Game #19: Jan. 28, 2010, 7 p.m. CST
Valparaiso (6-12, 3-4 Horizon)
at Milwaukee (8-10, 3-4 Horizon)
Klotsche Center (5,000) - Milwaukee, Wis.
Coming Up in Crusader Hoops: After a victory over Wright State on Saturday, Valparaiso heads to the Badger State for a pair of games this week, beginning on Thursday evening when the Crusaders battle Milwaukee. Valpo and the Panthers are tied in the Horizon League standings heading into the contest.
On the Air: Thursday’s game against Milwaukee will be carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at valpoathletics.com. Keaton Gillogly and Chris Kleinhans Shultz will call all the action live from the Klotsche 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 Milwaukee are meeting for the 13th time in a series that dates back to 1983. The Panthers lead the overall series 8-4 but Valpo has won two straight after sweeping last year’s meetings. The Crusaders were 83-65 winners in Milwaukee on January 29 and 67-64 victors at the ARC on February 28. The Panthers lead the series 5-2 all-time in Milwaukee.
Head Coach Keith Freeman: In his 16th season on the Valparaiso bench, Keith Freeman has a 266-193 record at the helm of the Brown and Gold. In his 22nd season overall, Freeman has a 395-240 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 Wright State: Betsy Adams shot 6-of-9 from three-point range on her way to 22 points, and Lauren Kenney added 11 points and nine rebounds as the Crusaders topped the Raiders 59-52 on Saturday afternoon at the ARC. Valpo shot 58% from the floor in the second half and 53% for the game from three-point range in the victory. The Crusaders also outrebounded Wright State by seven.
Scouting Milwaukee: The Panthers have won two straight following a road sweep at UIC and Loyola last weekend. Lindsay Laur leads Milwaukee scoring 14.2 points per game while grabbing 8.3 boards per night. Ashley Imperiale adds 10.7 points per game for the Panthers, a team that shoots 42.7% from the floor. Milwaukee is looking to improve upon a 2-6 home mark thus far this season.
Count on Her for 10+: Betsy Adams has tallied double figures in 14 of the 18 games thus far for the Crusaders, with two of the other contests resulting in nine and eight points. The sophomore guard scored 20 points (22 to be exact) for the fourth time this season on Saturday against Wright State. Her career high of 25 points came at Youngstown State.
Need to Shoot the Ball Well: Valpo shot 46.7% on Saturday in the win against Wright State, the second best shooting night by the Crusaders from the floor. When the Brown and Gold shoots better than its opponents from the floor this year, Valpo has posted a 5-1 record compared to its 1-11 mark when shooting worse than the opposition.
Playing Defense in the League: Valpo is allowing just 56.0 points per game in conference action this season, best in the Horizon League. The Crusaders are limiting the opposition to just 39.0% shooting from the field, including a 26.2% mark from beyond the arc.
Scoring Inside: Lauren Kenney ranks third in the Horizon League shooting 54.9% from the floor this season overall. The senior has connected on 58.7% of her attempts during conference action, fourth best among Horizon League players. Kenney is averaging 11.8 points per game on the year, tallying double figures 11 times this season.
Cleaning the Glass: Valpo leads the Horizon League with a +7.1 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.
Watts Gets to the Boards: Kelly Watts has pulled down 10.3 rebounds per game in Horizon League action through the first seven games for the Crusaders. She grabbed nine more caroms on against Wright State and has 72 rebounds in the seven league contests after grabbing just 41 total in the first 11 non-conference games of the season.
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.
Balanced Minutes: Eight difference Crusaders are averaging at least 14 minutes a game for the Brown and Gold this season while nine different players have started at least one contest. Betsy Adams is the only Valpo player to have started all 18 games this year with Ashley Varner drawing starting assignments in 17 of them.
Taking Care of the Basketball: Laura Richards ranks third in the Horizon League with a 1.8 assist-to-turnover ratio this year. She has 26 assists and just 11 turnovers to lead all conference players with a 2.4 assist-to-turnover ratio during league action.
Adams Among Nation’s Leaders: Betsy Adams ranks 17th in all of NCAA Division I making 3.0 three-pointers per game this season. Her total leads the Horizon League as well.
Block Party: As a team Valpo has already blocked 42 shots in just 18 games, just three 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.