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Cleveland State Visits the ARC Saturday to Face Valpo Women
Tabitha Gerardot is second on the team in scoring and leads Valpo in rebounding this year. (Ray Acevedo)
Tabitha Gerardot is second on the team in scoring and leads Valpo in rebounding this year. (Ray Acevedo)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Valparaiso (3-13, 0-4 Horizon)
Game #17: Saturday, January 15, 2011, 1:35 p.m. CST
vs. Cleveland State (9-7, 2-3 Horizon)

Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.

Upcoming in Crusader Basketball: It is a short turnaround for Valparaiso as the Crusaders return to the hardwood on Saturday afternoon to host Cleveland State at the ARC.  Valpo is looking to bounce back from a six-point defeat at the hands of Youngstown State on Thursday evening while wrapping up this brief two-game homestand.

On the Air: Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) as well as online at www.valpoathletics.com.  Keaton Gillogly and Drew Taylor will be calling all of the action live from the Athletics-Recreation Center.  In addition, the game can be seen live online through the Horizon League Network.  Live stats will be available through www.valpoathletics.com for the game as well.

Head Coach Keith Freeman: In his 17th season on the Valparaiso bench, Keith Freeman has a 272-215 (.559) record at the helm of the Brown and Gold.  In his 23rd season overall, Freeman has a 401-262 (.605) career mark.  He is Valpo’s all-time winningest coach and has amassed more than half of the victories in the program’s history.

Series Notes: Valparaiso and Cleveland State are meeting for the 19th time in a series that dates back to Jan. 13, 1989.  The Crusaders hold a 12-6 advantage all-time against the Vikings, but Cleveland State has won four of the last six meetings between the two schools, including two straight last season.  The Vikings were a 71-68 victor in Cleveland on Jan. 16 before downing Valpo 82-59 at the ARC on Feb. 11, 2010.  Cleveland State leads the series all-time at Valpo 5-4 and has won three straight at the ARC.

Wrapping Up Youngstown State: The Penguins jumped out to an 18-5 lead six minutes into the contest and Valpo could never come all the way back on Thursday night as Youngstown State defeated the Crusaders 61-55 at the ARC.  The Crusaders closed within two early in the second half, but could never tie or take the lead in the contest.  Betsy Adams led Valpo with 20 points, including four three-pointers, while Tabitha Gerardot added eight points and nine rebounds.  Brandi Brown paced everyone with 29 points and 18 rebounds, including nine on the offensive end, for the Penguins.

Scouting Cleveland State: The Vikings have dropped two straight following a 73-65 setback on Thursday evening against Butler in Indianapolis.  Shawnita Garland leads the way for Cleveland State averaging 13.8 points per game.  Shalonda Winton adds 12.7 points and 9.1 rebounds per contest after posting 19 points and 12 boards on Thursday against the Bulldogs.  Winton is shooting 47.6% from the floor on the year.  As a team Cleveland State is forcing 20.7 turnovers per game and shooting 41.4% from the floor as well as 71.2% from the free throw line.

Another 20-Plus Point Night for Adams: Betsy Adams scored 20 points on Thursday evening against Youngstown State to take home team-high honors for the fifth straight game.  It was Adams second straight 20-point effort and the fifth time this year she has scored at least that many in a game.  It also marked the 11th time in 16 games this season that the junior has tallied at least 15 points in a game.  Adams leads the way for Valpo averaging 14.4 points per game, the eighth best scoring mark in the Horizon League this season.

Lange Produces Inside: Gina Lange has been a consistent producer for the Crusaders this season in the post.  She has pulled down four or more rebounds in eight of her last nine games, including a seven-rebound effort against Youngstown State on Thursday.  For the year Lange is second on the team with 5.9 rebounds per contest.  The sophomore also has averaged 8.5 points per game over the last four contests, increasing her season scoring average to 6.6 points per night overall, third best on the team.

