VALPARAISO (5-5, 0-0 Mid-Con) at MIAMI (OHIO) (5-4, 0-0 MAC)
Monday, December 29, 2003
WHEN: Tuesday, December 30, 2003, 6 p.m. CST.

WHERE: Millett Hall (9,200), Oxford, Ohio.

RADIO: Tape Delay-WVUR (95.1-FM), Valparaiso, Ind. Jesse Shale will handle the play-by-play.

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 289-158 overall and 160-111 at Valpo. Miami is led by Maria Fantanarosa, who is 93-85 in her 8th season overall and 86-65 in her 7th season with the Blue Demons.

SERIES RECORD: Miami leads the all-time series with the Crusaders 4-0, dating back to an 81-57 victory over Valpo on December 4, 1992 at the Lady Bonnie Classic held in St. Bonaventure, N.Y.

LAST MEETING: Miami defeated Valpo 77-54 to open the 2002-2003 season at the Spartan Chevrolet Classic in East Lansing, Mich. Suzie Hammel led the Crusaders with 14 points, while Kim Lancaster and Jana Butler scored 15 each for the RedHawks.

Valparaiso will conclude the 2003 calendar year with their final non-conference match-up prior to Mid-Continent Conference action on Tuesday evening as the Crusaders head to Miami (Ohio) to battle the RedHawks. Valpo will look to rebound from a 70-47 loss at DePaul right before Christmas.

VALPO IN 2003: Valpo has registered a 17-13 record during the 2003 calendar season heading into the final contest of the year. The Crusaders went 8-2 at the Athletics-Recreation Center and 3-1 on neutral floors.

ANOTHER TOUGH ONE: DePaul marked Valpo's fifth defeat of the season, but all five losses on the year have come to opponents that were ranked in the top-25 or receiving votes at the time the Crusaders played them.

AMONG THE NATION'S BEST: Suzie Hammel ranked 15th in the nation in three-pointers per game as of the last NCAA Ranking on December 15. Through that same period, Valpo ranked ninth in the country as a team in turnovers committed.

KEEPING THEM DOWN: Valpo held DePaul to its lowest offensive output of the season when the Crusaders held the Blue Demons to just 70 points. DePaul entered averaging 95.4 points per game.

GUTOWSKI SCORES IN DOUBLES: Jamie Gutowski has tallied double-figures in three of the last four games. The sophomore guard tied for team-high honors with ten points against DePaul after posting a season-high 17 points against Loyola (Ill.). In her last four games she is averaging 10.5 ppg.

SHARING THE WEALTH: Valparaiso has had a variety of leading scorers this season. Six different Crusaders have led or shared the team lead in scoring in just ten games this year. Suzie Hammel has led the team six times, while Katie Boone, Jenna Stangler, Mayella Kuikhoven, Kathryn Knoester, and Jamie Gutowski have all held the honor as well.

MIAMI NOTES: Miami concludes a four-game homestand hosting Valparaiso. The RedHawks are coming off of an 84-63 win against Portland on Sunday afternoon and have won four of their last five.

The RedHawks have four players averaging in double figures on the year. Colleen Day leads the team in scoring and rebounding, tallying 13.8 points and grabbing 7.8 boards per contest. The senior is also shooting 48.4% from the floor.

Cindi Merrill is second on the team in scoring, posting 12.1 points per outing. Nicki Motto adds 10.8 points per contest, while Amanda Jackson also scores in double figures tallying 10.3 per game. Jackson, a freshman, also leads the team with 21 steals.

The RedHawks are turning the ball over 19.0 times per game and are shooting just 27.5% from three-point range.

Following the game with Valpo, Miami will take to the road for four straight contests, beginning Friday at Missouri, before opening MAC play at Buffalo.