BUTLER (4-1, 0-0 Horizon) vs. VALPARAISO (1-3, 0-0 Mid-Con)
WHAT: State Farm Hoosier State Classic.
WHEN: Saturday, December 4, 2004, 11 a.m. CST.
WHERE: Hullman Center (10,200), Terre Haute, Ind.
OTHER MATCHUP: Indiana State hosts Ball State at 1:30 p.m. CST.
RADIO: WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso). Jeremy Bronn and Mike Hasse broadcasting. Also on the web at www.valpo.edu/athletics.
THE COACHES: Valparaiso is led by Keith Freeman, who is in his 17th season of coaching, and 11th with the Crusaders. He is 305-168 overall and 176-121 at Valpo. Butler is led by Beth Couture, who is 282-156 in her 16th season overall and 24-39 in her 3rd season with the Fighting Irish.
SERIES RECORD: Butler leads the all-time series with Valpo 14-2.
LAST MEETING: The Crusaders defeated the Bulldogs 74-67 on December 6, 2004 at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Jenna Stangler led Valpo with 22 points and seven rebounds, while Meredith Baugher added 16 points. Dionne Goodwin led Butler with 14 points and eight boards.
VALPO AT STATE FARM HOOSIER STATE CLASSIC: Valparaiso is 3-0 all-time at the Hoosier State Classic. The Crusaders downed Indiana State in 2001, defeated Ball State in 2002, and beat Butler last season.
STANGLER HOT FROM FIELD EARLY ON: Jenna Stangler has been on fire from the floor through the first four games of the season. The senior has connected on 55% of her attempts from the floor and enters play against Butler averaging 19.5 points per game. She is ranked second in the Mid-Con in scoring and tied her career high with 26 points against Saint Xavier on Sunday.
BOONE CONTINUES TO DISH THE ROCK: Katie Boone has done a stellar job at the point guard position for the Crusaders thus far this year. Against #3 Notre Dame, the senior dished out seven assists without committing a turnover. Her 5.2 assist-to-turnover margin includes 26 helpers and just five miscues on the season.
CRUSADERS TAKE CARE OF BASKETBALL: Despite playing team's receiving votes in the top-25 rankings in three of the first four games, Valpo has taken care of the basketball on offense. The Crusaders are averaging just 11.8 turnover per game, while forcing 17.5 from opponents. Valpo leads the Mid-Con in both fewest turnovers per game and turnover margin.
RIETEMA TURNS IT ON: Betsy Rietema is averaging 10.8 points per game and shooting 53.1% from the floor after back-to-back double-figure scoring efforts. The sophomore tied her career-high with 16 points against Notre Dame, including 14 in the second half helping Valpo mount its comeback.
BUTLER NOTES: Butler enters the game having won its last four games after dropping the season opener at Kentucky. The Bulldogs defeated Western Michigan on the road 57-54 on Tuesday night.
Jackie Closser leads the Bulldogs in scoring, averaging 12.8 points and 3.2 assists per game. The sophomore is shooting 53.6% from three-point range.
Ellen Hamilton is also averaging in double-figures for Butler. Her 11.0 points per game have been aided by 94% shooting from the free throw line.
Cortney Urquhart is the Bulldogs' top rebounder. Her 6.0 boards per game include 3.6 on the offensive end. She is averaging 8.8 points per game as well.
Butler enters play +3.8 in turnover margin and is shooting 74% from the line as a team.