Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
First-Place Valpo Hits the Road at IUPUI; Crusaders Own 3-Game Win Streak

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

VALPO (8-7, 3-0) at IUPUI (8-10, 2-1)

WHEN: Thursday, January 23 - 7 p.m. EST (6 p.m. CST)

WHERE: IUPUI Gymnasium, Indianapolis, Indiana.

TV: (tape-delay) - None

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 has a career record of 8-7 in his 1st season. IUPUI is led by Ron Hunter, who has a career mark of 124-120 in his 9th season.

SERIES RECORD: Valpo leads 9-1
LAST MEETING: 2001-02 - Valpo won 88-55 in the Mid-Con Tournament Championship Game.

LAST GAME: Valpo defeated Chicago State 80-48 on Saturday in Valparaiso. IUPUI defeated UMKC 74-65 on Saturday in Kansas City, Missouri.

NEXT UP: Valpo travels to play at Oakland on Saturday at 6 p.m. EST (5 p.m. CST).

After winning its first three Mid-Continent Conference games at the ARC, Valpo (8-7, 3-0 Mid-Con) begins a two-game road swing on Thursday in Indianapolis against IUPUI (8-10, 2-1 Mid-Con). The Crusaders defeated Chicago State 80-48 on Saturday. Stalin Ortiz scored a career-high 25 points and grabbed eight rebounds. The senior from Cali, Colombia made nine of 11 shots. Kikas Gomes and Raitis Grafs added 11 and 10 points, respectively. IUPUI placed five players in double figures in a 74-65 road victory over UMKC last Saturday.

HOMECOURT WIN STREAK RANKS 9th NATIONALLY: Valpo's homecourt win streak of 19 ranks 9th nationally through games of Jan. 20. Brigham Young owns the nation's longest Division I homecourt win streak (44).

CRUSADERS' DEFENSE DOESN'T REST: Over the last four games, Valpo has not allowed its opponents more than 57 points in a game. In consecutive wins, the Crusaders held Southern Utah and Chicago State to 44 and 48 points, respectively. Valpo's defense allowed just 51.0 points per game during the four-game span.

FINISHING STRONG: The Crusaders made 68.8 (33 for 48) of their shots in the second half against Southern Utah and Chicago State. Valpo outscored the Thunderbirds and Cougars a combined 99-49 in the second half.

SHARING THE WEALTH: Quality passing has been a major factor during the Crusaders' three-game win streak. In each of the last two games - against Southern Utah and Chicago State - Valpo passed for 22 assists. Ali Berdiel has averaged 6.0 assists over the last three games, while Greg Tonagel has dished out 5.7 during the win streak.

NIEVES IGNITES CRUSADERS: Roberto Nieves has played a key role during Valpo's last four games. In the win over Southern Utah, he led the Crusaders with 15 points. He also scored a career-high 16 points and grabbed five rebounds in the win over Western Illinois. Nieves has been red-hot from 3-point land, draining eight of his last 15 treys. The 6'3" junior from Yabucoa, Puerto Rico has averaged 11.8 points over the last four games.

GRAFS HOT AT CHARITY STRIPE: Over the last 10 games, Raitis Grafs has made 80.0 percent (44 for 55) of his free throws.
W Golf IPFW Spring Invitational Fort Wayne, Ind. (Chestnut Hills G.C.)
Apr 7 9th/12 (642)
Softball Northern Illinois 6 VU Softball Field
Apr 8 Valpo 8
Baseball Valpo 5 Evanston, Ill.
Apr 8 Northwestern 12
Softball Northern Illinois 3 8 inn.
Apr 8 Valpo 4
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
M Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 11:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
W Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 5:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26 Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo