Game #22: Feb. 11, 2010, 7:05 p.m. CST
Cleveland State (11-5, 6-5 Horizon)
at Valparaiso (6-15, 3-7 Horizon)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.
Coming Up in Crusader Hoops: Valparaiso continues its three-game homestand on Thursday evening as the Crusaders welcome Cleveland State to the Athletics-Recreation Center. Both teams are looking to position themselves in the Horizon League standings for the upcoming postseason tournament.
On the Air: Thursday’s game against Cleveland State will be carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at valpoathletics.com. David Schroeder and Ben Hecke will call all the action 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 Cleveland State are meeting for the 18th time in a series that dates back to 1989. The Crusaders hold a 12-5 all-time advantage against the Vikings, but the two schools have alternated wins over the last six meetings. Cleveland State won this year’s first meeting on January 16, 71-68, in the Buckeye State. The series is tied 4-4 at the ARC.
Upcoming Promotions: At this Saturday’s game against Youngstown State, fans can receive four tickets for just $20. The game against the Penguins is also “Pack the House” and “Pink Zone” day. Valpo will be recognizing breast cancer survivors at the game while looking to fill the ARC as part of the WBCA women’s basketball initiative.
Head Coach Keith Freeman: In his 16th season on the Valparaiso bench, Keith Freeman has a 266-196 record at the helm of the Brown and Gold. In his 22nd season overall, Freeman has a 395-243 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 Butler: Raegan Moore came off of the bench to score 15 points to lead Valpo, but the Bulldogs went on a 16-2 run early in the second half and shot 48.1% from the floor over the final 20 minutes to post a 66-52 victory over the Crusaders on Saturday evening at the ARC. Lauren Kenney added 10 points and pulled down a game-high eight rebounds for the Crusaders, but Valpo shot just 31.3% from the floor for the game and made just 7-of-14 free throws. Melanie Thornton led Butler with 17 points, six rebounds, and five blocked shots.
Scouting Cleveland State: The Vikings have dropped three of their last four contests following a 74-64 setback against Loyola (Chicago) on Saturday afternoon in Cleveland. Kailey Klein leads the Horizon League in scoring, averaging 16.5 points per game while ranking sixth in the conference in rebounds, grabbing 7.5 per night. Shawnita Garland also ranks in the top-10 in the league in scoring, averaging 13.1 points per contest. Cleveland State leads the league in offensive rebounding, pulling down 14.5 per game as a team.
The First Time Around: Valpo took an eight-point halftime lead on January 16 in Cleveland, but the Vikings responded with a 19-4 second half run and defeated the Crusaders 71-68. Valpo had a shot to tie at the buzzer, but it came up short. Raegan Moore led four Crusaders in double figures with a career-high 20 points off of the bench while Betsy Adams added 14 points. Valpo shot 50% from three-point range (9-of-18). Shawnita Garland led Cleveland State with 24 points while Kailey Klein added 18.
Detroit’s Game Time Set: Valparaiso will face Detroit at 12 p.m. CST on February 20 at Calihan Hall.
Moore Goes for Doubles in Back-to-Back Games: Raegan Moore is coming off of her first back-to-back double figure scoring games of her collegiate career after scoring 15 points against Butler on Saturday night. The freshman tallied 17 points one week earlier against Green Bay as well. She now has four double figure scoring nights on the year.
A Freshman Thief: Laura Richards registered a career-high four steals for the Crusaders against Butler on Saturday, giving her 23 thefts over the first 21 games of her collegiate career. Richards ranks third on the team in steals after her fifth multi-steal game of the season, including a pair of three-steal contests earlier this season.
Knocking Down the Free Throws: Raegan Moore has been solid at the charity stripe of late, making 13-of-14 free throws in the last two games. The freshman, who is shooting 80.6% from the stripe in Horizon League action, has made 23 of her last 26 free throw attempts over the last six games, dating back to Valpo’s last contest against Cleveland State.
Adams in Single Season Top-10: Betsy Adams has moved into 10th place on Valpo’s single season three-point list with 58 triples this season. The sophomore guard just passed Michelle Russell (1993-1994) and is seven treys behind Suzie Hammel (2001-2002) for ninth place on the single season charts.
Watts Gets to the Boards: Kelly Watts has pulled down 9.9 rebounds per game in Horizon League action for the Crusaders. She has 89 rebounds in the nine league contests she has played in after grabbing just 41 total in the first 11 non-conference games of the season.
Balanced Minutes: Eight difference Crusaders are averaging at least 15 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 21 games this year.
Adams Among Nation’s Leaders: Betsy Adams ranks 25th in all of NCAA Division I making 2.8 three-pointers per game this season. Her total ranks second best in the Horizon League as well. Adams has made five or more triples in six games this season while draining four treys in another two 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.
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.