VALPARAISO (1-0, 0-0 Mid-Con) at BRADLEY (1-0, 0-0 MVC)
WHEN: Monday, November 21, 2005, 7 p.m. CST.
WHERE: Robertson Field House (5,000), Peoria, Ill.
RADIO: WVUR (95.1-FM-Valparaiso) and on the internet at www.valpo.edu/athletics. Joey Favata and Ron Castor 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 323-175 overall and 194-128 at Valpo. Bradley is led by Paula Buscher, who is 107-114 in her 9th season overall and 64-76 in her 6th season with the Braves.
SERIES RECORD: Bradley leads the all-time series with the Crusaders 4-0. The Braves are 2-0 against Valpo in Peoria.
LAST MEETING: Valparaiso and Bradley have not met on the basketball court since February 20, 1986 when the Braves defeated the Crusaders 86-60 in Peoria.
Fresh off of its first season-opening victory since 1999, Valparaiso looks to move to 2-0 for the first time in 20 years as the Crusaders travel to Peoria, Ill. on Monday night to take on Bradley. Valpo downed Northern Iowa 62-48 in the Crusaders' home opener on Friday night.
A 2-0 START WOULD BE A RARE OCCURRENCE FOR VALPO: Valparaiso heads to Bradley looking to accomplish something only one other Crusader team has ever done- start the season 2-0. The only time in the program's 35-year history Valpo has started 2-0 was in 1985-1986 after wins against Manchester and Michigan-Dearborn.
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 101 swats during her career. She moved passed Missy Beck (Eastern Illinois, 1992-1996, 100) with her three blocks against Northern Iowa. Braun is also second all-time at Valpo behind Michelle Mader (1988-1992), who had 166 rejections.
RIETEMA HAS CAREER NIGHT IN OPENER: Betsy Rietema showed why she is a Preseason Second Team All Mid-Con selection with her performance in the opener against Northern Iowa. The junior had career highs with nine rebounds and six steals. Rietema also led the Crusaders with 24 points, one shy of her career-best set last season.
VALPO AND THE VALLEY: Bradley is the second straight Missouri Valley Conference team the Crusaders have faced after opening the year against Northern Iowa. Prior to the game against the Panthers, the Brown and Gold had not faced a team from the MVC since playing Indiana State in the 2001-2002 season.
THE DEFENSE IS BACK: Valpo prides itself in defense and started the year where it left off last season. The Crusaders held 20 opponents below 60 points last year, including seven under the 50-point mark. Valpo held Northern Iowa to just 48 points in the season opener.
DOWN THE ROAD: Following a couple of days off for Thanksgiving, the Crusaders will head to Cincinnati, Ohio for the National City Bank Xavier Invitational. Valpo will face Kent State on Friday at 2 p.m. CST in the first round before battling either the host Musketeers or Elon on Saturday. The consolation game begins at 12 p.m. CST with the championship to follow at 2 p.m. CST. Valpo's next home game will be on November 30 against Northwestern. Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m. at the ARC.
BRADLEY NOTES: Bradley returns nine letterwinners, including three starters from last year's squad which finished 15-13 overall and 8-10 in the Missouri Valley Conference, tying for sixth place in the league.
The Braves won their season opener on Friday morning 78-73 at home against Illinois-Chicago. Bradley rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit with 47 second half points in the win against the Flames.
Kelly Krumwiede led Bradley off of the bench with 22 points, including a 12-of-15 performance from the free throw line. Amy Peters added a double-double with 15 points and 15 rebounds.
Jen Brown added ten points as did Devyn Flanagan, who came off of the bench as four Braves tallied double-figures.
Bradley outrebounded Illinois-Chicago 43-23, including a 16-8 advantage on the offensive glass.
The Braves are picked to finish in eighth place in the MVC according to the league's preseason poll. Bradley won both exhibition games this season as well, posting victories against Quincy and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.