Valpo Battles UMKC For Share of 2nd Place
Sunday, February 27, 2005
VALPO (15-14, 10-5) at UMKC (15-11, 11-4)

WHEN: Monday, Feb. 28 - 7 p.m. CT

WHERE: Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, Mo.

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

TV: live - WYIN 56

THE COACHES: Valparaiso is guided by Homer Drew, who has a career record of 538-333 in his 28th season and a record at Valpo of 269-211 in his 16th season. UMKC is led by Rich Zvosec, who has a career mark of 160-204 in his 13th season and a record at UMKC of 57-56 in his 4th season.

SERIES RECORD: Valpo leads 19-5
LAST MEETING: Jan. 13, 2005 - UMKC won 84-78 in Valparaiso.

Valpo (15-14, 10-5) finishes its regular season at UMKC (15-11, 11-4) on Monday night at 7 p.m.with an opportunity to tie the Kangaroos for second place in the Mid-Continent Conference. A win would earn the Crusaders the third seed in Mid-Con Tournament to be held March 5-8 in Tulsa.

In the event of a tie, UMKC would win a tiebreaker for the second seed over Valpo because the Kangaroos posted a 2-0 record against Oral Roberts, which clinched at least a share of the regular season title Saturday night.

The Crusaders are coming off a 79-65 loss at ORU Saturday. Dan Oppland led Valpo with 22 points, while Jarryd Loyd added 10. UMKC lost its second straight game Saturday night, falling at Southern Utah 80-75. Four Kangaroos netted double figures, led by Mike English's 19 points.

Monday's Game to Air Live On WYIN 56: Valpo's game at UMKC on Monday (7 p.m.) will be televised live on WYIN 56.

VALPO RANKS 2nd NATIONALLY IN 3-POINT FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE: Valpo ranks 2nd in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage through games of Feb. 21. The Crusaders, who led the nation for three straight weeks, own a 41.1 percentage. Oklahoma State has vaulted to the top spot, shooting 42.9 percent. Arizona ranks 3rd.

OPPLAND MAINTAINS CONSISTENCY: Dan Oppland ranks 3rd in the Mid-Con in scoring with 18.3 ppg. The 6'8" junior has scored 1,162 points. In addition to scoring in double figures in 26 of the 29 games, Oppland is averaging 19.7 ppg. in Mid-Continent Conference games (ranks 4th). Overall, he also stands 4th in the league in free throw percentage (.773) and 9th in field goal percentage (.520).

HOWARD BLANKETS MID-CON CATEGORIES: Junior Ron Howard has elevated his game to a higher level this season. Valpo's second-leading scorer (14.0 ppg.), Howard ranks among the Mid-Con leaders in assists (7th, 3.8) and free throw % (7th, .750). Howard averages 16.9 ppg. in Mid-Con games, ranking 6th.

VALPO M.A.S.H. UNIT: Homer Drew has been forced to juggle a unit that has been besieged with injuries this season. Five players - senior point guard Ali Berdiel (27), freshman Shawn Huff (5), sophomore Kenny Harris (10), freshman Jarryd Loyd (4) and sophomore Jimmie Miles (5) have missed a total of 51 games due to injuries. Berdiel is out of action indefinitely. Valpo has played with eight scholarship players in nine games this season.

COLCLASURE 3rd IN MID-CON IN 3-POINT FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE: Seth Colclasure stands 3rd in the Mid-Continent Conference in 3-point percentage. Colclasure owns a .445 mark, making 61 of 137 from beyond the arc.