Game #26: Feb. 25, 2010, 7:05 p.m. CST
Green Bay (22-3, 11-3 Horizon)
at Valparaiso (7-18, 4-10 Horizon)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.
Coming Up in Crusader Hoops: Valparaiso begins its final homestand of the 2009-2010 regular season on Thursday evening as the Crusaders host Green Bay. Valpo is looking to rebound from a pair of road losses last weekend while the Phoenix enter the contest winners of four straight and six of their last seven overall.
On the Air: Thursday’s game against Green Bay will be carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at valpoathletics.com. David Schroeder and Julian Vigliano 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 Green Bay will meet for the 24th time in a series that dates back to 1986. The Phoenix have won four straight contests between the two schools, including a 78-54 victory over the Crusaders back on January 30 in Wisconsin. Green Bay holds a 9-2 advantage over Valpo at the Athletics-Recreation Center, but the Crusaders last win in the series came at the ARC on January 19, 2008, 90-88 in overtime.
Upcoming Promotions: At the Saturday, February 27 game against Milwaukee, fans can receive four tickets for just $20. The game against the Panthers also marks Senior Day, where Valpo’s four seniors will be honored prior to tip-off.
Head Coach Keith Freeman: In his 16th season on the Valparaiso bench, Keith Freeman has a 267-199 record at the helm of the Brown and Gold. In his 22nd season overall, Freeman has a 396-246 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: Valpo could not recover from a 15-point halftime deficit and fell to the Titans 67-49 on Saturday afternoon in Detroit, Mich. The Crusaders committed 12 first half turnovers to offset 50% shooting from the floor in the opening 20 minutes, and shot just 32.3% in the second half while suffering their fifth straight loss on the road. Lauren Kenney led Valpo with 12 points while Whitney Farris added 10 points and grabbed six rebounds. Jalesa Jones led the Titans with 16 points while Yar Shayok pulled down 13 boards as Detroit outrebounded Valpo 39-32 on the day.
Scouting Green Bay: The Phoenix enter play just one-half game out of first place in the Horizon League standings following a 72-49 victory at home against Loyola (Chicago) on Saturday afternoon. Green Bay has won four straight, and also six of its last seven. Kayla Tetschlag leads Green Bay averaging 15.0 points per game while Julie Wojta adds 14.8 points and 6.3 boards per contest. As a team the Phoenix are shooting 46.4% from the floor and 76.8% from the charity stripe.
The First Time Around: Valpo hung with #24/22 Green Bay for 25 minutes before the Phoenix went on a 24-2 run midway through the second half on the way to a 78-54 victory over the Crusaders on January 30 in Green Bay, Wis. Valpo started the game making 10 of its first 12 from the floor, including 6-of-6 from three-point range, but committed 26 turnovers on the afternoon. Raegan Moore led Valpo with 17 points off of the bench while Betsy Adams added nine more. Julie Wojta led the Phoenix with 14 points.
Farris Has Big Weekend: Whitney Farris registered her first collegiate double-double last Thursday evening at Wright State. The senior scored a career-high 22 points against the Raiders, six more than her previous best, while tying a career-best with 10 rebounds. Farris then followed her effort up on Saturday afternoon at Detroit with 10 points, her fifth double figure scoring game of the season, while pulling down a team-high six rebounds.
Peller Posts Season High: Senior Kelly Peller scored a season-high seven points on 3-of-5 shooting on Saturday afternoon at Detroit. She also dished out a pair of assists while returning to the starting lineup for the first time since December 5.
Making Shots Key to Valpo’s Success: As is the case for most teams, Valpo’s success shooting the ball translates into victories or defeats. The Crusaders are 6-1 when shooting better than their opponents from the field compared with a 1-17 mark when the opposition shoots a higher percentage from the floor.
Who’s Starting Tonight?: Valpo has seen 10 of its 13 players draw at least two starting assignments on the season, with no one starting more than 23 of the 25 games this year for the Brown and Gold. In fact, only Ashley Varner, Whitney Farris, and Laura Richards have seen action in all 25 games on the season.
Kenney Makes Shots: Lauren Kenney ranks second in the Horizon League shooting 55.4% from the floor this season. Her shooting percentage currently ranks sixth on Valpo’s single season charts, behind Sarrah Stricklett’s fifth place mark of 56.3%. Kenney’s 2008-2009 percentage of 54.4% is seventh on the all-time list as well.
Richards Moves Into Third in Assist/Turnover Ratio: Laura Richards ranks third on the Horizon League’s charts with a 1.8 assist-to-turnover ratio. The freshman has 66 assists this year against just 37 miscues.
Adams in Single Season Top-10: Betsy Adams has moved into 10th place on Valpo’s single season three-point list with 60 triples this season. The sophomore guard has passed Michelle Russell (1993-1994) and is five treys behind Suzie Hammel (2001-2002) for ninth place on the single season charts.
A Record-Setting Afternoon: Valparaiso held Youngstown State to a record-low for points allowed in a game, surrendering just 28 points against the Penguins on February 13. Earlier this season, on January 4, Valpo matched what is now the seventh fewest points ever allowed by a Crusader team, 39, against Loyola (Chicago).
Nearly a Record Victory Margin as Well: The 52-point margin of victory against Youngstown State on February 13 was the second largest in school history. On February 1, 1978 Valpo defeated Grace on the road by 54 points, 88-34.
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. 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.