VALPARAISO (14-9, 8-4 Mid-Con) at IUPUI (5-18, 3-9 Mid-Con)
WHEN: Monday, February 14, 2005, 6 p.m. CST.
WHERE: IUPUI Gymnasium (2,000), Indianapolis, Ind.
RADIO: On the internet at www.sportsjuice.com. Jesse Shale and Ron Castor will call all of the action.
TV: Tape Delay. Comcast Cablevision Local Access. Dick Harlan and Paul Curtis broadcasting. The game will air on February 19 at 7 p.m. and February 21 at 12 p.m.
THE COACHES: Valparaiso is led by Keith Freeman, who is in his 17th season of coaching, and 11th with the Crusaders. He is 318-174 overall and 189-127 at Valpo. IUPUI is led by Shann Hart, who is 132-113 in her 9th season overall and 5-18 in her 1st season with the Jaguars.
SERIES RECORD: Valparaiso leads the all-time series with IUPUI 16-3. The Crusaders hold a 5-2 advantage over the Jaguars in Indianapolis.
LAST MEETING: Valparaiso outscored IUPUI 42-18 in the second half on the way to a 69-36 win over the Jaguars at the ARC on January 24. Lauren Bechtold led the Crusaders with 13 points while Carrie Myers added ten more. Kia Hayes led IUPUI with 11 points. Valpo forced 27 Jaguar turnovers in the game.
After knocking off first place Western Illinois on Saturday afternoon, the Valparaiso Crusaders return to the hardwood Monday night when they travel to IUPUI. The contest will mark Valpo's third game in five days.
PLAYING DEFENSE IN LEAGUE PLAY: Valpo is allowing just 51.0 points per game during Mid-Continent Conference play. Opponents are shooting just 36.1% from the floor against the Crusaders in league play and are committing 16.5 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.
VALPO ONE WIN SHY OF 14th WINNING SEASON IN 15 YEARS: Valparaiso has assured itself of at least a .500 season after its win against Western Illinois. A win against IUPUI will guarantee the Crusaders they will finish the season with a winning record for the 14th time in the last 15 years. The only year since 1990-1991 Valpo has not finished the year over .500 was 2000-2001.
BRAUN HAS CAREER NIGHT: Tamra Braun scored a career-high 27 points on Thursday night against Chicago State. The sophomore's previous best was 24 during her rookie season. Braun made 13-of-20 from the floor, while also grabbing nine rebounds, six offensive, and blocking four shots. Her 13 field goals tied for the sixth most in a game in school history. She followed Thursday's effort up with a double-double, 14 points and ten rebounds, Saturday against Western Illinois.
RIETEMA SCORES IN RETURN: Betsy Rietema has averaged 12 points per game since missing the Centenary game.
IUPUI NOTES: IUPUI has dropped three straight games by an average of 27.3 points after falling Saturday at UMKC 70-36. Prior to the three-game skid, the Jaguars had won three of their last four games.
Kia Hayes leads the way for IUPUI offensively, averaging 11.6 points per contest. She has increased that average to 13.0 per night during Mid-Continent Conference action.
Brooke McAfee has added 8.8 points per contest for the Jaguars along with 5.7 rebounds per game. She led IUPUI on Saturday at UMKC with 12 points.
IUPUI is averaging just 53.2 points per game this season, and 51.8 during conference play.
The Jaguars are currently holding on to the eighth and final spot to qualify for the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament which will begin in three weeks.
IUPUI will head out onto the road on Saturday afternoon to battle Centenary.