Thursday, December 9, 2004
MIAMI (OHIO) (5-2, 0-0 MAC) at VALPARAISO (3-3, 0-0 Mid-Con)

WHEN: Saturday, December 11, 2004, 2:05 p.m. CST.

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

RADIO: WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso). Andrew Stem and Ron Caster broadcasting. Also available on the web at

TV: Tape Delay. Comcast Cablevision Local Access. Dick Harlan and Paul Curtis broadcasting. The game will air on Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 17 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 307-168 overall and 178-121 at Valpo. Miami is led by Maria Fantanarosa, who is 115-92 in her 8th season overall and 108-72 in her 7th season with the RedHawks.

SERIES RECORD: Miami leads the all-time series 5-0. The RedHawks won the only other meeting at the ARC, 77-74 in overtime, during the 2001-2002 season.

LAST MEETING: Miami defeated Valparaiso 83-71 on December 30, 2003 at Millett Hall in Oxford, Ohio. Jenna Stangler recorded a double-double for the Crusaders with 24 points and ten rebounds, while Kathryn Knoester added 14 points. Kim Lancaster led Miami with 21 points, while Colleen Day added 20 points and 14 boards.

Valparaiso will look to defeat Miami (Ohio) for the first time in school history on Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders put their two-game winning streak on the line against the RedHawks. This marks the sixth meeting all-time between the two schools, and the fifth straight year they have met on the hardwood.

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

MYERS DRAINS SEVEN THREES, ONE OFF SCHOOL MARK: Carrie Myers had made just seven career three-point field goals prior to converting seven times against Central Michigan. The seven triples in a game was one off of Lynda Kukla's and Suzie Hammel's single game mark of eight. Myers finished the game with a career-high 23 points.

BECHTOLD STEPS UP BIG: The shortest player on the team (5'4") filled some of the biggest shoes on Wednesday. Lauren Bechtold made her fourth career start and scored a career-high 17 points, including 5-of-8 shooting from three-point range. The junior point guard also dished out a career-best seven assists.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Jenna Stangler leads the team in scoring averaging 17.3 points per game. The senior forward has tallied double-figures in each of her first six games this season. The double-figure streak is extended to eight straight games including the last two in 2003-2004. She has tallied 20 or more points twice already this year.

CRUSADERS TAKE CARE OF BASKETBALL: The Crusaders are averaging just 11.5 turnover per game. Valpo leads the Mid-Con in fewest turnovers per game.

NUMBER 300 FOR FREEMAN: Saturday's game versus Miami marks the 300th game Keith Freeman has coached at Valpo. He has posted a 178-121 record in 11 seasons with the Crusaders.

MIAMI NOTES: Miami enters today's game 5-2 on the season after defeating Butler 73-62 Wednesday night on the road. The RedHawks jumped out to a 14-point halftime advantage on the way to the victory.

The RedHawks earned their first postseason berth last year when they advanced to the Second Round of the WNIT. Miami was picked to win its third straight Mid-American Conference East Division title this season.

Cindi Merrill leads the RedHawks offensively. The junior guard is averaging 15.7 points per game after pouring in 22 against Butler. She is also grabbing 6.3 rebounds per game. Amanda Jackson is the only other RedHawk averaging in double figures, posting 11.9 points per game. Laura Markwood leads Miami in rebounding with 6.7 boards per night.

Today marks the second of four straight road games for Miami. The RedHawks will travel to Seton Hall next Saturday before concluding the road trip at Manhattan.