VALPO (6-9, 3-3 Mid-Con) vs. CENTENARY (9-7, 3-2 Mid-Con)
WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 22 - 7:05 p.m. CST
WHERE: ARC, Valparaiso, Indiana
RADIO: WEFM (95.9, Michigan City), WVUR-FM (95.1, Valparaiso) - Todd Ickow and Andy Viano announcing.
TV: (tape-delay) - Comcast Cable - Channel 43 in Valparaiso - Dick Harlan and Paul Curtis announcing. Airs Jan. 29 at 7 p.m.
THE COACHES: Valparaiso is guided by Homer Drew, who has a career record of 511-315 in his 27th season and a record at Valpo of 242-193 in his 15th season. Centenary is led by Kevin Johnson, who has a career mark of 55-71 in his 5th season and a record at Centenary of 55-71 in his 5th season.
SERIES RECORD: Centenary leads 3-1
LAST MEETING: 1992-93 - Centenary won 92-89 in OT
LAST GAME: Valpo defeated Western Illinois 73-57 on Saturday in Valparaiso. Centenary defeated Houston 63-57 on Monday in Houston.
NEXT UP: Valpo hosts Southern Utah on Saturday at 3 p.m.
Valpo (6-9, 3-3 Mid-Con) enters Thursday's game against Centenary riding a two-game win streak. The Crusaders, who defeated Western Illinois last Saturday 73-57, are one-half game behind Centenary (9-7, 3-2), IUPUI and Chicago State for third place in the Mid-Con. Oral Roberts (5-1) and UMKC (4-1) are at the top of the league. Centenary, also owning a two-game win streak, is coming off a non-conference road win over Houston (63-57) Monday night and a home victory over Oakland (83-68) last Saturday.
FRESHMEN MILES, SYLLA HAVE BREAKOUT GAMES IN WIN OVER WESTERN ILLINOIS: Freshmen Jimmie Miles and Oumar Sylla were a big part of the Crusaders' offense in last Saturday's win over Western Illinois. Miles, who scored a team-high 17 points, made 6-of-10 shots. Sylla, who has become a major defensive force, tied his career-high with 10 points.
DAN OPPLAND PLAYING AT HIGH LEVEL: Sophomore Dan Oppland has been the model of consistency. The 6'8" forward, who leads the team in scoring (14.7 ppg.), has tallied double-figure points in 14 of the 15 games and grabbed twin-digit rebounds three times. He has been particularly impressive in Mid-Con games, averaging 17.8 ppg. and shooting .615 from the field. Oppland stands 4th overall in the Mid-Con in field goal percentage (.563).
BERDIEL DEMONSTRATES COMPLETE GAME: In the last three games, Ali Berdiel has provided solid numbers in several areas. The 6'6" junior has averaged 18.0 ppg., 8.7 assists and 4.3 rpg. during the trio of games. Through games of Jan. 21, Berdiel ranks 2nd in the Mid-Con in assists with 6.33 per game (95 in 15 games).
GOMES LEADS MID-CON IN REBOUNDS, BLOCKED SHOTS: Kikas Gomes, who has eight double-doubles on the season, leads the Mid-Con in both rebounding (10.1 pg.) and blocked shots (2.0 pg., 30 in 15 games) through Jan. 21. Gomes has blocked eight shots over the last two games.
VALPO LEADS MID-CON IN TWO DEFENSIVE CATEGORIES: The Crusaders have played solid defense this season as evidenced by their leadership of two Mid-Con categories. Valpo tops the league in field goal percentage defense (.409) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (.286).