Friday, November 25, 2005
VALPARAISO (2-1, 0-0 Mid-Con) at XAVIER (OHIO) (2-1, 0-0 A-10)

WHAT: National City Bank Xavier Invitational Championship.

WHEN: Saturday, November 26, 2005, 2 p.m. CST.

WHERE: Cintas Center (10,250), Cincinnati, Ohio.

RADIO: WVUR (95.1-FM-Valparaiso) and on the internet at Mike Haase and Jesse Shale will call all of the action.

TV: None.

THE COACHES: Valparaiso is led by Keith Freeman, who is in his 18th season of coaching, and 12th with the Crusaders. He is 324-176 overall and 195-129 at Valpo. Xavier is led by Kevin McGuff, who is 62-33 in his 4th season overall and with the Muskateers.

SERIES RECORD: Xavier leads the all-time series against the Crusaders 6-0. The Muskateers are 3-0 against Valpo in Cincinnati.

LAST MEETING: Xavier posted a 77-63 victory over Valparaiso on November 18, 1997 in the season opener for the Crusaders at the Athletics-Recreation Center.

After a thrilling come-from behind overtime victory on Friday, Valparaiso returns to the hardwood on Saturday afternoon to battle host Xavier (Ohio) in the championship of the National City Bank Xavier Invitational. The Crusaders rallied from 17-points down in the first round against Kent State on Friday to post a 66-62 win.

RIETEMA EARNS MID-CON HONORS: Forward Betsy Rietema has been named the Mid-Continent Conference Player of the Week after exploding in the first two games for the Crusaders. The junior averaged 23.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 5.5 steals per game against Northern Iowa and Bradley. In the win over the Panthers, she scored 24 points, one off of her career high, while adding career-bests in rebounds (nine) and steals (six). At Bradley, she played 48 minutes scoring 22 points and adding eight rebounds and five steals.

BRAUN MOVES UP THE MID-CON CHARTS IN BLOCKED SHOTS: Tamra Braun has moved into the top-ten on the Mid-Con's career blocked shots list with 107 swats during her career. She moved passed Missy Beck (Eastern Illinois, 1992-1996, 100) with her three blocks against Northern Iowa in the season opener. Braun is also second all-time at Valpo behind Michelle Mader (1988-1992), who had 166 rejections.

BRAUN IS DOUBLE-TROUBLE: Tamra Braun posted her tenth career double-double on Friday afternoon in the Crusaders' double-overtime win against Kent State. She posted 12 points and 11 rebounds one game after she registered 14 points and grabbed ten rebounds while shooting 6-of-10 from the floor at Bradley.

IT'S BEEN AWHILE: The last time Valparaiso was in the championship game of an in-season tournament was in the 1998-1999 season when the Crusaders made the finals of both the Saint Louis Tournament and the LaSalle Tournament. The Crusaders dropped both games. The last tournament Valpo won was the Lady Redmen Classic hosted by Carthage in the 1985-1986 season. Valpo downed Lakeland, Carthage, and Clarke.

XAVIER NOTES: Xavier enters the championship game having won 62-51 against Elon on Friday in the first round of the National City Bank Xavier Invitational.

The Musketeers were led by Tara Boothe, who tallied 20 points and grabbed six rebounds in the victory. She leads the team on the season averaging 18.0 points per game.

Sutana Granderson is also tallying double-figures for Xavier after scoring 19 points in the win over the Phoenix. She is averaging 16.3 points per night.

Michelle Miller also tallied double figures in the first round for Xavier, scoring 11 points while also grabbing nine rebounds.

The Musketeers led by just two at intermission, 27-25, before shooting 50% in the second half for the victory.