Thursday, March 3, 2005
#2 VALPARAISO (18-9, 12-4 Mid-Con) vs. #7 UMKC (8-19, 5-11 Mid-Con)

WHAT: Toshiba Mid-Continent Conference Tournament Quarterfinals.

WHEN: Saturday, March 5, 2005, 2:30 p.m. CST.

WHERE: John Q. Hammons Arena (5,662), Tulsa, Okla.

RADIO: WVUR (95.1-FM-Valparaiso) and on the internet at Andrew Stem and Brent Whitlock will call all of the action.

TV: On the internet at

THE COACHES: Valparaiso is led by Keith Freeman, who is in his 17th season of coaching, and 11th with the Crusaders. He is 322-174 overall and 193-127 at Valpo. UMKC is led by Bo Overton, who is 8-19 in his 1st season overall and with the Kangaroos.

SERIES RECORD: Valparaiso leads the all-time series with UMKC 17-7. The Crusaders hold a 2-0 advantage over the Kangaroos on neutral floors.

THIS SEASON: UMKC won the first meeting of the season between the schools 47-35 back on January 15 in Kansas City, Mo. Valpo rebounded with an 80-56 win over the Kangaroos on Monday night (February 28) at the Athletics-Recreation Center in the regular season finale.

Valparaiso begins defense of its Mid-Continent Conference Tournament title on Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders face UMKC in the quarterfinals. The two-time champions have won five straight heading into the tournament.

BRAUN NAMED TO MID-CON FIRST TEAM: Tamra Braun earned First Team All Mid-Continent Conference honors after coming on strong during league play. The sophomore center averaged 9.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game during the regular season. Her numbers increased dramatically during Mid-Con action as Braun tallied 11.8 points, grabbed 7.9 boards, and recorded 2.4 blocks per game against league foes.

STANGLER EARNS SECOND TEAM AWARD: Jenna Stangler has been named to the Mid-Continent Conference Second Team after leading the Crusaders in scoring this season. The senior forward averaged 12.4 points per game and grabbed 4.7 rebounds per contest. She also shot 83.6% from the free throw line during the regular season. She missed seven league games with an injury, but still averaged 8.4 points and 4.0 boards per game in Mid-Con action.

PLAYING DEFENSE IN LEAGUE PLAY: Valpo allowed just 50.6 points per game during Mid-Continent Conference play this season. Only Oakland (63) scored more than 58 points against Valpo in conference action and three opponents failed to score 40 points.

CRUSADERS AMONG NATION'S BEST: The Crusaders' 13.7 turnovers per game through February 28 ranks as the fifth fewest in the country. Valpo is also eighth in fewest personal fouls committed at 13.7 per contest. Valpo has moved to 23rd in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 55.0 points per game. Individually, Tamra Braun's 2.3 blocks per contest rank her 26th in the country in rejections.

TOURNAMENT SUCCESS: Valparaiso has won six straight Mid-Con Tournament games and eight of its last nine. The Crusaders are 13-10 all-time in tournament action.

STANGLER EARNS ALL-TOURNEY TEAM HONORS AT SUBWAY CLASSIC: Jenna Stangler was named to the Subway Classic All-Tournament Team after averaging 19.0 points per game. The senior scored 23 points against Virginia Tech in the opener. Stangler also shot 51.6% from the floor in the classic while averaging 36.0 minutes per night.

STANGLER ALSO NAMED TO BLUE SKY CLASSIC ALL-TOURNEY TEAM: Jenna Stangler was named to the Blue Sky Classic All-Tournament Team after averaging 12.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game against DePaul and Dartmouth.

MYERS NAMED MID-CON PLAYER OF THE WEEK TWICE: Carrie Myers was named Mid-Continent Conference Player of the Week on December 14 and again on February 28. The first award came after she averaged 17.0 points and 3.5 assists in games against Central Michigan and Miami (Ohio). Myers earned the second accolade after averaging 25.0 points per game and shooting 64% (16-of-25) from three-point range in wins against Oral Roberts and UMKC the final weekend of the regular season.

STANGLER NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK JANUARY 11: Jenna Stangler was named the Mid-Continent Conference Player of the Week on January 11 after averaging 19.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals, and 2.0 assists in a pair of wins against Oakland and Oral Roberts. Stangler shot 72.7% from the floor (16-of-22) in the two games. She had 23 points against Oakland and 16 points against Oral Roberts.

