Friday, December 6, 2002
BALL STATE (4-2, 0-0 MAC) at VALPARAISO (2-4, 0-0 Mid-Con)

WHAT: Hoosier State Classic (Indiana State plays Butler at 3 p.m. CST).

WHEN: Saturday, December 7, 2002, 1:00 p.m. CST.

WHERE: Hinkel Fieldhouse (11,043), Indianapolis, Ind.

RADIO: WAKE (1500-AM), Valparaiso. Tim Harwood will provide the play-by-play, with Ed Schillinger providing the color commentary. The game will be tape-delayed on WVUR (95.1-FM) at 4 p.m.

TV: None.

THE COACHES: Valparaiso is led by Keith Freeman, who is in his 15th season of coaching, and 9th with the Crusaders. He is 268-144 overall and 139-97 with Valpo. Ball State is led by Tracy Roller, who is 28-10 in her 2nd season overall and with the Cardinals.

SERIES RECORD: Ball State leads the overall series 5-2. Valpo has won the last two in the series.

LAST MEETING: Valpo defeated Ball State 77-69 last season in the second round of the WNIT in Muncie, Ind. Jeanette Gray led the Crusaders with 19 points and six rebounds, while Jenna Stangler added 18 points. Shala Crook tallied 22 points for the Cardinals, while Jessica Reiter added 17. Valpo's bench outscored Ball State's 28-6 in the game.

The Valparaiso Crusaders travel to Indianapolis, Ind. to participate in the Hoosier State Classic after dropping a narrow six-point contest to #9 Notre Dame on Wednesday. Valpo will face Ball State in the classic, a rematch of a second round WNIT game from last season, won by the Crusaders.

CRUSADERS IN THE HOOSIER STATE CLASSIC: Valpo is 1-1 at the Hoosier State Classic. Last season, the Crusaders defeated Indiana State 69-65 in Muncie, while the Brown and Gold fell to Butler 67-60 two years ago in Terre Haute. Valpo will host the classic next season.

WELCOME BACK KATIE: Katie Boone returned to the Crusader line-up on Wednesday against Notre Dame after missing the first six games with a leg injury, and made an immediate impact. The sophomore guard tallied 13 points, one off of her career high, in 24 minutes of play, while grabbing two rebounds.

HAMMEL TIME: Suzie Hammel has put on a scoring display early in the season for the Crusaders. The junior guard has tallied double-figures in five of Valpo's first six games, including back-to-back 17 point performances against Navy and Notre Dame. She has led the Brown and Gold in scoring in four games this year.

KNOCKING THEM DOWN: Lauren Bechtold has looked like anything but a freshman at the free throw line in the early going. She currently leads the Mid-Con in free throw percentage at 93.3% (14-of-15). The rookie made her first 12 in a row before missing against Notre Dame.

CAREER HIGHS WERE PLENTIFUL: Five of Valpo's 14 players set career highs in scoring against the Eagles of Concordia last Saturday. Kathryn Knoester had the biggest game for the Brown and Gold, tallying 20 points, including three three-pointers.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Jeanette Gray posted her seventh career double-double against Navy with her 11 points and 13 rebounds. The senior recorded four during her junior season and one as a sophomore.

BALL STATE NOTES: Ball State enters the game against the Crusaders having defeated Wisconsin 82-81 on Thursday evening. The win was Ball State's third straight, as the Cardinals won the Lehigh Tournament last weekend, defeating Tennessee-Martin 98-61, and the tournament hosts 94-71 in the championship game.

Tamara Bowie leads the Cardinals in scoring and rebounding, talleying 23.0 points and 9.5 rebounds per contest. She tallied 25 points, including the game-winner with 16 seconds left, against Wisconsin, while grabbing ten boards. Johna Goff (14.2 ppg), Kate Endress (13.2 ppg), and Jessica Reiter (12.0 ppg) are all scoring in double-figures for Ball State as well.

The Cardinals are averaging 84.7 points per game as a team, while grabbing 41.5 rebounds per night. Ball State has shot 78.5% from the free throw line in the early going.

DOWN THE ROAD: Valpo will have six days off before returning to action at the Athletics-Recreation Center on Friday, December 13 when the Cruasders play DePaul in a 7:05 p.m. contest. The Brown and Gold will then travel to Loyola (Ill.) on Sunday, December 15 for a 1 p.m. game. Saturday, December 21, the Crusaders will host Indiana Wesleyan in a 2:05 p.m. contest, Valpo's final game before the holidays.