Crusaders Also Improving at the Line: Valparaiso is just a 69.5% free throw shooting team on the season, but the Crusaders have been much better in the five games following Christmas break.  Valpo has shot 77.6% in the contests against during the span.  The Crusaders had their best single game shooting day of the year last Saturday against Wright State, connecting on 90.9% (10-of-11) from the charity stripe against the Raiders.

From Deep: Betsy Adams and Ashley Timmerman rank among the Horizon League’s top outside shooters this season.  Adams, a 42.7% shooter from three-point range is second in the conference while Timmerman connects at 39% from beyond the arc, fifth best in the league.  Adams’ mark also ranks the her 32nd nationally in Division I from long range.  The junior is also second in the conference making 2.6 triples per game.

Super Woman: For the second time this season Betsy Adams never stepped off of the court on Thursday night against Youngstown State, playing all 40 minutes.  She also went the distance at IPFW on Dec. 8, the only two times during her career she has played the duration of the contest.  Adams’ career high for minutes played is 44 in an overtime contest one year ago at Detroit.

Adams Moves Into the Top-10:
Betsy Adams made four three-pointers against Youngstown State on Thursday night to move into a tie for 10th all-time in school history for triples made.  She now has 119 career threes, matching Amy Cole (1987-1991) on the top-10 list.  Next up on the list in ninth place is Kathryn Knoester (2000-2004) with 132, 13 ahead of Adams.  Betsy Adams has already made 41 triples this season after making 64 last year to rank 10th on the single season charts.  The junior guard has made at least one trey in 14 of the 16 contests this season, being shutout against just Cincinnati and Notre Dame, when she attempted just one shot in each game.

Shutting Out the Bench: Valpo did not allow Youngstown State’s reserves to score a single point on Thursday night.  The Crusader subs outscored the Penguins 14-0 for the game.

Another Near Double-Double for Gerardot: Tabitha Gerardot has already tallied five double-doubles in her brief 15-game career as a Crusader and has just missed on number six on back-to-back occasions.  The freshman had 13 points and nine boards, including six on the offensive end, against Wright State last Saturday.  She added eight points and nine boards Thursday against Youngstown State.  Gerardot already has double-doubles against Cincinnati, Evansville, Coastal Carolina, Chicago State, and Eastern Illinois this year, and is second on the team in scoring at 10.0 points per game, while leading the Crusaders with 7.2 rebounds per contest.

A Small Change in the Lineup: After starting the same five players for the first 14 games of the year, Ashley Timmerman made her first Crusader start for Valpo against Wright State.  She joined mainstays Betsy Adams, Tabitha Gerardot, Gina Lange, and Laura Richards as a member of the starting five.  That same lineup, with Timmerman added, was then used Thursday against Youngstown State as well.

Accepting Charity: After making just four of her first seven free throws this season, Betsy Adams has found her stroke at the charity stripe.  The junior guard has made 26 of her last 28 attempts beginning with the Lamar game on Nov. 20, including her last 14 straight.  For the season Adams is connecting on 85.7% from the free throw line, the fourth best mark in the Horizon League.

Needing the Lead Early: Thus far this season the Crusader have not been able to overcome a halftime tie or deficit to pull out a win.  On the other hand, when Valpo has led going into the locker room, the Brown and Gold is a perfect 3-0. 

Still Able to Rally for the Win Though: Despite needing the lead at halftime to win so far this year, the Crusaders showed they were able to come from behind in all three contests.  While Valpo led the entire second half against Austin Peay after trailing early in the game, the Brown and Gold came from nine points down with less than 12 minutes to play to post the overtime triumph against Coastal Carolina.  Valpo also rallied from behind in the second half to defeat Eastern Illinois.

This and That: Betsy Adams has led Valpo in scoring in 11 of 16 games this season ... Tabitha Gerardot had nine rebounds against Youngstown State to lead the Crusaders in that category for the 10th time during her freshman campaign ... Valpo is 56th in the country making 6.8 three-pointers per game.