BRAUN NAMED MID-CON PLAYER OF THE WEEK ON FEBRUARY 15: Tamra Braun was named the co-Mid-Con Player of the Week on February 15 after averaging 17.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks per game while shooting 59.0% from the floor. During the week she had a career high 27 points against Chicago State and a double-double against Western Illinois. She added 12 points and nine rebounds against IUPUI.

STANGLER EARNS ACADEMIC HONOR: Jenna Stangler was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District V Second Team as selected by CoSIDA for her efforts both on the court and in the classroom. The senior is a biology and chemistry major and has posted a 3.36 grade point average to go along with her team-leading 12.4 points per game on the season.

COACH FREEMAN MADE PLEDGE IN FIGHT AGAINST CANCER: Head coach Keith Freeman was looking for fans to help pack the Athletics-Recreation Center to help lead the Crusaders to a win over Notre Dame and at the same time help the American Cancer Society win in the battle with cancer on November 30 While Valpo did not win the game, Freeman donated $1,000 to the American Cancer Society as 2,214 fans watched Valpo play the third-ranked Fighting Irish to the wire.

FREEMAN RANKS AT TOP OF MID-CON'S COACHING LISTS: Keith Freeman is the Mid-Continent Conference's winningest coach of all-time in both overall and conference games. Freeman has posted 193 victories overall, 30 more than any other coach in the league's history. His 115 Mid-Con wins are also 17 more than any other coach in conference history.

WIN AT WASHINGTON STATE FIRST-EVER AGAINST THE PAC-10: Valparaiso's 56-50 victory at Washington State on December 21 marked the school's first win ever against a Pacific-10 team.

VALPO CLINCHES 14th WINNING SEASON IN 15 YEARS: Valparaiso has assured itself of its 14th winning season in the last 15 years. The only year since 1990-1991 Valpo has not finished the year over .500 was 2000-2001.

BOONE SECOND ALL-TIME ON VALPO ASSIST CHARTS: Katie Boone has moved into second place on Valpo's career assist list. The senior point guard now has 448 helpers, trailing just Debbie Bolen's (1989-1993) total of 651.

BECHTOLD REACHES 200 ASSISTS, JOINS BOONE ON CAREER LIST: Lauren Bechtold has moved into 16th place on the school's all-time assist list. The junior has 201 for her career, one shy of tying for 14th place and seven shy of 13th place on the charts.

BOONE ALSO MOVES UP STEAL AND FREE THROW LISTS: Katie Boone has also moved into fifth place on Valpo's career steals chart, while moving into a tie for seventh on the free throws made list. Boone now has 186 career thefts and 230 all-time free throws. She is 14 steals shy of fourth place on the steals list and one free throw away from moving up to sixth on that list.

BOONE AND STANGLER ON CAREER REBOUNDING LISTS: Katie Boone and Jenna Stangler both rank among the all-time best rebounders in school history. Boone has 500 career boards, ranking 12th in school history. She is 37 rebounds shy of 11th place. Stangler is currently tied for 17th place on the school's rebounding list with 428 all-time rebounds. She is six boards shy of moving into 16th place.

DIALING LONG DISTANCE: After making just 14 three-pointers in their first five games, the Crusaders caught fire on December 8 against Central Michigan, making a school-record 17 treys. Valpo shot 54.8% (17-of-31) from beyond the arc.

SULTAN OF SWATS: Tamra Braun is knocking about every shot she sees away. She now has 94 for her career, moving into third place on Valpo's all-time blocked shot list. She is four rejections shy of second place. In addition, her 63 blocks this year are second most on the Crusaders' single season list. Only Michelle Mader's 110 blocks in 1991-1992 rank ahead of the sophomore.

BOONE AMONG MID-CON'S BEST IN ASSISTS: Katie Boone's 448 career assists have moved her into sixth place on the Mid-Continent Conference's career assist list. She is four helpers shy of Colleen Cook (Youngstown State, 1994-1997) and Clentana Dawkins (Northeastern Illinois, 1994-1995 for fourth place.

GUTOWSKI RAINS THREES: Jamie Gutowski ranks ninth on Valpo's career three-point list, having made 104 triples over her first three seasons. She needs 14 more treys to move into eighth place and 15 more to move into seventh all-time.

KEEPING THEM OFF THE SCOREBOARD: Valpo just missed holding IUPUI to a record-low on the scoreboard January 24. The Jaguars scored 36 points, two more than the Crusader record of 34 set against Manchester back on November 22, 1985. Valpo also allowed just 38 points against Southern Utah on February 19, tying for the third fewest allowed in a game in school history. Centenary scored just 39 points against Valpo on February 5, tied for the fifth fewest allowed all-time.

