Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Opens Mid-Con Play with Record-Setting Victory

Friday, December 30, 2005

Saying Valparaiso's defense showed up on Friday evening at the Athletics-Recreation Center would be an understatement as the Crusaders held UMKC to just 20.4% shooting on the way to a 65-31 victory to open the Mid-Continent Conference schedule.

The 31 points allowed by Valpo set a new school mark for fewest allowed in a game, bettering the 20-year old mark of 34 set against Manchester on November 22, 1985.

Valpo started out strong, scoring the game's first six points and not allowing the Kangaroos to touch the scoreboard for the first four minutes of the game. UMKC went on a 7-2 run over two minutes to close within one, but that would be as close as they would get the rest of the game.

The Crusader defense took over, allowing just four points on two field goals over the final 13:30 of the first half, shutting UMKC out for the final 7:05 of the stanza. A 14-0 run heading into the locker room gave Valpo a 31-11 halftime advantage.

Tamra Braun (Savage, Minn./Prior Lake H.S.) scored 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting inside as Lauren Bechtold (Hebron, Ind./Hebron H.S.) continually found her open on her way to five first half assists.

Valpo turned the ball over just twice in the first half, both coming in the game's first two minutes. The Crusaders shot 48.1% for the half but it was the defense that helped build the lead. UMKC managed just four field goals on 25 shots (16%), including just 2-of-10 from three-point range. Valpo also forced eight first half turnovers leading to nine points.

The Crusader defense was just as strong to start the second half, allowing just two points over the first six plus minutes as the lead grew to 39-13 and Valpo coasted from there.

Braun finished the game with 17 points and seven boards in just 26 minutes of action, while Aimee Litka (South Bend, Ind./Saint Joseph's H.S.) added a career-high eight points off of the bench for the Brown and Gold. Bechtold finished with five assists and no turnovers while tying her career high with seven rebounds. The senior point guard now has committed just three miscues over the last 186 minutes of action.

Krystal Taylor (Minneapolis, Minn./North H.S.) also grabbed a career-best six boards for the Crusaders.

Brittny Picconi led UMKC (2-10, 0-1 Mid-Con) with eight points. Valpo limited the Kangaroos' leading scorer to just 3-of-20 shooting on the evening as Picconi entered the game averaging 26.5 points per contest. Stephanie Brown added seven points and seven boards for UMKC.

Valpo finished the game shooting 46.0% from the floor, including 5-of-11 from downtown. The Crusaders committed just seven turnovers while dishing out 14 assists.

UMKC finished just 11-of-54 (20.4%) from the floor and just 2-of-15 (13.3%) from long range while turning the ball over 14 times.

Valparaiso (6-5, 1-0) has now won eight in a row at home. For head coach Keith Freeman, the win was his 199th on the bench of the Brown and Gold. Freeman will look for win number 200 on the Crusader sidelines when Valpo returns to action on Monday evening. Valpo heads to Rochester, Mich. to battle Oakland. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. CST and the game will be broadcast live on www.sportsjuice.com.
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
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
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 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. #21/21 Notre Dame
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
W 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
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
M 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
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay