Thursday, December 15, 2005
LOYOLA (ILL.) (0-8, 0-0 Horizon) at VALPARAISO (4-4, 0-0 Mid-Con)

WHEN: Sunday, December 18, 2005, 2:05 p.m. CST.

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

RADIO: WVUR (95.1-FM-Valparaiso) and on the internet at Mike Haase and Joey Favata 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 326-179 overall and 197-132 at Valpo. Loyola is led by Shannon Reidy, who is 0-8 in her 1st season overall and with the Ramblers.

SERIES RECORD: Valparaiso leads the all-time series with the Ramblers 9-0. The Crusaders hold a 4-0 edge over Loyola at the Athletics-Recreation Center.

LAST MEETING: Valparaiso had four players log 37 or more minutes due to injuries to others and rallied from a one-point halftime deficit to defeat Loyola 72-61 on December 18, 2004 in Chicago. A 14-2 Crusader run spanning both halves put Valpo in front for good. Lauren Bechtold just missed a double-double with ten points and nine assists for the Crusaders while Jamie Gutowski led all scorers with 19 points. Mandy Mennella led Loyola with 17 points off of the bench.

Valparaiso returns home on Sunday after three straight games away from the Athletics-Recreation Center as the Crusaders entertain Loyola (Ill.) in the Brown and Gold's final game before the Christmas holiday. Valpo battled Purdue to the horn last Sunday, before falling to the Boilermakers 70-55.

TIME CHANGE AT NOTRE DAME: Valparaiso's game at Notre Dame on December 28 is now scheduled for a 1 p.m. CST tip-off. The game was originally slated for a night game on the first schedules that were released.

MYERS BURIES THEM FROM DEEP: Carrie Myers is tied for 17th in the nation making 3.0 three-point field goals per game. The junior is shooting 41.4% from beyond the arc and ranks second on the Crusader roster in scoring, tallying 13.4 points per game. In addition, Myers has scored in double-figures in six of her last seven games.

PULLING DOWN THE BOARDS: Tamra Braun is grabbing 9.3 rebounds per game on the season, ranking second in the Mid-Continent Conference. She has had five double-figure rebounding games and posted four double-doubles on the year.

TAKING CARE OF THE BALL: Lauren Bechtold has done a solid job at point guard over the last three games. She has committed just two turnovers in 113 minutes of action, playing all 40 minutes against both Central Michigan and Purdue.

VALPO AND THE RPI: Valparaiso's difficult schedule has helped the Crusaders in the latest poll. Valpo ranks 37th overall in RPI and has played the 6th toughest strength of schedule in the nation at this point.

HANDS OFF DEFENSE: Valparaiso has seen much success this season on the defensive end of the floor. The Crusaders are allowing just 59.0 points per game, holding five opponents below the 60-point mark. Valpo has played defense without fouling as well, as the Brown and Gold average just 13.1 fouls per game, fourth fewest in Division I through December 12.

LOYOLA NOTES: Loyola is playing a true road game for the first time in nearly a month as the Ramblers visit Valparaiso. Loyola is looking for its first victory of the season and just wrapped up a three-game homestand with a 93-80 loss to Indiana State.

Marquise Hanser leads the way for the Rambler offense averaging 19.4 points per game. She ranks 27th in the nation in scoring and tied her career-high with 25 points against Indiana State.

Mandy Mennella has returned from a leg injury that kept her out of the lineup for the first three games of the season. She is averaging 10.6 points per contest after posting a double-double, 22 points and ten rebounds, against Indiana State.

Turnovers have hampered Loyola so far this season, as the Ramblers average 28.3 miscues per game.