VALPO (2-4) vs. SAMFORD (4-2)
WHEN: Saturday, December 14 - 7:05 p.m. CST
WHERE: ARC, Valparaiso, Indiana
TV: (tape-delay) - Channel 56 - Dick Harlan and Joe Arredondo announcing. Airs at 9 p.m.
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 2-4 in his 1st season. Samford is led by Jimmy Tillette, who has a career mark of 93-60 in his 6th season.
SERIES RECORD: Samford leads 1-0
LAST MEETING: 1983-84 - Samford won 75-69
LAST GAME: Valpo lost to Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Wednesday in Milwaukee. Samford defeated Florida International last Saturday in the consolation game of the Pizza Hut Classic in Springfield, Missouri.
NEXT UP: Valpo hosts Belmont on Friday at 7:05 p.m.
On Saturday, Valpo (2-4) begins a three-game homestand by hosting Samford (4-2) from the Atlantic Sun Conference. The Crusaders lost at Wisconsin-Milwaukee 75-61 on Wednesday. Raitis Grafs led Valpo with 15 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Three other Crusaders tallied double-figure scoring as Stalin Ortiz added 14 points and Ali Berdiel and Greg Tonagel contributed 12 points each. Valpo made 16 steals, topped by Ortiz with five. Berdiel picked off four steals and Tonagel had three. Following Saturday's contest, Valpo will take a break for final exams and resume game action on Friday, Dec. 20 by hosting Belmont at 7:05 p.m. The pre-Christmas portion of the schedule concludes on Monday, Dec. 23 when the Crusaders entertain Central Michigan at 7:05 p.m.
WEDNESDAY AT THE STRIPE: Valpo was very efficient at the free throw line Wednesday, making 23 of 27. Stalin Ortiz converted six of seven, Raitis Grafs made five of six and Ali Berdiel swished four of four.
GRAFS, TONAGEL 2ND IN MID-CON CATEGORIES: Through games of Dec. 11, Raitis Grafs stands 2nd in the Mid-Con in blocked shots (1.8 pg.) and field goal percentage (.588), 4th in rebounding (7.7) and 6th in scoring (17.7 ppg.). Greg Tonagel ranks 2nd in 3-point field goal percentage (.500, 8-16). Kikas Gomes is 5th in free throw percentage (.813) and 6th in field goal percentage (.538). Stalin Ortiz ranks 3rd in steals (2.7 pg.) and Ali Berdiel is 4th in steals (2.5 pg.).
CLEANING THE GLASS: Valpo has outrebounded four of its first six opponents (tied Loyola with 38) and holds a 36.0 to 33.2 advantage on the glass.
TAKEAWAY ARTISTS: Valpo has been aggressive on the defensive end as evidenced by 60 steals. The Crusaders stand 2nd in the Mid-Con in steals per game (10.0) through games of Dec. 11. Stalin Ortiz leads the team with 16, while Ali Berdiel has snagged 15.