Game #27: Feb. 27, 2010, 1:35 p.m. CST
Milwaukee (10-16, 5-10 Horizon)
at Valparaiso (7-19, 4-11 Horizon)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.
Coming Up in Crusader Hoops: The 2009-2010 regular season home schedule comes to an end on Saturday afternoon as Valparaiso hosts Milwaukee. Both teams are jockeying for position in the upcoming Horizon League Championships, and the Senior Day outcome may go a long way in determining who will be playing a home game in the first round of tournament play.
On the Air: Saturday’s game against Milwaukee will be carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at valpoathletics.com. Chris Kleinhans Shultz and Nick Garling 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 Milwaukee are meeting for the 14th time with the Panthers holding a 9-4 all-time advantage. The Panthers snapped Valpo’s two-game winning streak in the series earlier this season with a 54-48 victory over the Crusaders on January 28 in Milwaukee, Wis. Milwaukee holds a 3-2 advantage over Valpo at the ARC, but the Crusaders won last year’s meeting 67-64.
Upcoming Promotions: At the Saturday 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 and one manager will be honored prior to tip-off.
Head Coach Keith Freeman: In his 16th season on the Valparaiso bench, Keith Freeman has a 267-200 record at the helm of the Brown and Gold. In his 22nd season overall, Freeman has a 396-247 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 Green Bay: The Phoenix utilized a 21-2 run midway through the first half to break the game open and forced 26 Crusader turnovers on the way to a 69-44 victory over Valpo on Thursday evening at the ARC. The Crusaders shot just 34.9% from the floor while Green Bay connected at a 49.2% rate for the evening. Whitney Farris led the Crusaders with 10 points while Celeste Hoewisch scored 21 points and Julie Wojta added 14 more for the Phoenix.
Scouting Milwaukee: The Panthers have dropped two straight and six of their last seven following a 59-41 setback at Butler on Thursday afternoon. Lindsay Laur leads Milwaukee in scoring and rebounding, averaging 14.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. Laur ranks sixth in the league in scoring and is tied for fourth on the glass. Jodie McClain leads the Horizon League in assists, averaging 4.9 per contest. Milwaukee is the league’s second best free throw shooting team at 72.7%.
The First Time Around: Milwaukee allowed Valpo to score just two points outside of the paint or at the free throw line, and defeated the Crusaders 54-48 on January 28 in Wisconsin. Lauren Kenney and Kelly Watts both tallied double-doubles for the Crusaders. Kenney had 26 points and 13 boards while Watts tallied 12 points and 11 rebounds. Valpo went 0-for-16 from three-point range and shot just 29.9% from the floor for the game. Milwaukee went 19-of-22 from the free throw line to aid in the win. Lindsay Laur led the Panthers with 19 points and seven boards while Jodie McClain added 11 points.
Farris Picks Up Scoring Slack: Whitney Farris has helped pick up the scoring for the Crusaders since leading scorer Betsy Adams has been out. Farris has scored in double figures in three straight games, matching the longest streak of her career (Jan. 5-12, 2008). She is averaging 14.0 points per game over the last three contests, including a career-high 22 points at Wright State on February 18.
Fours are Wild: Laura Richards filled the stat sheet with fours on Thursday against Green Bay. She scored four points, had four steals, and dished out four assists. She also had four turnovers.
Blocking Shots: Raegan Moore posted a career-high with three blocked shots for the Crusaders against Green Bay, matching a team-high for the season. Valpo as a team also matched a season-high with five rejections against the Phoenix.
Lange Makes Most of Opportunity: After playing just 49 minutes through the first 23 games this year, Gina Lange has played 20 or more in three of the last four contests. She is averaging 6.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in those three contests, including four points and four boards against Green Bay.
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 24 of the 26 games this year for the Brown and Gold. In fact, only Ashley Varner, Whitney Farris, and Laura Richards have seen action in all 26 games on the season.
Kenney Makes Shots: Lauren Kenney ranks third in the Horizon League shooting 54.5% 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 1.7 assist-to-turnover ratio. The freshman has 70 assists this year against just 41 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.