VALPARAISO (0-2, 0-0 Mid-Con) at #20/20 NOTRE DAME (1-1, 0-0 BIG EAST)
Wednesday, November 19, 2003

WHEN: Friday, November 21, 2003

WHERE: Joyce Center (11,418), Notre Dame, Ind.

RADIO: WVUR (95.1-FM)-tape delay, Valparaiso, Ind. Andrew Stem will handle the play-by-play, while Baron Brendel will provide color commentary. The game will air on Saturday, Nov. 22, following the Valpo football game at approximately 3:30 p.m.

TV: Comcast Cablevision Ch. 43-tape delay. Dick Harlan will handle the play-by-play, while Paul Curtis will provide color commentary. The game will air on Tues. Nov. 25 at 7 p.m.

THE COACHES: Valparaiso is led by Keith Freeman, who is in his 16th season of coaching, and 10th with the Crusaders. He is 284-155 overall, and 155-108 at Valpo. Notre Dame is led by Muffet McGraw, who is 452-180 in her 22nd season overall and 364-139 in her 17th season with the Fighting Irish.

SERIES RECORD: Notre Dame leads 16-0 in a series that began on December 3, 1977.

LAST MEETING: Alicia Ratay scored 21 points as Notre Dame defeated the Crusaders 74-68 on December 4, 2002 at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Suzie Hammel led Valpo with 17 points, but the Crusaders were outscored 30-13 from the free throw line.

The Valparaiso Crusaders continue their rugged season-opening road trip on Friday evening as the Brown and Gold travels to Notre Dame. Valpo is coming off of a pair of losses to Oregon and Villanova in the Women's Sports Foundation Classic and now will play the #20 Fighting Irish.

BOONE AND HAMMEL EARN MID-CON PRESEASON HONORS: A pair of Crusaders were named to the Mid-Continent Conference Preseason Second Team. Junior Katie Boone, an Honorable Mention All-Conference selection and Tournament Most Valuable Player last year averaged 8.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per contest. Senior Suzie Hammel is Valpo's top returning scorer averaging 11.0 points per contest last year.

BOONE SHINES AT WSF CLASSIC: Katie Boone earned All-Tournament Team honors at the Women's Sports Foundation Classic after averaging 13.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game for the Crusaders. She shot 53.3% (8-of-15) from the floor, including a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point range. She scored 14 points against Oregon and added 12 against Villanova, both team highs.

BOONE ALSO HONORED BY MID-CON: Junior Guard Katie Boone not only was named to the WSF All-Tournament Team, but also was honored by the league office as the Mid-Continent Conference Player of the Week for her efforts.

BRAUN BURSTS ON TO THE SCENE: Freshman center Tamra Braun made her presence known in the season opener at Oregon. The 6'4" rookie scored eight points on 4-of-5 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds in 29 minutes of play. She also blocked three shots.

STANGLER TIES CAREER HIGH: Junior forward Jenna Stangler tied her career high with 11 rebounds in Valpo's opener at Oregon. Stangler also grabbed 11 boards at Oakland on January 25, 2003.

NOTRE DAME NOTES: Notre Dame enters the game ranked 20th in the nation in both the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll and the Associated Press poll. The Fighting Irish split a pair of games over the weekend at the WBCA Classic in Boulder, Colo. Notre Dame downed Auburn 77-64 in the opener before falling 67-63 in overtime to Colorado.

Jacquelin Batteast led the Irish, averaging 20.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in the tournament. She tallied 27 points and recorded five steals in the opener against the Tigers before adding 13 points and ten boards against the Buffalos.

Katy Flecky and Le'Tania Severe also had strong weekends for the Irish. Flecky scored 17 points in the opener, making 6-of-6 free throws, while Severe led Notre Dame with 15 points against Colorado.