Wednesday, January 28, 2004
OAKLAND (12-7, 5-3 Mid-Con) at VALPARAISO (11-8, 6-2 Mid-Con)

WHEN: Saturday, January 31, 2004, 2:05 p.m. CST.

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

RADIO: WVUR (95.1-FM), Valparaiso, Ind. Ed Schillinger will handle the play-by-play with Brent Whitlock providing the color commentary.

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 Thursday, February 5 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 295-161 overall and 166-114 at Valpo. Oakland is led by Eileen Shea-Hilliard, who is 25-23 in her 2nd season overall and with the Golden Grizzlies.

SERIES RECORD: Oakland holds a slim 8-7 advantage in the all-time series, but Valpo has won the last three meetings between the schools.

LAST MEETING: Valpo beat Oakland 61-56 in Rochester, Mich. on Jan. 3, 2004. Tamra Braun led Valpo with 24 points and 14 rebounds, while Jayme Wilson and Petra Manakova each scored 13 points for Oakland.

Valparaiso will conclude its three-game homestand on Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders entertain Oakland. Valpo, which is coming off of a 66-49 victory over Centenary on Monday, is looking for its fifth straight win.

HAMMEL NEARS 1,000: Suzie Hammel needs just seven points to become the tenth Crusader ever to reach 1,000 for her career. The senior is averaging 9.9 points per game over her four-year career to date. Hammel is averaging 19.7 points per game over Valpo's last three contests.

HAMMEL AMONG MID-CON'S BEST: Suzie Hammel moved into second place on the Mid-Continent Conference's career three-point chart on Monday with four treys. Hammel has made 217 in her career, trailing just Brenda Doty's (Buffalo) 264 triples.

MAKING THE FREE ONES: Valpo has made its free throws count during Mid-Con play. The Crusaders are shooting 75.2% from the line during conference action, and have made 106 free throws, one more than their opponents have attempted.

VALPO AMONG NATION'S BEST: The Crusaders currently rank 15th in the nation in turnovers per game according to the January 27 NCAA rankings. Valpo has turned the ball over just 14.5 times per game on the season. Suzie Hammel is 24th in the country in three-point percentage (41.5%), while ranking 33rd in threes per game (2.6).

HOME SWEET HOME: Valpo has won six straight games at the Athletics-Recreation Center this season, and is 13-1 at the ARC over the last 14 games dating back to last season. The Brown and Gold has won ten straight home Mid-Con games.

STANGLER HAS BIG WEEKEND: Jenna Stangler sparkled in the last two games for Valpo, averaging 20.5 points and 8.5 rebounds. She scored a career-high 26 points against Southern Utah.

OAKLAND NOTES: Oakland visits the ARC having won five of its last six contests. The Golden Grizzlies are coming off of a 61-45 victory over Oral Roberts on Monday night.

Jayme Wilson leads the Oakland offense, averaging 15.3 points per game, which is tops in the Mid-Continent Conference this season. She has scored 20 or more points six times this season.

Petra Manakova and Anne Hafeli are both posting 9.9 points per night for the Golden Grizzlies. Hafeli also ranks third in the Mid-Con shooting 84.5% from the free throw line.

Amanda Batcha is the team's leading rebounder, grabbing 8.7 boards per game, fourth most in the conference. She is also the league's top shooter from the field, connecting on 59.6% of her shots, and has tallied seven double-doubles on the year.

Oakland will play five of its final eight games on the road this season, as this marks the beginning of the second half of conference play.