VALPARAISO (1-1, 0-0 Mid-Con) at TEXAS TECH (1-1, 0-0 Big 12)
WHEN: Wednesday, November 27, 2002, 7:30 p.m. CST.
WHERE: United Spirit Arena (15, 050), Lubbock, Texas.
RADIO: WVUR (95.1-FM), Valparaiso. Tim Harwood will provide the play-by-play, with Steve Rhodes providing the color commentary.
THE COACHES: Valparaiso is led by Keith Freeman, who is in his 15th season of coaching, and 9th with the Crusaders. He is 267-141 (.654) overall and 138-94 (.595) with Valpo. Texas Tech is led by Marsha Sharp, who is 480-154 (.757) in her 21th season overall and with the Lady Raiders.
SERIES RECORD: This marks the first meeting between Texas Tech and Valparaiso.
The Valparaiso Crusaders, fresh off of a victory against Fresno State 57-51 in the consolation game of the Spartan Chevrolet Classic, will head to the Lone Star state for a match-up with nationally ranked Texas Tech.
TWO CRUSADERS EARN MID-CON PRESEASON HONORS: A pair of Crusaders were named to the Mid-Continent Conference Preseason Teams. Senior Jeanette Gray averaged 12.6 points and 6.9 rebounds per game last year to help earn her a spot on the Preseason First Team. Sophomore Katie Boone, last year's Mid-Con Newcomer of the Year, was named to the Preseason Second Team after averaging 5.0 points and 4.8 assists per contest last season. She led the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio.
GRAY ON THE CHARTS: Valparaiso senior Jeanette Gray is among the Crusaders top-ten all-time in several categories. Her 1,136 points rank seventh all-time, while her 549 rebounds rank her ninth. Gray also ranks seventh with 458 field goals and has moved into sixth with 153 career steals.
GRAY NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Jeanette Gray was named to the Spartan Chevrolet Classic All-Tournament Team after averaging 13.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per game over the weekend. The senior also registerd five steals. Gray tallied 20 points in the consolation game victory over Fresno State.
MAKING HER MARK EARLY: Freshman Jamie Gutowski jumped right into collegiate basketball with her 24 point performance against Fresno State on Sunday in just her second college game. The rookie connected on 9-of-15 shooting, including a 3-for-4 effort from three-point range.
FOR THREE: Entering the Texas Tech game, Valpo has made at least one three-pointer in 91 consecutive contests. The last time the Crusaders failed to knock down a trey was Nov. 23, 1999 against Purdue. Valpo has hit at least one in 119 of its last 120 games.
TEXAS TECH NOTES:
Texas Tech enters the game ranked 12th in the country according to the latest Associated Press poll released on Monday. The USA Today Coaches' poll had not been released yet.
The Lady Raiders defeated Washington 99-67 on Sunday afternoon in Lubbock as four players tallied double-figures. Natalie Ritchie led Texas Tech with 20 points while Plenette Pierson added 15 points and ten rebounds.
Texas Tech opened its regular season back on Nov. 10 falling to Louisiana Tech 85-76 in the State Farm Classic held in Knoxville, Tenn. Pierson tallied 25 points in the opener while blocking six shots, and Jia Perkins poured in 16 more.
Pierson is averaging 20.0 points and 9.0 rebounds in her first two games, while Perkins has tallied 15.0 points in the early going. Erin Grant, who had 14 assists against Washington, is averaging 10.0 per contest thus far this season.
The Lady Raiders advanced to the Sweet Sixteen last season after recording its 13th straight 20-win season. Texas Tech has six letterwinners returning from last year's team, including a pair of starters.
Texas Tech will conclude its three-game homestand next Wednesday evening as the Lady Raiders host Creighton.
DOWN THE ROAD: After the Texas Tech contest, the Crusaders will return home to begin a three-game homestand on Saturday afternoon as Valpo hosts Concordia (Wis.). Tip-off in the Brown and Gold's home opener is slated for 2:05 p.m. The Crusaders will host Navy on Sunday afternoon in a 2:05 p.m. start before welcoming Notre Dame to the Athletics-Recreation Center on Wednesday, December 4 for a 7:05 p.m. tip.