INDIANA WESLEYAN (10-5, 0-0 Mid-Central) at VALPO (4-5, 0-0 Mid-Con)
WHEN: Saturday, December 21, 2002, 2:05 p.m. CST.
WHERE: Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000), Valparaiso, Ind.
RADIO: WVUR (95.1-FM), Valparaiso. Tim Harwood will provide the play-by-play, with Phil Morris adding 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 270-145 overall and 141-98 with Valpo. Indiana Wesleyan is led by Steve Brooks, who is 63-53 in his 4th season overall and with the Wildcats.
SERIES RECORD: Valpo leads the series with the Indiana Wesleyan 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Valparaiso defeated Indiana Wesleyan 82-56 at the Athletics-Recreation Center on December 13, 1998.
The Valparaiso Crusaders look to move back to the .500 mark on the season hosting Indiana Wesleyan on Saturday afternoon. A win would mark the first time this season that Valpo would post back-to-back victories.
AMONG THE NATION'S LEADERS: Entering this week's action, Suzie Hammel was 24th in the nation with 3.0 three-point field goals made per game. Her eight threes against Ball State ties for the best single game three-point effort in a game this season.
GRAY SURPASSES 1,200/600: Jeanette Gray surpassed the 1,200 point plateau for her career last Friday evening with her 13 point effort against DePaul. She now has 1,215 career points. The senior then went over the 600 career rebound mark with her 14 boards at Loyola. Gray now has 608 rebounds while wearing the Brown and Gold.
VANDER MEER HAS CAREER NIGHT: Dawn Vander Meer came off of the bench and sparked the Crusaders with some quality minutes on Sunday afternoon at Loyola. The freshman, who had played just 22 minutes all season prior to the game, saw 14 minutes of action and responded with a career high six points on 2-of-2 shooting, and a career best five rebounds.
BOMBS AWAY FOR HAMMEL: Suzie Hammel drained six three-pointers at Loyola and has made five or more treys in three of the first nine games this season.
GET OUT IN FRONT EARLY: Valpo has success when jumping out to a halftime lead over the past two seasons. The Crusaders are 24-2 over the last two years when leading at halftime, compared to a 6-10 mark when playing from behind.
PLAYING DEFENSE: The Crusaders have held their last two opponents below 35% shooting from the floor. Loyola shot just 33.9% while DePaul connected just 31% of the time. Valpo did not allow any Ramblers to score in double-figures on Sunday afternoon.
INDIANA WESLEYAN NOTES: Indiana Wesleyan enters today's game having won five straight contests and six of their last seven games. The Wildcats posted a 55-32 victory at Indiana Southeast on Thursday night.
Stephanie Jackson led Indiana Wesleyan in scoring against the Grenadiers tallying 15 points in just 23 minutes of action. Stephanie Gill added 14 points and a game-high ten rebounds, while Becky Neal dished out eight assists.
The Wildcats forced 20 Indiana Southeast turnovers, 15 on steals. They also held the Grenadiers to just 25% shooting from the floor for the game.
Today's game marks the final game of a five game road trip for Indiana Wesleyan. The Wildcats will return home on December 28 to host Madonna.
Indiana Wesleyan plays in the Mid-Central Conference and is members of the NAIA. Valparaiso is the lone Division I team on its schedule this season.
DOWN THE ROAD: The Crusaders will take eight days off to enjoy the holidays before returning to action on December 29 to conclude the 2002 calendar year. Valpo will host Lehigh in a 2:05 p.m. contest at the Athletics-Recreation Center. The Brown and Gold will then take to the road for their final two non-conference games of the season. Valpo will travel to Jacksonville for a 6 p.m. CST contest on January 3 before heading to Nashville, Tenn. to battle Lipscomb on January 6 in a 7 p.m. game.