Sunday, February 8, 2004
VALPARAISO (12-10, 7-4 Mid-Con) at CHICAGO STATE (5-15, 0-9 Mid-Con)

WHEN: Monday, February 9, 2004, 7 p.m. CST.

WHERE: Jacoby D. Dickens Center (2,500), Chicago, Ill.

RADIO: WVUR (95.1-FM), Valparaiso, Ind. Jeremy Bronn will handle the play-by-play with Jesse Shale providing the color commentary.

TV: None

THE COACHES: Valparaiso is led by Keith Freeman, who is in his 16th season of coaching, and 10th with the Crusaders. He is 296-163 overall and 167-116 at Valpo. Chicago State is led by Angela Jackson, who is 5-15 in her 1st season overall and with the Cougars.

SERIES RECORD: Valparaiso leads the all-time series with Chicago State 28-2.

LAST MEETING: Chicago State defeated Valpo 69-66 in Chicago on February 17, 2003. The Crusaders rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit, but it was not enough. Jeanette Gray led Valpo with 19 points, while Meredith Baugher added 16 more. Marverly Nettles led the Cougars with 27 points and nine assists.

Valparaiso will conclude its three game road trip on Monday evening as the Brown and Gold heads to the Windy City to battle Chicago State. The Crusaders are coming off of a convincing 76-38 victory over Centenary on Monday evening while the Cougars are looking for their first Mid-Con win.

HAMMEL THREE SHY OF NINTH PLACE IN SCORING: Suzie Hammel is just three points shy of moving into ninth place on Valpo's all-time scoring list. Her 1,013 points rank right behind Carrie Forsman (1992-1996) who tallied 1,015 points.

AFTER ALL THEY ARE FREE: Valpo had made its free throws count since the beginning of Mid-Con play. The Crusaders are shooting 75.7% from the line during conference action, and have made 156 free throws, 15 more than their opponents have even attempted. Valpo went 24-of-27 (88.9%) from the charity stripe at Centenary.

VALPO AMONG NATION'S BEST: The Crusaders currently rank 14th in the nation in turnovers per game according to the February 3 NCAA rankings. Valpo has turned the ball over just 14.5 times per game. Individually, Suzie Hammel is 21st in the country in three-point percentage (42.1%), while ranking 32nd in threes per game (2.5).

NO SET LINE-UP: Due to the numerous injuries and illnesses the Crusaders have suffered this season, not one player has started all 22 games for the Brown and Gold. In fact, only Suzie Hammel and Katie Boone have started 21 of the games. There are only five players total that have seen action in all 22 contests.

NOW THAT'S DEFENSE: Valparaiso held Centenary to just eight first half points on Saturday and 38 for the game. Valpo has allowed just one Mid-Con team (UMKC) to score 70 points on the Crusaders, and the Brown and Gold is allowing just 56.5 points per game in league play.

CHICAGO STATE NOTES: Chicago State has dropped 14 straight contests after opening the season 5-1. The Cougars are still looking for their first Mid-Continent Conference victory of the season after falling 63-50 at home to Western Illinois on Saturday afternoon.

Kafayat Davies leads the Cougars in scoring and is seventh in the conference tallying 13.5 points per contest. She was held to just six points against the Westerwinds on Saturday though.

Tina Hill and Loretta Ellul are both averaging in double-figures as well for Chicago State. Hill is posting 12.1 points per night, while Hill is adding 11.1.

Renada Blackburn ranks second in the Mid-Con in rebounding, averaging 9.1 boards per night. She is the league's top offensive rebounder, grabbing 4.25 per contest. As a team, the Cougars lead the Mid-Con with a +5.6 rebounding margin.

This is the second of four straight home contests for Chicago State, as the Cougars host IUPUI on Saturday.