VALPARAISO (13-8, 7-3 Mid-Con) at CHICAGO STATE (10-12, 5-6 Mid-Con)
WHEN: Thursday, February 10, 2005, 5 p.m. CST.
WHERE: Jacoby Dickens Center (2,500), Chicago, Ill.
RADIO: WVUR (95.1-FM) and on the internet at www.valpo.edu/athletics. Baron Brendel and Jeremy Bronn will call all of the action.
THE COACHES: Valparaiso is led by Keith Freeman, who is in his 17th season of coaching, and 11th with the Crusaders. He is 317-173 overall and 188-126 at Valpo. Chicago State is led by Angela Jackson, who is 18-32 in her 2nd season overall and with the Cougars.
SERIES RECORD: Valparaiso leads the all-time series with Chicago State 31-2. The Crusaders are 13-2 against the Cougars at the Dickens Center.
LAST MEETING: The Crusaders grounded out a 52-48 victory over Chicago State at the ARC on January 17. Valpo fell behind by seven in the first half, but used an 11-2 run to close the half and a 9-0 spurt in the second half to come away with the victory. Katie Boone led Valpo with 17 points, nine rebounds, and four assists, while Betsy Rietema and Tamra Braun each added nine points. Zondranika Williams led the Cougars with 17 points.
Having won three of its last four games, Valparaiso takes to the road for a rare Thursday evening affair as the Crusaders head to Chicago State. Valpo is coming off of a 59-39 victory over Centenary on Saturday.
PLAYING DEFENSE IN LEAGUE PLAY: Valpo is allowing just 50.9 points per game during Mid-Continent Conference play. Opponents are shooting just 35.8% from the floor against the Crusaders in league play and are committing 17.1 turnovers per game. Only one league foe (Oakland, 63) has scored more than 58 points against Valpo in conference action.
CRUSADERS AMONG NATION'S BEST: The Crusaders' 13.1 turnovers per game through February 7 ranked as the fourth fewest in the country. Valpo is also 12th in fewest personal fouls committed at 13.7 per contest. Individually, Tamra Braun's 2.3 blocks per contest rank her 31st in rejections, while Jenna Stangler is 34th in free throw shooting, making 84.9% of her attempts from the line.
MIXING UP THE LINE-UP: Valparaiso has had eight different players draw starting assignments this season, and not one player has started more than 17 games due to various injuries throughout the season. The Crusaders have had 12 different starting combinations in 21 games this season.
BOONE SECOND ALL-TIME ON VALPO ASSIST CHARTS: Katie Boone has moved into second place on Valpo's career assist list after dishing out five on Saturday. The senior point guard now has 425 helpers, surpassing Maureen Drabicki's (1994-1998) total of 424.
GUTOWSKI MAKES FREE THROWS COUNT: Jamie Gutowski has shot 81.1% from the free throw line this season and has moved her career mark up to 80.0%.
REBOUNDING BETTER IN CONFERENCE: The Crusaders are -3.1 in rebounding margin on the season, but have turned it around as conference play began, posting a +1.8 margin in Mid-Con play.
CHICAGO STATE NOTES: Chicago State enters the contest riding a two-game winning streak after recording a 56-53 victory at home against Southern Utah on Monday night. The Cougars had defeated UMKC on the road last Saturday to snap a five-game losing skid prior to Monday's win.
The Cougars have a balanced offensive attack, despite the fact that not one player averages in double-figures. Six players average between 6.5 and 9.5 points per contest, led by Tina Hill.
Renada Blackburn adds 9.4 points per game to go along with her 9.2 rebounds per contest, third most in the Mid-Continent Conference.
As a team, Chicago State leads the conference in offensive rebounding, with 16.32 boards per game leading to second chance opportunities. The Cougars also lead the league in three-point field goal defense, allowing opponents to shoot just 28.3% from beyond the arc.
Following the game, Chicago State heads on the road for three straight, before coming home for their regular season finale on February 28.