Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
CRUSADERS BEGIN MID-CON PLAY FRIDAY AT THE ARC AGAINST UMKC

Thursday, December 29, 2005

UMKC (2-9, 0-0 Mid-Con) at VALPARAISO (5-5, 0-0 Mid-Con)

WHEN: Friday, December 30, 2005, 7:05 p.m. CST.

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

RADIO: WVUR (95.1-FM-Valparaiso) and on the internet at www.valpo.edu/athletics. Ken LaVicka and Brad Spata 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 327-180 overall and 198-133 at Valpo. UMKC is led by Bo Overton, who is 12-29 in his 2nd season overall and with the Kangaroos.

SERIES RECORD: Valparaiso leads the all-time series with UMKC 17-8. The Crusaders hold a 9-2 edge over the Kangaroos at the Athletics-Recreation Center and have won six straight against UMKC at the ARC.

LAST MEETING: Seventh-seeded UMKC upset the second-seeded Crusaders 59-49 on March 5, 2005 in the quarterfinals of the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament to end last season for Valpo. The game was tied at 49 with three minutes to play before the Kangaroos scored the game's final ten points. Tamra Braun led Valpo with 16 points and 13 rebounds while Betsy Rietema added 11 points for the Crusaders. Sammi Knapic led all scorers with 22 points for UMKC while Alysa Klein added 11 points and 13 rebounds.

After playing .500 basketball against rugged non-conference competition, Valparaiso begins the Mid-Continent Conference slate on Friday evening as the Crusaders entertain UMKC. Valpo is coming off of a 58-50 loss at #11/12 Notre Dame on Wednesday .

VALPO IN MID-CON OPENERS: Valparaiso is 8-5 all-time in Mid-Continent Conference openers since 1992-1993. The Crusaders have won two straight league openers, including last year's victory at Centenary. The last time Valpo opened the Mid-Con slate at home was in 2002-2003 against Western Illinois.

VALPO IN 2005: Valparaiso is 17-10 for the calendar year heading into the final game of 2005.

A BUNCH OF THIEVES: Valparaiso registered 12 steals on Wednesday afternoon at Notre Dame, the third time this season the Crusaders have recorded 12 or more thefts. Betsy Rietema led Valpo with five steals, and leads the Mid-Con with 2.90 per game.

GOOD PERIMETER DEFENSE: Valparaiso has allowed opponents to shoot just 29.1% from three-point range this season, tops in the Mid-Con. That defense has helped the Crusaders allow just 58.0 points per game, second fewest in the league.

BRAUN ON FIRE IN LAST THREE GAMES: Tamra Braun is shooting 70.8% (17-of-24) from the floor over the last three games for the Crusaders. During the span, she has averaged 14.0 points per contest. The junior center has also posted four straight double-figure scoring games for Valpo, including 21 points against Loyola (Ill.) two games ago.

TAKING CARE OF THE BALL: Lauren Bechtold has done a solid job at point guard over the last five games. She has committed just three turnovers in 162 minutes of action.

FREEMAN CLOSES IN ON 200 WINS AT VALPO: Head coach Keith Freeman is on the verge of becoming the first coach in Valparaiso women's basketball history to win 200 games on the Crusader bench. Freeman enters the game with 198 career triumphs at the helm of the Brown and Gold.

DOWN THE ROAD: Valparaiso takes to the road for a pair of games to begin 2006. The Crusaders head to Rochester, Mich. on Monday for a 6 p.m. CST contest against Oakland before flying to Shreveport, La. for a game on Wednesday at Centenary. Tipoff against the Ladies is set for 7 p.m. The Crusaders will return to the Athletics-Recreation Center on January 9 against Oral Roberts, the first game of a doubleheader with the men's team. Tipoff 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.

UMKC NOTES: UMKC enters the Mid-Continent Conference opener looking to snap a four-game losing skid overall as well as a nine-game road losing streak dating back to last season. The Kangaroos are coming off of an 86-69 set back at Northern Colorado, but have not played since December 20.

Brittny Picconi, a transfer from Xavier University who became eligible just two games ago, has made an immediate impact for the Kangaroos offensively. She has averaged 26.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in the two contests, including a 29-point effort against Wichita State.

Stephanie Brown has added 10.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per contest for UMKC while shooting 53.2% from the floor. The junior is also shooting 79.5% from the line.

As a team, the Kangaroos are committing 22.2 turnovers per contest this season.

UMKC was picked to finish fifth in the Mid-Con.
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
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
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
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
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
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
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
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
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
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
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25 UIC
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
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
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
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
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
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