Valparaiso (7-19, 4-10 Horizon)
Game #27: Saturday, February 19, 2011, 11:05 a.m. CST
vs. UIC (11-13, 6-7 Horizon)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.
Upcoming in Crusader Basketball: Having won three straight home games following a thrilling come-from-behind victory on Thursday night, Valparaiso closes out its brief two-game homestand on Saturday morning entertaining UIC. The game against the Flames is Valpo’s annual WBCA Pink Zone game, honoring breast cancer survivors.
On the Air: Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) as well as online at www.valpoathletics.com. Chris Kleinhans-Schulz and Drew Taylor 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 276-221 (.555) record at the helm of the Brown and Gold. In his 23rd season overall, Freeman has a 405-268 (.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 UIC are meeting for the 34th time in a series that dates back to Dec. 4, 1980. The Crusaders lead the all-time series against the Flames 19-14, but UIC has won three of the last four meetings between the two schools. Earlier this season UIC posted a 63-42 victory in Chicago. The Crusaders are 11-3 all-time against the Flames in Valparaiso, but lost to UIC at the ARC 60-51 last season. Valpo’s last win against UIC came on March 6, 2010, an 88-77 triumph in the Windy City.
Wrapping Up Loyola: The Crusaders rallied from a 13-point deficit with juust over six minutes to play, closing the game on a 20-3 run to defeat the Ramblers 72-68 on Thursday evening at the ARC. Tabitha Geradot recorded her fourth straight double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds while Stefanie Lang added her first collegiate double-double with 12 points and a career-high 11 boards. Skyler Gick put Valpo on top for good with a lay-in with just 15 seconds remaining. Abby Skube led Loyola with 26 points and nine rebounds.
Scouting UIC: The Flames have lots three of their last four contests following a 78-57 loss at Butler on Thursday evening. Shameia Green paces UIC with 15.7 points per game while Briana Hinkle adds 12.6 points and 4.0 assists per contest. Jasmine Bailey is the team’s top rebounder, pulling down 8.9 boards per night. The Flames are shooting 38.7% from the floor but just 29.2% from three-point range this season. UIC forces 17.6 turnovers per contest while opponents shoot 41.4% versus the Flames. UIC is just 4-8 away from the UIC Pavilion this season.
Earlier This Season vs. UIC: An 11-0 Flames run midway through the second half broke open the game as UIC defeated Valpo 63-42 on Jan. 20 in Chicago. Valpo shot just 29.6% from the floor for the contest while the Flames connected at a 48.1% rate, including 56% in the second half. Jasmine Bailey led the Flames with 15 points and seven rebounds while Ashley Timmerman made five threes and finished with 15 points for the Crusaders.
Pink Zone Game Set for Saturday: Valparaiso’s game against UIC on Saturday morning is its annual Pink Zone game. The initiative, created by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), began in 2007 as a unified effort to raise awareness for breast cancer through women’s basketball, both on campuses and in communities. All fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game in support of the initiative. The women’s basketball team will be wearing special pink t-shirts during pregame warm-ups, and there will be giveaways for the first 200 fans in attendance.
Double Trouble: For the first time this season Valparaiso had two players register double-doubles on Thursday in the victory over Loyola (Chicago). Tabitha Gerardot scored 13 points and pulled down 11 rebounds while Stefanie Lang added 12 points while grabbing a career-high 11 boards. Lang’s previous rebounding high was six. The last time Valpo had two double-doubles in the same game was at Milwaukee on Jan. 26, 2010 when Lauren Kenney had 26 points and 13 rebounds while Kelly Watts added 12 and 11.
Just Another Double-Double for Gerardot: Tabitha Gerardot’s double-double was nothing new for the freshman. She has now registered double-doubles in four straight games and has nine total on the season. Gerardot is second on the team in scoring at 10.6 points per game, while leading the Crusaders with 7.6 rebounds per contest, a mark that ranks eighth in the Horizon League.
Coming From Behind: Valpo was down eight points at halftime, by as many as 14 in the second half, and still trailed by 10 with just over five minutes to play before rallying for the victory. It marks the second time this year (Detroit, Feb. 5) that the Crusaders won when trailing at the break. In all of 2009-2010, Valpo came from behind just once after trailing at halftime to win.
Getting Balanced Scoring: In the first 24 games of the season the Crusaders had four players tally double figures in the same game just once, the win at Loyola (Chicago) on Jan. 22. Over the last two games, at Youngstown State and at home against Loyola, the Crusaders have accomplished the feat both nights. On Thursday, Betsy Adams (12 points) and Rashida Ray (11 points) joined Tabitha Gerardot (13 points) and Stefanie Lang (12 points) with more than 10 for the contest.
Taking Care of the Basketball: Valparaiso has committed 15 or fewer turnovers in four of its last five games. The Crusaders gave the ball up a season-low eight times in the win against Loyola on Thursday. Valpo’s passing was also much improved, as the the Brown and Gold handed out a season-high 19 assists. Skyler Gick matched her career high with seven helpers in the win.
Winning a Close Game: Thursday’s victory over Loyola (Chicago) marked the first time this season, in four tries, the Crusaders posted a victory in a game decided by five points or less. Valpo did win a contest in overtime earlier this year though, downing Coastal Carolina by seven points in the extra session.
Adams Moves Into Eighth All-Time: Betsy Adams has moved into eight place in school history for three-pointers made after draining four triples against Loyola (Chicago) on Thursday. She now has 143 career triples, passing Heidi Diefenthaler (1992-1996). Next up on the list in seventh place is Megan Newcomer (1996-2000) with 145, just two ahead of Adams.
Joining the Single Season Charts: Betsy Adams has already made 65 three-pointers this season, moving into a tie for ninth place on the school’s single season charts, sharing the spot with Suzie Hammel in 2001-2002. Adams is just one trey behind Aimee Litka’s 2008-2009 total of 66, and three triples shy of a trio of players tied for fifth with 68 threes. The junior guard has made at least one trey in 24 of the 26 contests this season, being shutout against just Cincinnati and Notre Dame, when she attempted just one shot in each game.
From Deep: Betsy Adams and Ashley Timmerman rank as two of the top six Horizon League outside shooters this season. Timmerman, a 38.1% shooter from three-point range, is fourth in the conference while Adams connects at 37.4% from beyond the arc, sixth best in the league. Adams ranks third in the conference making 2.5 triples per night while Timmerman is 10th connecting on 1.7 per game.
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 her last 35 straight free throws dating back to the Coastal Carolina game on Dec. 4. Three times this season she has been a perfect 6-for-6 from the line in a game, including each of the last two games at Cleveland State and at Youngstown State. For the season Adams is connecting on 91.1% (51-of-57) from the free throw line.
This and That: Valpo has won three straight home game for the first time since Nov. 14-22, 2009 when the Crusaders won three straight to open 2009-2010 ... the last time Valpo won four straight home contests was Dec. 1, 2007 through Jan. 5, 2008 when Valpo won five straight home games ... Maegan Callaway scored a career high eight points against Loyola ... Stefanie Lang, in addition to her career high for rebounding, also had a career best with two steals against the Ramblers ... Ashley Timmerman had her string of 24 consecutive free throws made to open the season snapped against Loyola (Chicago) when she missed her first attempt of the game.