Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Rietema's 24 and Solid Defense Lead to Valpo's Season Opening Victory

Friday, November 18, 2005

Betsy Rietema (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) scored 24 points, one off of her career high, and Valparaiso's defense forced 24 turnovers, as the Crusaders defeated Northern Iowa 62-48 at the Athletics-Recreation Center on Friday evening in the season opener for both schools.

Rietema scored 14 of Valpo's 26 first half points on 6-of-9 shooting as Valpo built a three-point halftime advantage. A 13-5 run midway through the second half broke the game open as the Crusaders won a season opener for the first time in six years. Valpo's last opening win came November 19, 1999 against Illinois-Chicago.

After a nip-and-tuck first ten minutes, Valparaiso took the lead for good with 8:52 remaining the opening stanza as Carrie Myers (Stickleyville, Va./Lee H.S.) hit a jumper to give the Brown and Gold a 16-14 lead. The lead grew to seven, 26-19, with just over a minute to play in the first half before the Panthers scored the final four points of the stanza.

Northern Iowa cut the lead to one on the first possession of the second half before back-to-back baskets by Tamra Braun (Savage, Minn./Prior Lake H.S.) and Jamie Gutowski (Crown Point, Ind./Andrean H.S.) pushed the lead to five. UNI was withing 37-33 with 11:21 left when Valpo went on its run.

Braun scored twice, as did Rietema, and Myers hit a three-pointer, Valpo's lone triple of the game, to help push the lead to 50-38 with 6:14 remaining. The Crusaders never led by less than ten the rest of the way.

On her way to the game-high 24 points, Rietema shot 10-of-19 from the floor while also grabbing a career-high nine rebounds and registering a career-best six steals. Myers added nine points, as did Mayella Kuikhoven (Almelo, Netherlands/Saint Canisius H.S.) in just 15 minutes off of the bench. Braun added seven points and nine boards along with three blocks, giving her 101 for her career. The junior moved into second place all alone on Valpo's all-time blocked shots list and into tenth place in Mid-Continent Conference history in the category.

Valpo's defense deserves a great deal of credit in the victory, forcing the Panthers into the 24 turnovers that resulted in 26 Crusader points. The Brown and Gold also won the rebounding battle 32-29, including a 14-9 edge on the offensive glass. Valpo held a 36-18 advantage in the paint as well.

Cassie Hager led Northern Iowa (0-1) with 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor and had three blocks. Jessie Biggs also found double figures with 11 while Megan Keefe added nine off of the bench.

Valpo (1-0) will head out on the road to Peoria, Ill. on Monday evening for a 7 p.m. game against Bradley. The Braves opened their season on Friday as well, posting a 78-73 victory at home over Illinois-Chicago. The game can be heard live on WVUR (95.1-FM) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.
Softball Northern Illinois 6 VU Softball Field
Apr 8 Valpo 8
Baseball Valpo 5 Evanston, Ill.
Apr 8 Northwestern 12
Softball Northern Illinois 3 8 inn.
Apr 8 Valpo 4
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
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M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
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Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
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Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
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Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
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Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
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Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
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Apr 19, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
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Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
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Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
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Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
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W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
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Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26 Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
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Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo