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Crusader Women Close Homestand Saturday Hosting Detroit
Skyler Gick handed out six assists on Thursday in the win over Wright State. (Ray Acevedo)
Skyler Gick handed out six assists on Thursday in the win over Wright State. (Ray Acevedo)

Friday, February 04, 2011

Valparaiso (5-17, 2-8 Horizon)
Game #23: Saturday, February 5, 2011, 1:35 p.m. CST
vs. Detroit (10-11, 4-6 Horizon)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.

Upcoming in Crusader Basketball: After picking up their first home victory of the season on Thursday evening, the Valparaiso Crusaders wrap up their four-game homestand on Saturday afternoon entertaining Detroit.  Valpo is looking to finish the homestand with a .500 record and win back-to-back games for the first time since winning three straight from November 14-22, 2009.

On the Air: Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) as well as online at www.valpoathletics.com.  Chris Kleinhans-Schulz and Nick Garling 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 274-219 (.556) record at the helm of the Brown and Gold.  In his 23rd season overall, Freeman has a 403-268 (.603) 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 Detroit are meeting for the 12th time in a series that dates back to Feb. 20, 1989.  The Titans lead the all-time series 7-4 and have won the last four meetings between the two schools.  Detroit is 4-1 against Valpo at the ARC and has won each of the last two meetings on the Crusaders’ home floor, including a 72-70 overtime win last season.  Earlier this year the Titans defended their own home floor with a 68-52 victory at Calihan Hall on Jan. 6.  Valpo’s last win over Detroit came in the Motor City, a 70-65 overtime triumph on Jan. 10, 2009.

Wrapping Up Wright State:
Valpo’s defense limited the Raiders to just 28.6% shooting in the first half and Wright State missed its first 18 three-point attempts of the game as the Crusaders earned a 73-64 win at the ARC on Thursday.  Betsy Adams led Valpo with 19 points while Gina Lange added 11 points and nine rebounds.  Tabitha Gerardot also had 13 boards for the Brown and Gold.  LaShawna Thomas led the Raiders with 27 points while Molly Fox added 15 points and nine rebounds.

Scouting Detroit: The Titans snapped a two-game losing skid on Thursday evening with a 55-51 win at Butler.  Dominique Dixon leads Detroit in scoring averaging 12.7 points per game, including 18.5 points per Horizon League contest.  Yar Shayok adds 10.5 points per night.  Shayok also leads the Horizon League grabbing 10.3 rebounds per contest.  Seven different Detroit players average at least 6.5 points per contest.  The Titans are 5-8 away from Calihan Hall this season and shoot 39.8% from the floor on the season, but just 30.6% from three-point range and 62.9% from the free throw line. 

Earlier This Season vs. UDM: Valpo fell behind 34-12 just 16 minutes into the game and was never able to battle back as the Titans downed the Crusaders 68-52 on Jan. 6 at Calihan Hall.  Valpo pulled within 12 midway through the second half, but could never get any closer.  Betsy Adams and Stefanie Lang led Valpo with 15 points each but the Crusaders shot just 34.5% from the floor and committed 19 turnovers.  Cherridy Thronton led four Titans in double figures with 18 points while Yar Shayok, Lauren Allen, and Britney Murphy each had 12 points.  Shayok also had a game-high 11 rebounds.

High Flying Offense: Valpo’s 73 points on Thursday evening in the win over Wright State marked a season high for offensive output by the Crusaders.  The last time the Brown and Gold tallied more than 73 points in a game was March 6, 2010, an 88-77 win at UIC to close the regular season. 

Finally Enjoying the Home Court:
Valpo earned its first home win of the season in 10 tries against Wright State on Thursday.  All four of the Crusaders prior victories had come away from the Athletics-Recreation Center.

Crashing the Boards: Valpo did a solid job of getting to the glass in the win against the Raiders on Thursday.  The Crusaders outrebounded Wright State 53-40 despite the Raiders being the top rebounding team in the Horizon League, currently at +5.0 in rebounding margin.  Tabitha Gerardot matched her career high for the third time this season, pulling down a game-high 13 rebounds while Gina Lange just missed a double-double with nine boards to go along with her 11 points.

Timmerman is Automatic: Ashley Timmerman has continued her perfection from the charity stripe on the season after making both free throws she attempted against Wright State.  The junior college transfer is now a perfect 21-for-21 in her Crusader career, including a game earlier this season against Coastal Carolina in which she made all eight free throws she attempted.  Timmerman was an 83% free throw shooter last year at Parkland College.

Making the Extra Pass: Valpo finished the Wright State game with a positive assist-to-turnover ratio after handing out 16 helpers while committing just 15 miscues.  Skyler Gick led the Crusaders with six assists while Rashida Ray posted a career high five in the victory.

Game Time Set for UIC on Feb. 19: Valparaiso has announced that the Feb. 19 game against UIC will begin at 11:05 a.m.  The game has been moved to the evening to accommodate the men’s BracketBuster game against Missouri State which will begin at 4 p.m. on ESPN2.  Hall of Fame inductions will take place between games at 1 p.m. at St. Teresa’s.

