Thursday, December 12, 2002
DePAUL (6-2, 0-0 Conference USA) at VALPARAISO (3-4, 0-0 Mid-Con)

WHEN: Friday, December 13, 2002, 7:05 p.m. CST.

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

RADIO: WVUR (95.1-FM), Valparaiso. Ed Schillinger will provide the play-by-play, with JR Radcliffe providing the color commentary.

TV: AT&T Cable (Tape-Delay). Dick Harlan and Paul Curtis broadcasting.

THE COACHES: Valparaiso is led by Keith Freeman, who is in his 15th season of coaching, and 9th with the Crusaders. He is 269-144 overall and 140-97 with Valpo. DePaul is led by Doug Bruno, who is 325-220 in his 19th season overall and 283-190 in his 17th season with the Blue Demons.

SERIES RECORD: DePaul leads the overall series 13-0.

LAST MEETING: DePaul defeated Valpo three times during the 1990-1991 season, the last time the two schools met on the hardwood. The Blue Demons defeated the Crusaders 100-85 in the final meeting at the North Star Conference Tournament held in Green Bay, Wis.

The Valparaiso Crusaders return to the Athletics-Recreation Center on Friday evening as the Brown and Gold hosts DePaul. Valpo is looking for its second straight victory after defeating Ball State 88-82 on Saturday afternoon.

RECORD SETTING NIGHT: Suzie Hammel shot lights out against Ball State from three-point range. The junior guard tied Lynda Kukla's school record with eight treys. Hammel made her first seven of the second half and went 8-for-11 on the game. The eight made ties her with three others for the most treys made in a game this season in Division I.

AMONG THE NATION'S LEADERS: Suzie Hammel is 28th in the nation with 3.0 three-point field goals made per game. The Crusaders as a team rank 40th in the country in turnovers committed. Valpo has taken care of the ball thus far this season, coughing it up just 16.4 times per night.

WELCOME BACK KATIE: Katie Boone returned to the Crusader line-up last Wednesday against Notre Dame after missing the first five games with a leg injury, and has 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 in game one. She came back on Saturday with seven points against Ball State in 23 minutes.

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.

TOUGH SCHEDULE: DePaul represents the fourth team Valparaiso has played already this season that participated in postseason action last year. The Blue Demons competed in the WNIT alongside Valpo. The Crusaders have also played NCAA Tournament teams Texas Tech and Notre Dame, along with WNIT participant Ball State.

BENCH SUPPORT: Valpo's bench has played a major role in the Crusaders last two games. The Brown and Gold scored 27 points off of the bench against Ball State and 30 against Notre Dame.

DePAUL NOTES: DePaul enters tonight's game having won three straight and five of its last six contests. The Blue Demons are coming off of a 75-59 upset win over #8 Notre Dame on Wednesday evening.

The Blue Demons have been led by Jenni Dant in the early portion of the season. The sophomore guard is averaging 14.4 points per game, while leading DePaul with 23 points against Notre Dame.

Charlene Smith and Khara Smith each are averaging in double-figures as well. Charlene is tallying 11.3 points per contest, including a 19 point effort against the Fighting Irish. Khara is tallying 10.9 points per night, while bringing down a team-leading 7.6 rebounds per game.

DePaul has made three straight postseason appearances, all in the WNIT. The Blue Demons will travel to Toledo on Sunday for a battle with the Rockets to conclude a stretch of three games in five days.

DOWN THE ROAD: The Crusaders will travel to Loyola (Ill.) on Sunday afternoon for their final road game in 2002. Valpo will tip-off against the Ramblers at 1 p.m. The Brown and Gold will end the calendar year with a pair of home games. On Saturday, December 21, Valpo will host Indiana Wesleyan in a 2:05 p.m. game. The Crusaders will take an eight-day break from games before hosting Lehigh on December 29 at 2:05 p.m.