VALPARAISO (5-5, 0-0 Mid-Con) at DARTMOUTH (3-5, 0-0 Ivy League)
WHAT: Dartmouth Blue Sky Classic Consolation Game.
WHEN: Thursday, December 30, 2004, 4 p.m. CST.
WHERE: Leede Arena (2,100), Hanover, N.H.
CHAMPIONSHIP: #19/18 DePaul vs. Richmond
RADIO: WVUR (95.1-FM) and on the internet at www.valpo.edu/athletics. Andy Viano and Baron Brendel 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 309-170 overall and 180-123 at Valpo. Dartmouth is led by Chris Wielgus, who is 315-227 in her 22nd season overall and 278-206 in her 20th season with the Big Green.
SERIES RECORD: This is the first meeting ever between Valparaiso and Dartmouth.
LAST MEETING: None.
Valparaiso will look to rebound from a 75-49 loss at the hands of #19/18 DePaul when the Crusaders face Dartmouth, the tournament host, in the consolation game of the Blue Sky Classic on Thursday evening.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Valpo's game at Dartmouth is the fourth game of a six-game road trip in which the Crusaders will travel coast-to-coast and from the South to the North. The Crusaders opened the trip in Chicago (against Loyola), heading to the Pacific Northwest to face Washington State, and are now across the country in New Hampshire. The trip will wrap up with stops in Louisiana (Centenary) and Michigan (Oakland).
VALPO AMONG NATION'S BEST TAKING CARE OF THE BASKETBALL: The Crusaders are averaging just 11.5 turnover per game this season, which currently ranks second best in the country in the rankings through December 20. Villanova is the nation's leader turning the ball over just 9.6 times per contest. Following the DePaul game, Valpo's turnover mark has moved up just slightly to 12.2 per game.
DOUBLE TROUBLE: Jenna Stangler leads the team in scoring averaging 15.4 points per game. The senior forward had tallied double-figures in each of her first nine games this season was 11 straight games including the last two in 2003-2004. The string was snapped as she scored just six points against DePaul. She has tallied 20 or more points twice already this year and currently ranks fourth in the Mid-Con in scoring.
SULTAN OF SWATS: Tamra Braun is knocking about every shot she sees away in during non-conference play. She has 22 blocks on the year, and now has 53 for her career, tying her for tenth on Valpo's all-time top-ten blocked shot list. Her 2.0 blocks per game rank 48th in Division I through games of December 20.
WELCOME BACK BOONE: Katie Boone returned to the floor on Wednesday after missing four games with an injury.
DARTMOUTH NOTES: Dartmouth is looking for its first home victory of the season against Valparaiso on Thursday night. The Big Green have dropped two straight games overall, including a 58-55 defeat to Richmond on Wednesday in the first round of the Blue Sky Classic.
The Big Green are led by four individuals averaging in double-figures in the scoring column. Elise Morrison is the team leader with 12.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per contest. She played just three minutes on Wednesday though, before suffering an injury.
Ashley Taylor has contributed 12.6 points per night, while Jeannie Cullen chips in 12.4 per contest. Angie Soriaga rounds out the double-figure scorers with 12.1 per night. She led Dartmouth against the Spiders with 31 points. Krista Perry grabbed 14 rebounds against Richmond as well.
Dartmouth will continue its four-game homestand on Sunday afternoon, hosting Siena.