Wednesday, January 15, 2003
CHICAGO STATE (5-8, 2-0 Mid-Con) at VALPARAISO (7-7, 0-1 Mid-Con)

WHEN: Saturday, January 18, 2003, 2:05 p.m. CST.

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

RADIO: WVUR (95.1-FM), Valparaiso. Andrew Stem will provide the play-by-play, with Phil Morris adding 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 273-147 overall and 144-100 with Valpo. Chicago State is led by Cheryl Littlejohn, who is 45-107 in her 6th season overall and 16-26 in her 2nd season with the Cougars.

SERIES RECORD: Valpo leads the overall series with the Cougars 27-1 and have won the last four meetings.

LAST SEASON: The Crusaders downed Chicago State three times last year. Jeanette Gray scored 15 points in the first meeting as Valpo won 65-47 in Chicago. At the ARC, Amber Schober led the Crusaders with 16 points in an 84-45 victory. The two schools met in the Mid-Con Tournament semifinals, with Katie Boone hitting a game-winning jumper at the buzzer to give Valpo a 66-64 overtime victory. Schober led the Brown and Gold with 15 points.

The Valparaiso Crusaders look to snap their two-game losing skid on Saturday afternoon hosting the first place Chicago State Cougars at the ARC. Valpo is coming off of a 50-43 defeat at the hands of Western Illinois last Saturday.

KNOCKING THEM DOWN: Jamie Gutowski maybe a freshman, but she is anything but a rookie at the free throw line. She ranks second in the conference from the charity stripe, making 85.0% of her tosses on the season. She leads Valpo in trips to the line and makes, converting on 34-of-40 attempts from the stripe.

GRAY MOVES INTO THIRD IN SCORING: Jeanette Gray moved into third place on the Crusaders all-time scoring charts last Saturday afternoon. She now has 1,278 points, surpassing Amber Schober's total of 1,273.

DE-FENSE, DE-FENSE, DE-FENSE: Valpo defense has turned up the pressure on its opponents over the last month. The Crusaders have played seven straight games in which they have not allowed opponents to reach the 60 point mark, and have allowed an average of just 50.0 points per game during the span beginning December 13 against DePaul.

HAMMEL AMONG NATION'S BEST: Suzie Hammel entered the week 26th in Division I connecting on 2.8 three-point attempts per game. The mark ranks her second in the Mid-Continent Conference. She is shooting 37.5% from downtown this season on 39-of-104 shooting beyond the arc.

TAKING CARE OF THE BASKETBALL: Valparaiso's offense has protected the basketball for most of the season. The Crusaders lead the conference in turnover ratio (+4.8) and have turned the ball over just 16.4 times per game on the season.

STREAK ON THE LINE: Valpo looks for a win against Chicago State to snap their two-game losing skid. The Crusaders have not lost more than two consecutive games since the beginning of last season. Valpo dropped four straight at the time, losing the final two games of the 2000-2001 season and the first two of the 2001-2002 season

CHICAGO STATE NOTES: Chicago State visits the Athletics-Recreation Center having won two straight to begin Mid-Continent Conference play and four of their last five contests overall. The Cougars are coming off of a 61-57 victory over UMKC on Monday night.

Kafayat Davies leads the Cougars in scoring on the year, tallying 12.1 points per contest. She tallied 17 points against the Kangaroos on Monday in the win, and was named Mid-Con Player of the Week two weeks ago.

Krissy Sanders is tallying 10.6 points per contest and leads the conference in assists dishing out 6.2 per night. The senior also leads the team pulling down 5.7 rebounds per game. She tallied 18 points and 11 assists against UMKC while grabbing eight boards.

Chicago State has a balanced line-up, as ten players are averaging ten or more minutes per game.

The Cougars are coming off of a four-game homestand and beginning a stretch of four straight contests away from the Dickens Center this afternoon.

DOWN THE ROAD: The Crusaders will conclude their three-game homestand on Monday evening hosting Southern Utah in a 7:05 p.m. contest. Valpo will then take to the road next Saturday as the Brown and Gold travels to Rochester, Mich. Tip-off against the Oakland Golden Grizzlies is set for 2:30 p.m. CST. The Crusaders will then travel to Indianapolis to battle IUPUI on Monday, January 27 for a 6 p.m. CST game.