Dialing Long Distance: Starting with the Wright State game the first time around when the Crusaders made nine three-point field goals, Valpo has made at least seven triples in each of the last eight games.  The Crusaders are averaging 7.2 triples per contest this season, second most in the Horizon League and 29th most nationally. Valpo is shooting 33.4% from long range as a team.

From Deep: Betsy Adams and Ashley Timmerman rank as two of the top four Horizon League outside shooters this season.  Adams, a 39.2% shooter from three-point range, is third in the conference while Timmerman connects at 38.3% from beyond the arc, fourth best in the league.  Adams is also second in the conference making 2.6 triples per game, ranking 40th in the country.

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 35 of her last 37 attempts beginning with the Lamar game on Nov. 20, including her last 23 straight.  For the season Adams is connecting on 88.6% from the free throw line.

Adams Moves Into Ninth: Betsy Adams has moved into ninth place in school history for three-pointers made after connecting on five Thursday evening against Wright State.  She now has 136 career triples, passing Kathryn Knoester (2000-2004).  Next up on the list in eighth place is Heidi Diefenthaler (1992-1996) with 140, just four ahead of Adams.  Betsy Adams has already made 58 threes this season, six shy of her 64 last year which ranks 10th on the single season charts.  The junior guard has made at least one trey in 20 of the 22 contests this season, being shutout against just Cincinnati and Notre Dame, when she attempted just one shot in each game.

Gerardot Has Five Double-Doubles: Tabitha Gerardot has already tallied five double-doubles in her freshman season as a Crusader.  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 9.6 points per game, while leading the Crusaders with 6.7 rebounds per contest.

Super Woman: Twice this season Betsy Adams never stepped off of the court, playing all 40 minutes.  She first went the distance at IPFW on Dec. 8 before matching the effort on Jan. 13 at home against Youngstown State.  Those are 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.

Freeman Earns Win #400: Head coach Keith Freeman needed five extra minutes on Dec. 4, but they were well worth it as the Crusaders’ come-from-behind win over Coastal Carolina, 59-52, gave him his 400th career victory coaching women’s basketball.  In his 23rd season on the sidelines, he entered the 2010-2011 season tied for 43rd among all active Division I coaches for career victories.  He has guided the Crusaders to more than 50% of the program’s victories all-time at Valpo and holds every one of Valpo’s coaching records.

Adams Earns All-Tourney Honors:
Betsy Adams was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Aces Classic.  She averaged 18.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game for the Crusaders.

Big Crowd for Notre Dame: Valpo’s crowd of 1,877 fans on “Pack the ARC” night against Notre Dame was the largest Crusader home crowd since the Brown and Gold hosted the Fighting Irish in 2008.  On Dec. 13, 2008, 2,046 fans saw the two schools separated by just 58 miles.

Valpo Signs Three for 2011-2012: Coach Keith Freeman added three players for next year’s class that signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Brown and Gold beginning next fall.  Joining the Crusader roster in 2011-2012 are Jessica Carr (5-7, G, Arcadia, Ind., Hamilton Heights H.S.), Mallory Ladd (6-0, F, Evansville, Ind./Memorial H.S.), and Shaquira Scott (5-10, G, Wilmette, Ill./Loyola Academy).

Crusaders to Have Tri-Captains: Head coach Keith Freeman has announced that the Crusaders will have tri-captains for the 2010-2011 season.  Serving in that role are seniors Ashley Varner and Rashida Ray along with junior Betsy Adams.

No Relation Here: Despite having three Lang(e)’s on the roster, none of the three players are related to one another.  Gina Lange returns for her sophomore season after arriving from Wyoming, Minn. and averaging 1.9 points and 1.5 rebounds per game while appearing 16 times as a freshman last year.  Freshman Stefanie Lang is a local product from Valparaiso High School who earned Honorable Mention All-State accolades for the Vikings.  Erika Lang joined the Crusader roster this fall as a walk-on.  The freshman hails from Las Vegas, Nev.

Valpo Tabbed Ninth in Preseason Poll: Valparaiso was picked to finish in ninth place in the Horizon League preseason poll conducted of the league’s coaches, sports information directors, and media members.  Finishing with 82 points, the Crusaders were just two points behind eighth place Wright State.  Green Bay was picked to win the league followed by Butler and Detroit.  Cleveland State and UIC shared the fourth spot with Milwaukee predicted to finish sixth and Loyola seventh.   Youngstown State was picked last in this year’s preseason balloting. 

Varner to Miss Season with ACL Injury: Valpo senior Ashley Varner will miss the 2010-2011 season due to an ACL injury she suffered during the fall.  Varner would have been one the Crusaders’ top returning post players, but plans to use the season as a redshirt year now and return to the court for 2011-2012.  Varner averaged 7.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game for the Crusaders last year with a team-leading 17 blocked shots.

This and That: As a team Valpo is shooting 79.5% from the free throw line in Horizon League play, second best in the conference ... the Crusaders made 20-of-24 free throws in the win against Wright State, all in the second half ... Betsy Adams tied a season high making five triples against the Raiders ... the 18 points allowed by the Crusaders in the first half against Wright State matched the second half against Coastal Carolina for fewest points surrendered in a half this season ... Betsy Adams is 10th in the league in scoring at 14.1 points per game.