Valpo Continues Road Stretch At Loyola; Crusaders and Ramblers Play For First Time In 20 Years
Thursday, December 5, 2002
VALPO (2-2) at LOYOLA (2-2)

WHEN: Saturday, December 7 - 1 p.m. CST

WHERE: Gentile Center, Chicago, Illinois

TV: (tape-delay) - AT&T Cable - Channel 43 - in Valparaiso. Dick Harlan announcing.

RADIO: WEFM (95.9, Michigan City), WVUR-FM (95.1, Valparaiso) - Todd Ickow and Drew Wolf announcing.

THE COACHES: Valparaiso is guided by Scott Drew, who is 2-2 in his 1st season. Loyola is led by Larry Farmer, who has a career mark of 144-145 in his 11th season.

SERIES RECORD: Loyola leads 27-8
LAST MEETING: 1982-83 - Loyola won 69-58

LAST GAME: Valpo lost to Cincinnati 76-50 on Monday in Cincinnati. Loyola defeated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 94-77 on Tuesday in Corpus Christi, Texas.

NEXT UP: Valpo travels to play at Wisconsin-Milwaukee next Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. CST.

A blast from the past can be seen on Saturday when Valpo (2-2) travels to Chicago to play Loyola (2-2) in a 1 p.m. tipoff. The schools will meet on the court for the first time in 20 years. Saturday's matinee' marks the 36th game in the all-time series.

The Crusaders, in the middle of a three-game road stretch, will attempt to get back into the win column after falling to Cincinnati 76-50 on Monday in the Queen City. Raitis Grafs topped Valpo with 11 points. Loyola returns home after defeating Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 94-77 on Tuesday in Corpus Christi. Terrance Whiters led the five Ramblers in double-figures with 26 points. Valpo and Loyola have a common opponent - Northern Illinois. The Crusaders defeated the Huskies 78-67 Nov. 30 in Valparaiso. The Ramblers lost to NIU 69-67 Nov. 27 in DeKalb, Ill.

CLEANING THE GLASS: Valpo has outrebounded each of its first four opponents and holds a 38.2 to 31.8 advantage on the glass.

GRAFS, GOMES SHINE: Through the first four games, Valpo's frontcourt has been a bright spot. Raitis Grafs and Joaquim "Kikas" Gomes have combined to average 32.3 ppg. and 13.8 rpg. A 6'11" senior, Grafs (19.3 ppg.) made 9 of 11 shots on his way to his 23-point effort against Northern Illinois. He scored a season-high 25 points in a win over Indiana State. Gomes (13.0 ppg., 6.5 rpg.) recorded a double-double (14 points, 14 rebounds) against Syracuse. A 6'9" junior, Gomes tallied a career-high 16 points against Northern Illinois.

GOMES TOPS MID-CON IN FIELD GOAL%: Kikas Gomes leads the Mid-Con in field goal percentage (.600) through games of Dec. 4. Raitis Grafs stands 2nd in blocked shots (1.8 pg.) and 3rd in field goal percentage (.588). Greg Tonagel ranks 3rd in assist/turnover ratio (2.17) and Ali Berdiel is 3rd in steals (2.5 pg.).

ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD: After the Crusaders face Loyola on Saturday, they will play at Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m.