MIXING UP THE LINE-UP: Valparaiso has had eight different players draw starting assignments this season, and not one player has started more than 23 games due to various injuries throughout the season. The Crusaders have had 16 different starting combinations in 27 games this season.

SHOOTING AND REBOUNDING LEAD TO WINS: Valpo is 15-1 on the season when shooting better than their opponents from the floor this season. The Crusaders are also a perfect 12-0 when outrebounding the opposition.

BUZZER BEATERS: Tamra Braun's basket with 0.5 seconds left to give Valpo the win at Southern Utah marked the third time Valpo had beaten the horn this season. Jenna Stangler tied the game and forced overtime against Butler, a game the Crusaders went on to win. Carrie Myers also tied the game and forced an extra session with a three-pointer with just four seconds remaining against Western Illinois. Valpo fell in overtime. Miami (Ohio) also hit a shot with 1.8 seconds left to beat Valpo earlier this year.

BOONE REACHES ONE MILESTONE, NEARS ANOTHER: Katie Boone reached the 500 rebound mark for her career and has moved within two of the 450 assist mark for her four years at Valpo. The senior became just the 12th Crusader in school history to grab 500 boards. She also would be just the second player ever to reach 450 helpers in four years.

TOP TEN IN WINS: The Crusaders' 18 wins this season rank tie for the fifth most in school history. Only four Valpo teams all-time have reached the 20 win plateau.

SENIOR SUCCESS: Valparaiso's three seniors, Meredith Baugher, Katie Boone, and Jenna Stangler have won 82 games while wearing the Brown and Gold. The Crusaders won the Mid-Con regular season title and won two WNIT games before falling in the quarterfinals during their freshman year. As sophomores and juniors, the trio has led Valpo to two Mid-Con Tournament titles and two NCAA Tournament appearances.

STANGLER JUST OFF CAREER SCORING CHARTS: Jenna Stangler needs just two points to move into 20th place on Valpo's career scoring list. The senior has tallied 781 during her four-year career. She needs just five points to move into 19th all-time.

MYERS SETS SINGLE GAME RECORD FOR THREE-POINTERS: Carrie Myers set a new Valparaiso single-game school record with nine triples on February 28 against UMKC. She surpassed the old mark of eight, held by Lynda Kukla (1990) and Suzie Hammel (2002). Myers has made seven in a game twice this season as well.

BRAUN'S 13 HOOPS SIXTH BEST ALL-TIME: Tamra Braun's 13 field goals on February 10 against Chicago State rank in a tie for sixth place on Valpo's single game record books.

RIETEMA MAKES FREE THROWS: Betsy Rietema made 13 free throws at IUPUI in 14 attempts on February 14. Her 13 makes are tied for fifth most in school history for a single game.

UNABLE TO MISS: Valpo shot 62.2% from the floor against IUPUI, the second best shooting night in school history. The Crusaders were a blistering 77.3% from the field in the second half.

FOR THREE: Valpo's 144 three-pointers as a team this season are tenth most in school history. The Crusaders need three more to move up to ninth and six more to reach eighth on the team's single season charts. Valpo's .353 shooting percentage from long range currently ranks as the third best single season effort by the team in school history.

MYERS ON VERGE OF SINGLE SEASON LIST FOR THREES: Carrie Myers is just three three-pointers away from tying for ninth place on Valpo's single season triples list. The sophomore enters the tournament with 48 this year.

BLOCK PARTY: Valpo has rejected 90 shots this season as a team, seventh most in school history. With seven more blocks, the 2004-2005 team would move up to sixth place.

UMKC NOTES: UMKC enters the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament having dropped four straight and ten of its last 12 after falling 80-56 at Valparaiso on Monday night.

Katie Houlehan leads the Kangaroos in scoring and ranks fourth in the Mid-Continent Conference averaging 14.7 points per game. She is 14th all-time in Mid-Con history having scored 1,421 career points. Houlehan ranks 16th in the nation this season making 2.6 three-pointers per game.

Jowan Ortega is the only other UMKC player averaging in double-figures on the season. She tallies 10.0 points per game and leads the Mid-Con in steals with 2.56 per night. Sammi Knapic leads the Kangaroos and the Mid-Con in assists, dishing out 4.96 helpers per game. She is 45th in the country this season.

UMKC is 1-9 all-time in the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament. The Kangaroos lone win came as the #3 seed last season. UMKC downed Southern Utah 72-64 in the quarterfinals before falling to Valpo in the semifinals.