Valparaiso (4-17, 1-8 Horizon)
Game #22: Thursday, February 3, 2011, 7:05 p.m. CST
vs. Wright State (13-7, 6-3 Horizon)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.
Upcoming in Crusader Basketball: The second half of Horizon League action begins for Valparaiso on Thursday evening at the Athletics-Recreation Center as the Crusaders host Wright State. Valpo will look to climb the conference standings during the second half of league play, beginning against the Raiders, a team that downed the Crusaders in Dayton, Ohio earlier this year.
On the Air: Thursday’s game will be broadcast live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) as well as online at www.valpoathletics.com. Keaton Gillogly and Mike Pudlow will be calling all of the action live from the Athletics-Recreation Center. In addition, the game can be seen live online through the Horizon League Network. Live stats will be available through www.valpoathletics.com for the game as well.
Head Coach Keith Freeman: In his 17th season on the Valparaiso bench, Keith Freeman has a 273-219 (.555) record at the helm of the Brown and Gold. In his 23rd season overall, Freeman has a 402-268 (.602) career mark. He is Valpo’s all-time winningest coach and has amassed more than half of the victories in the program’s history.
Series Notes: Valparaiso and Wright State are meeting for the 18th time in a series that dates back to Feb. 5, 1990. The Crusaders lead the all-time series 10-7 but the Raiders have won six of the last eight meetings between the two schools. Valpo is 7-2 against Wright State at the ARC and has won two of the last three meetings at home, including a 59-52 win Jan. 23 of last season. Earlier this year the Raiders defended their home floor with a 90-67 win at the Nutter Center on Jan. 8.
Wrapping Up Green Bay: A 19-2 run spanning both halves seemed to be the difference on Saturday evening as the Crusaders fell 69-50 to the #22/16-ranked Phoenix. Rashida Ray scored a career-high 16 points for the Brown and Gold, making four-of-five three-pointers. Celeste Hoewisch led Green Bay with 17 points and the Phoenix connected on 18-of-21 from the free throw line. Valpo committed 18 turnovers in the game, which led to 20 Phoenix points, and was never able to cut the deficit under 19 after the Green Bay run early in the second half.
Scouting Wright State: The Raiders have won five of their last six games following a 77-76 buzzer-beating victory over Loyola (Chicago) at home on Saturday. LaShawna Thomas leads Wright State averaging 17.6 points per game, ranking second in the Horizon League, while adding a league-best 6.5 assists per night. Molly Fox scores 16.3 points per outing, including 19.7 in conference play. Fox is shooting a league-leading 63.6% from the floor and pulling down 9.8 rebounds per game, second in the Horizon League. Wright State leads the conference making 7.3 three-pointers per game.
Earlier This Season vs. WSU: Wright State shot 52% from long range, making 13 three-point field goals, on the way to a 90-67 win over the Crusaders on Jan. 8 in Dayton, Ohio. The Raiders used a 12-0 run in the first half and another 14-0 spurt in the second stanza to break the game open. Betsy Adams scored 19 of her team-high 21 points in the second half to lead the Crusaders while Tabitha Gerardot added 13 points and nine rebounds. Gina Lange also had 11 points for the Brown and Gold. Maria Bennett led Wright State with 26 points, making 8-of-12 from three-point range, while LaShawna Thomas added 22 points. Molly Fox also tallied 18 points for Wright State.
Ray Tallies Career High: Rashida Ray tallied a career-high 16 points for the Crusaders on Saturday evening against Green Bay, surpassing her previous mark of 12 set as a freshman against Cincinnati. The senior guard made 5-of-8 shots from the floor, including 4-of-5 from three-point range, and added a pair of free throws to cap the night. Ray also was solid on the defensive end of the floor, matching her career best with three steals, a mark she also obtained earlier this season against Chicago State.
Timmerman is Automatic: Ashley Timmerman has continued her perfection from the charity stripe on the season after making all four free throws she attempted against Green Bay. The junior college transfer is now a perfect 19-for-19 in her Crusader career, including a game earlier this season against Coastal Carolina in which she made all eight free throws she attempted. Timmerman was an 83% free throw shooter last year at Parkland College.
Giving Up Too Many Easy Shots: Valpo’s opponents are shooting 43.0% from the floor this season, but at an even higher rate since Horizon League began. In conference play the opposition is shooting 45.3% against the Crusaders, including 35.8% from three-point range. As a team Valpo is allowing 69.6 points per game overall while scoring just 57.2 points per game for the season.
Game Time Set for UIC on Feb. 19: Valparaiso has announced that the Feb. 19 game against UIC will begin at 11:05 a.m. The game has been moved to the evening to accommodate the men’s BracketBuster game against Missouri State which will begin at 4 p.m. on ESPN2. Hall of Fame inductions will take place between games at 1 p.m. in the Harre Union Ball Room
Making the Pass: Senior guard Rashida Ray had a career high four assists for the Crusaders against Milwaukee last Thursday. Ray, who’s previous high was three helpers last season against Chicago State, only had four total assists in the last six games combined prior to the Milwaukee game, but added another two on Saturday against Green Bay.
Dialing Long Distance: Starting with the Wright State game the first time around when the Crusaders made nine three-point field goals, Valpo has made at least seven triples in each of the last seven games. The Crusaders are averaging 7.1 triples per contest this season, second most in the Horizon League and 34th most nationally. Valpo is shooting 33.3% from long range as a team.
60 Points is the Magic Number on Defense: In all four of Valpo’s victories, the Brown and Gold has held the opposition in the 50s in the scoring column. However, when the opponent has hit 60 points, the Crusaders have not been able to produce a win on the year.
From Deep: Betsy Adams and Ashley Timmerman rank as two of the top five Horizon League outside shooters this season. Adams, a 38.7% shooter from three-point range, is second in the conference while Timmerman connects at 38.0% from beyond the arc, fifth best in the league. Adams is also second in the conference making 2.5 triples per game, ranking 48th in the country.
Accepting Charity: After making just four of her first seven free throws this season, Betsy Adams has found her stroke at the charity stripe. The junior guard has made 33 of her last 35 attempts beginning with the Lamar game on Nov. 20, including her last 21 straight. For the season Adams is connecting on 88.1% from the free throw line.
Adams Moves Into the Top-10: Betsy Adams has moved into 10th place in school history for three-pointers made. She now has 131 career triples, passing Amy Cole (1987-1991) to move onto the top-10 list. Next up on the list in ninth place is Kathryn Knoester (2000-2004) with 132, just one ahead of Adams. Betsy Adams has already made 53 threes this season after making 64 last year to rank 10th on the single season charts. The junior guard has made at least one trey in 19 of the 21 contests this season, being shutout against just Cincinnati and Notre Dame, when she attempted just one shot in each game.
This and That: As a team Valpo is shooting 78.5% from the free throw line in Horizon League play, second best in the conference ... Laura Richards ranks third in the Horizon League in assists averaging 3.8 per game ... Betsy Adams is 10th in the league in scoring at 13.9 points per game.