Crusaders Entertain Charlotte In Home Opener Saturday Night
Friday, November 26, 2004
VALPO (0-2) vs. CHARLOTTE (1-1)

WHEN: Saturday, November 27 - 7:05 p.m. CT

WHERE: ARC, Valparaiso, Indiana

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

TV: (tape-delay) - Comcast Cable - Channel 43 in Valparaiso. Dick Harlan and Paul Curtis announcing. Airs Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 1 at noon.

THE COACHES: Valparaiso is guided by Homer Drew, who has a career record of 523-321 in his 28th season and a record at Valpo of 254-199 in his 16th season. Charlotte is led by Bobby Lutz, who has a career mark of 296-165 in his 16th season and a record at Charlotte of 115-76 in his 7th season.

SERIES RECORD: Valpo leads 3-0
LAST MEETING: 2002-03 - Valpo won 73-59

Following two road games to begin the season, Valpo hosts Charlotte in the home opener on Saturday beginning at 7:05 p.m.

The Crusaders are coming off Tuesday's 68-55 loss against Central Michigan. Ron Howard led Valpo (0-2) with 12 points. Charlotte (1-1) was edged by Rutgers 73-71 on Monday in Charlotte. The 49ers were led by Eddie Basden with 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Curtis Withers, a Wooden Award Preseason All-America Candidate, added 14 points and seven rebounds, while Brendan Plavich added 10 points. Saturday's game is Charlotte's first road contest of the season. The 49ers won their season and home opener 93-64 over Long Beach State on Nov. 19.

CONFERENCE CHAMPS FLOOD VALPO SCHEDULE: As defending champions of the Mid-Continent Conference, Valpo is facing its share of conference champion opponents. Through their first eight games, the Crusaders oppose five league champions - Cincinnati, Charlotte (both shared Conference USA title in 2004), Duke (ACC, Dec. 4, 1 p.m., United Center), Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Horizon League, Dec. 11, 7:05 p.m. at ARC) and Illinois (Big 10, Dec. 19, 4 p.m. in Urbana-Champaign).

CRUSADERS HOST DUKE AT CHICAGO'S UNITED CENTER: Next Saturday, Dec. 4 at 1 p.m., Valpo will tip off against Duke at Chicago's United Center. The game at the United Center, which will be televised live on ESPN2, is the second for Valpo as the Crusaders were edged by Notre Dame 55-53 on Jan. 4, 2003.

HOWARD A POINT MAN IN EARLY GOING: Junior Ron Howard has led Valpo in scoring in each of the first two games. The Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young graduate netted 17 against Cincinnati and added 12 versus Central Michigan. Howard is averaging a team-best 14.5 points after averaging 5.8 a year ago.