VALPARAISO (15-9, 9-4 Mid-Con) at IUPUI (14-9, 9-4 Mid-Con)
WHEN: Monday, February 20, 2006, 6 p.m. CST.
WHERE: IUPUI Gymnasium (2,000), Indianapolis, Ind.
RADIO: WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and on the internet at www.valpo.edu/athletics. Mike Haase and Ron Castor will call all of the action.
THE COACHES: Valparaiso is led by Keith Freeman, who is in his 18th season of coaching, and 12th with the Crusaders. He is 337-184 overall and 208-137 at Valpo. IUPUI is led by Shann Hart, who is 148-125 in her 10th season overall and 21-30 in her 2nd season with the Jaguars.
SERIES RECORD: Valparaiso holds an 18-3 all-time advantage against IUPUI and has won ten straight meetings between the two schools. The Crusaders hold a 6-2 edge in the series in Indianapolis.
LAST MEETING: Paced by 12 offensive rebounds that turned into 11 second chance points, Valparaiso defeated IUPUI 55-48 at the ARC on January 30, 2006. Betsy Rietema led the Crusaders with 18 points while Carrie Myers added 14. Tamra Braun chipped in 13 points and eight boards for the Brown and Gold. Jernisha Cann led IUPUI with 17 points and seven rebounds off of the bench while Kia Hayes added 13 more for the Jaguars.
Valparaiso heads to Indianapolis, Ind. on Monday evening to begin a season-ending three-game road trip against IUPUI, the team the Brown and Gold is tied with for second place in the Mid-Continent Conference standings. The Crusaders forged the tie on Saturday afternoon with a 75-67 double-overtime victory at home against Chicago State.
AND WE'RE GOING TO OVERTIME: Valparaiso's double-overtime victory against Chicago State on Saturday marked the third time this year the Crusaders have gone to an extra session (or two). Valpo is 2-1 in overtime this season. The last time Valpo played two double-overtime contests in the same season was in 1999-2000. The three total overtime games mark the most in a season since the 2001-2002 squad played three as well.
NO DECISIONS HERE: Head coach Keith Freeman stuck with the same players down the stretch and through both overtimes against Chicago State. Betsy Rietema, Tamra Braun, Lauren Bechtold, Jamie Gutowski, and Carrie Myers never left the floor over the final four minutes of regulation and both extra periods.
BRAUN AMONG TOP-20 SHARP SHOOTERS: Tamra Braun is currently ranked 20th in the nation in field goal shooting connecting on 57.% of her attempts from the floor this season. The junior center has been even better in Mid-Continent Conference play, making 62.9% of her shots against league foes. Braun is shooting 53.3% for her career, second best all-time in a Crusader uniform.
A WINNING TRADITION: Valpo has assured itself of its 15th winning season in the last 16 years. The Crusaders also have clinched their 13th winning Mid-Con season in the 14 years of conference play.
DISHING THE ROCK: Lauren Bechtold dished out six assists while committing just one turnover in 45 minutes of action against the Cougars on Saturday. The senior guard has moved into a tie for sixth place on Valpo's career assist list with 278. Bechtold is averaging 3.04 assists per contest this year and has a 1.66 assist-to-turnover ratio.
DOWN THE ROAD: The Crusaders remain on the road and head south for the final two games of the regular season. On Saturday, February 25, Valpo will face UMKC in Kansas City, Mo. in a 2 p.m. matchup. The regular season then will come to a close in Tulsa, Okla. on February 27 with a 7:05 p.m. contest against Oral Roberts. Valpo then returns to Tulsa for the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament. This year's event takes place March 4-7.
IUPUI NOTES: IUPUI sits tied with Valparaiso for second place in the Mid-Continent Conference standings but has dropped three of its last five games, all on the road, after falling 66-63 at Chicago State last Monday evening.
The Jaguars are 7-2 at home this season, including 5-1 in league play.
Kia Hayes leads the way for IUPUI offensively. The senior guard is averaging 15.0 points per contest on the year, ranking fourth in the Mid-Con in scoring. Hayes is also on of the team's top free through shooters making 73.6% from the line.
Tanika Mays is also scoring in double figures for the Jaguars, pouring in 10.8 points per night. The team's second leading rebounder as well, the freshman is grabbing 7.3 boards per night.
Jernisha Cann leads IUPUI on the glass pulling down 8.4 rebounds per outing.