Sunday, January 30, 2005
OAKLAND (13-5, 5-2 Mid-Con) at VALPARAISO (12-7, 6-2 Mid-Con)

WHEN: Monday, January 31, 2005, 7:05 p.m.

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

RADIO: WVUR (95.1-FM) and on the internet at Ken LaVicka and Baron Brendel 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 3 at 7 p.m. and February 4 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 316-172 overall and 187-125 at Valpo. Oakland is led by Eileen Hilliard, who is 43-32 in her 3rd season overall and with the Golden Grizzlies.

SERIES RECORD: Oakland leads the overall series with Valpo 9-8 dating back to the 1998-1999 season. The series is even 3-3 at the ARC.

LAST MEETING: Valpo jumped out to a 12-point halftime lead on the way to a 68-63 victory in Rochester, Mich. back on January 5. Jenna Stangler scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Lauren Bechtold added 17 points and eight assists for the Crusaders. Jayme Wilson scored 18 points and Anne Hafeli added 17 for Oakland.

After topping Southern Utah at the buzzer on Saturday night, Valparaiso returns home Monday evening to entertain Oakland marking the start of the second half of the Mid-Continent Conference season. The Crusaders, sitting in second place in the standings, trail Western Illinois by two games.

PLAYING DEFENSE IN LEAGUE PLAY: Valpo is allowing just 51.5 points per game during Mid-Continent Conference play. Opponents are shooting just 35.4% from the floor against the Crusaders in league play and are committing 16.8 turnovers per game.

CRUSADERS AMONG NATION'S BEST: The Crusaders' 13.6 turnovers per game through January 24 ranked as the sixth fewest in the country. Valpo is also 13th in fewest personal fouls committed at 13.8 per contest. Individually, Tamra Braun's 2.1 blocks per contest rank her 39th in rejections, while Jenna Stangler is 49th in free throw shooting, making 84.3% 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 ten different starting combinations thus far this season.

BRAUN TO THE RESCUE: Tamra Braun's basket with 0.5 seconds left marked the third time Valpo has beaten the horn this season. Jenna Stangler tied the game and forced overtime against Butler, a game the Crusaders went on to win earlier this year. 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.

WINNING IN ALL TIME ZONES: Valpo has won in all four time zones this season with the win at Southern Utah (Mountain). The Crusaders defeated Washington State (Pacific), along with Dartmouth, Butler, and Oakland (Eastern), earlier this year. Valpo has won seven times in the Central time zone.

OAKLAND NOTES: Oakland enters the contest riding a three-game winning streak. The Golden Grizzlies have been idle for a week, following a 77-55 victory at home against Oral Roberts last Monday night.

The Golden Grizzlies have three of the top six scorers in the Mid-Continent Conference. Anne Hafeli is averaging 18.0 points per contest. The junior is shooting 85.4% from the free throw line and 45.7% from beyond the three-point arc. Her 3.8 three-point field goals per game lead the nation and her outside shooting percentage ranks 11th in the country.

Jayme Wilson enters play averaging 15.7 points per contest, while Nicole Piggott has added 14.8 points per night. Amanda Batcha has been a force on the glass for Oakland, grabbing 9.4 rebounds per game.

As a team, Oakland ranks 19th in the country in scoring offense, averaging 74.3 points per game. The Golden Grizzlies are eighth in three-point field goal percentage (40.8%) and 15th in three-pointers made, averaging 7.1 treys per game.