VALPARAISO (7-5, 2-0 Mid-Con) at CENTENARY (1-11, 0-1 Mid-Con)
WHEN: Wednesday, January 4, 2006, 7 p.m. CST.
WHERE: Gold Dome (3,000), Shreveport, La.
RADIO: WVUR (95.1-FM-Valparaiso) and on the internet at www.valpo.edu/athletics. Ken LaVicka and Mike Haase 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 329-180 overall and 200-133 at Valpo. Centenary is led by Elizabeth Wamsley, who is 2-36 in her 2nd season overall and with the Ladies.
SERIES RECORD: Valparaiso leads the all-time series with the Ladies 4-0. The Crusaders are a perfect 2-0 against Centenary in Shreveport.
LAST MEETING: Valparaiso converted 24 Centenary turnovers into 31 points on the way to a 59-39 victory over the Ladies on February 5, 2005 at the Athletics-Recreation Center. A 12-0 run to begin the second half broke open a game that saw Valpo in front just 27-21 at the break. Tamra Braun led Valpo with 13 points while Lauren Bechtold added 11 more. Holli Wilkins led the Ladies with 12 points while Jelena Aleksic added 11 for Centenary.
After posting two straight victories to open up Mid-Continent Conference action, Valparaiso will return to the hardwood for the fourth time in eight days on Wednesday as the Crusaders head to Shreveport, La. for a game against Centenary. Valpo is coming off of a 69-55 win at Oakland on Monday night.
FREEMAN WINS NUMBER 200 AT VALPO: Head coach Keith Freeman became the first coach in Valparaiso women's basketball history to win 200 games on the Crusader bench with his win at Oakland on Monday, January 2. He also becomes the first coach in Mid-Continent Conference history to reach the milestone.
A RECORD-SETTING DEFENSIVE EFFORT: Valparaiso set a new school mark allowing just 31 points against UMKC on Friday evening. The Crusaders bettered their previous mark of 34 set 20 years ago against Manchester on November 22, 1985.
BRAUN NAMED MID-CON PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Tamra Braun has been named the Mid-Continent Conference Player of the Week after turning in three solid outings last week. The junior center averaged 14.0 points and 6.7 rebounds while shooting 64.0% against Notre Dame, UMKC, and Oakland. She turned in her fifth double-double of the season with 15 points and ten rebounds at Oakland.
LITKA SCORES SEASON BEST: Aimee Litka posted career highs in scoring and rebounding at Oakland with 13 points and seven rebounds. The freshman came off the bench to play 22 minutes.
GUTOWSKI DIALS UP FROM LONG RANGE: Jamie Gutowski drained three three-point field goals in the victory over Oakland and has moved into a tie for seventh place all-time at Valpo with 119 triples in her career. She needs 13 more to move into sixth place.
BECHTOLD IN TOP TEN ALL-TIME IN ASSISTS: Lauren Bechtold has moved into tenth place on Valpo's all-time assist list. Her four helpers at Oakland give her 239 in four years, passing Jeanette Gray (1999-2003) for tenth place. She is eight helpers shy of ninth place now.
DOWN THE ROAD: The Brown and Gold will return to the Athletics-Recreation Center on Monday, January 9 as the Crusaders host Oral Roberts. The game is the first game of a doubleheader with the men's team. Tip-off is set for 5:15 p.m. and the game will be carried live on WYIN-56 in Northwest Indiana and WHME-46 in South Bend. Valpo then will step out of conference for the final time this season on Thursday, January 12 as the Crusaders host IPFW. Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m. against the Mastodons.
CENTENARY NOTES: Centenary is looking to snap a nine-game losing skid when the Ladies host Valpo. Centenary is coming off of an 83-37 loss at Western Illinois last Saturday to open up Mid-Continent Conference play.
The Ladies are looking to break a 22-game Mid-Con losing skid as well, dating back to the 2003-2004 season.
Van'esha Brabson leads Centenary offensively averaging 11.7 points per contest. Holli Wilkins also is scoring in double figures for the Ladies, pouring in 11.2 points per night.
On the boards, Laura Kizyte leads the team grabbing 5.2 rebounds per game.
As a team, Centenary is shooting 36.8% from the floor and committing 19.7 turnovers per game this season.