Thursday, January 30, 2003
WHEN: Saturday, February 1, 2003, 2:05 p.m.

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

RADIO: WVUR (95.1-FM), Valparaiso. Andy Viano will provide the play-by-play, with Steve Rhodes adding the color commentary.

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 276-148 overall and 147-101 with Valpo. UMKC is led by Dana Eikenberg, who is 18-55 in her 4th season overall and with the Kangaroos.

SERIES RECORD: Valparaiso leads the overall series with UMKC 13-4. The Crusaders have won the last seven meetings with the Kangaroos.

LAST SEASON: Valparaiso won all three meetings against UMKC last year. At the ARC, Marlous Nieuwveen scored 25 points as the Crusaders registered a 62-43 victory over the Kangaroos. In Kansas City Valpo prevailed 59-47 behind 12 points each from Nieuwveen and Suzie Hammel to clinch the Mid-Con regular season title. The two schools also met in the Mid-Con Tournament quarterfinals with Valpo pulling out a 67-62 win behind 20 points from Nieuwveen.

The Valparaiso Crusaders look to maintain their second place standing in the Mid-Continent Conference when the Brown and Gold host UMKC on Saturday afternoon. The Kangaroos are one of four teams tied with Valpo in the Mid-Con race.

DE-FENSE, DE-FENSE, DE-FENSE: Valpo's defense has turned up the pressure on its opponents over the last two months. The Crusaders have played 11 straight games in which they have not allowed opponents to reach the 60 point mark, and have allowed an average of just 51.2 points per game during the span beginning with the December 13 game against DePaul.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Sophomore Jenna Stangler posted her first career double-double last Saturday afternoon against Oakland. The St. Michael, Minn. native tallied 13 points while grabbing a career-high 11 rebounds.

SEEING DOUBLE: Meredith Baugher tallied her second double-double in a four-game span on Monday night at IUPUI. She tallied a career high 22 points while grabbing 11 rebounds, eight on the offensive end, in the Crusaders victory.

BOONE PLAYS BIG AGAINST JAGS: Katie Boone had another solid evening directing the Valpo offense on Monday evening against the Jaguars. The sophomore point guard tallied 12 points, dished out six assists while committing just one turnover, grabbed five rebounds, and recorded six steals.

SHARPSHOOTERS NEEDED: After shooting well from three-point range during the non-conference season (35%), the Crusaders have struggled shooting threes in Mid-Con play. Valpo is shooting just 16.9% (13-of-77) from long range over their last five games to open up conference play.

VANDER MEER HAS CAREER NIGHT: Valpo freshman Dawn Vander Meer provided a big spark off of the bench for the Crusaders against IUPUI. The rookie tallied a career high nine points on 4-of-5 shooting from the floor. She also grabbed a pair of rebounds and recorded two steals.

UMKC NOTES: UMKC visits the ARC riding a three-game win streak after defeating Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 74-68 in double overtime on Tuesday evening. The Kangaroos defeated Oral Roberts and Oakland in their last two Mid-Con games earning a share of second place in the conference standings.

Katie Houlehan leads a balanced Kangaroo offensive attack. The sophomore is scoring 14.4 points per game and a team-best 3.1 assists per contest. She leads the Mid-Con in free throw shooting at 89.8% on the season.

Freshman Carlai Moore is UMKC's second leading scoring with 8.9 points per night. She tallied 25 points and grabbed 17 rebounds against the Islanders in the victory.

Randi Meissner leads the team in rebounding, grabbing 8.0 boards, while leading UMKC with 21 blocks on the year.

The Kangaroos are the Mid-Con's top free throw shooting team, connecting on 77.1% of their attempts on the year.

UMKC closes out the first half of Mid-Con play at Western Illinois on Monday.

DOWN THE ROAD: Valparaiso will conclude the first half of Mid-Continent Conference action on Monday evening at the ARC when the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles come to town for a 7:05 p.m. contest. The Crusaders will then play five of their final seven games away from home. Valpo begins a three-game road trip on February 8 at Western Illinois with a 4:00 p.m. tilt before heading on to Southern Utah and Chicago State.