Sunday, January 29, 2006
IUPUI (12-6, 7-1 Mid-Con) at VALPARAISO (11-8, 5-3 Mid-Con)

Monday, January 30, 2006, 7:05 p.m. CST.

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

RADIO: WVUR (95.1-FM-Valparaiso) and on the internet at Ken LaVicka and Matt Engelbrecht 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 333-183 overall and 204-136 at Valpo. IUPUI is led by Shann Hart, who is 146-122 in her 10th season overall and 19-25 in her 2nd season with the Jaguars.

SERIES RECORD: Valparaiso holds a 17-3 all-time advantage in the series with IUPUI and have won nine straight meetings between the two schools. Valpo holds a 10-1 edge against the Jaguars at the ARC.

LAST MEETING: Betsy Rietema made 13-of-14 free throws on the way to a career-high 25 points as Valparaiso defeated IUPUI 56-45 on the road February 14, 2005. Tamra Braun added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Crusaders. Jasmine Baines and Regina Marshall led IUPUI with eight points each.

Valparaiso looks to bounce back from back-to-back losses in Mid-Continent Conference play for the first time since January, 2004, on Monday evening as the Crusaders host IUPUI at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Valpo is coming off of a 68-67 loss at the hands of Oakland on Saturday night.

CLOSE DOESN'T COUNT: Valparaiso has dropped three games in Mid-Con play this season, but have been in all of them. All three defeats have come by a total of eight points, including losses of four, three, and one.

RIETEMA A SCORING MACHINE: Betsy Rietema has tallied double-figures in the scoring column in seven of her last eight games after pouring in 18 against Oakland on Saturday. The junior forward is averaging 14.1 points per game during the span. She is tied with Tamra Braun for a team-leading 14 double-figure games this season.

BRAUN SURPASSES 500 BOARDS: Tamra Braun became just the 13th player in Valpo history to reach the 500 rebound plateau on Saturday with her double-double performance. The junior center's now has 509 career boards moving her into 12th place on the Crusaders' all-time rebounding list.

MYERS AMONG NATION'S TOP 3-POINT SHOOTERS: Carrie Myers has become one of the nation's elite outside shooters. The junior guard ranks 25th in the country shooting 44.0% from beyond the arc and is 28th making 2.67 triples per contest.

VALPO'S OUTSIDE SHOOTING 6TH IN THE NATION: Valparaiso is shooting 39.8% from three-point range this season, a mark which ranks sixth in the country through Monday's games.

ALSO AMONG THE NATION'S BEST: Valpo is in the top-25 in the nation in three other statistical categories besides three-point shooting through January 23. The Crusaders have committed the fifth fewest fouls of any team in the country (13.2 per game), rank 21st in scoring defense allowing just 55.1 points per game, and are 18th committing just 14.1 turnovers per contest.

DOWN THE ROAD: Valparaiso will make a quick road trip out west next weekend as the Brown and Gold head to Cedar City, Utah to battle the Southern Utah Thunderbirds on Saturday afternoon. Tip-off is set for 8:05 p.m. CST. The Crusaders will then return home for three straight games beginning Monday, February 6 against Centenary. Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m. at the ARC. Valpo's homestand will also include contests against Western Illinois and Chicago State.

IUPUI NOTES: IUPUI may be the surprise team in the Mid-Continent Conference this season as the Jaguars are off to a hot start. The Jaguars, picked eighth in the preseason poll, are currently tied for first in the Mid-Con after defeating Centenary 68-41 at home last Monday night.

Kia Hayes leads IUPUI in scoring averaging 15.2 points per night. The preseason Second Team All Mid-Con selection is fourth in the conference in scoring.

Tanika Mays also is posting double-figure scoring numbers for the Jaguars this season. The freshman is tallying 10.8 points per contest to go along with 7.2 rebounds per night.

Jernisha Cann (8.7 rpg) and Brooke McAfee (7.3 rpg) also help clear the glass for IUPUI, and as a team the Jaguars lead the Mid-Con grabbing 40.9 boards per contest.

Defensively, IUPUI is holding opponents to just 36.2% shooting from the floor and 27.4% from three-point range on the season.