleaning the Glass: Valpo leads the Horizon League with a +7.2 rebounding margin since Horizon League play began in early January. The Crusaders have outrebounded every league foe except for Butler, but the Bulldogs grabbed only one more rebound than the Brown and Gold. On Thursday, four players had eight or more boards, led by Lauren Kenney and Kelly Watts with nine each. Raegan Moore and Laura Richards both pulled down career highs with eight boards a piece as well.
Watts Gets to the Boards: Kelly Watts has pulled down 10.5 rebounds per game in Horizon League action through the first six games for the Crusaders. She grabbed nine more caroms on against Detroit and has 63 rebounds in the six league contests after grabbing just 41 total in the first 11 non-conference games of the season.
A Thief on the Loose: Raegan Moore registered a season-high four steals for the Crusaders against Detroit on Thursday. That matches the second most by a Crusader this season behind Betsy Adams’ six swipes in the season opener against Indiana Tech.
Overtime Streak Ends: Valpo had won five consecutive overtime games dating back to November, 2006 before suffering the extra session setback against Detroit. It was the second straight year the Crusaders and Titans went to overtime, with Valpo winning in the Motor City last year.
Farris Provides Offense: Whitney Farris has posted back-to-back double figure scoring games after tallying 10 points against Detroit on Thursday.
Taking Care of the Basketball: Laura Richards ranks third in the Horizon League with a 1.9 assist-to-turnover ratio this year. She registered six assists Thursday after back-to-back seven assist contests. She leads all conference players with a 2.7 assist-to-turnover ratio during league action.
Starting to Score: Valpo scored 70 points for just the second time this season on Thursday night against Detroit. The only other time the Crusaders have reached 70 this year was an 86-57 win against Indiana Tech in the season opener. Valpo is averaging 68 points per game over the last three contests after averaging just 46.9 points per game over the previous eight.
Adams Among Nation’s Leaders: Betsy Adams ranks 26th in all of NCAA Division I making 2.8 three-pointers per game this season. Her total is third best in the Horizon League as well.
Block Party: As a team Valpo has already blocked 41 shots in just 17 games, just four shy of the team’s total from all of 2008-2009. Last year the Crusaders finished with just 45 blocks in 30 contests.
Keeping Them Off the Scoreboard: Valpo allowed just 39 points against Loyola (Chicago) on January 4, matching the sixth fewest points ever allowed by a Crusader team in the 39th year of the program’s existence. The 39 points were the fewest allowed since the team set the school record of 31 on December 30, 2005 against UMKC.
A Perfect Effort: Betsy Adams went a perfect 10-for-10 against Colorado State from the free throw line. Her performance against the Rams marked the fourth most makes without a miss ever at Valpo.
Horizon League Player of the Weeks: Lauren Kenney was named the Horizon League’s Player of the Week on November 23 after leading Valpo to wins over SIU Edwardsville and Colorado State. The senior forward averaged 20.0 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 2.5 steals per game while registering double-doubles in both contests for the Crusaders. Ashley Varner then earned the honor on December 28 after scoring a career-high 23 points against Cincinnati.
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.
Freeman Among Winningest Active Coaches: Keith Freeman entered 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.