20-11 Overall, 11-3 Mid-Continent Conference
This Year in Crusader Hoops: Valparaiso closed out the 2006-2007 season notching 20 victories for just the fifth time in the program's history on the way to a runner-up finish in the Mid-Continent Conference. The Crusaders, one of the nation's top three-point shooting teams on the year, finished the campaign 20-11 overall and 11-3 in conference play.
On the Air: WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso), the Valparaiso University campus radio station, carried every Crusader women's hoops game live during the 2006-2007 season. In addition to airing the games over the air around Valparaiso, they were available online at www.valpo.edu/athletics. In addition, for the first time, Valparaiso videocast several of the Crusader games live on the internet this season.
Wrapping Up Mid-Con Tournament Action: Valparaiso never trailed on the way to registering a 60-45 victory over Southern Utah in the quarterfinals of the Mid-Con Tournament in Tulsa, Okla. A 14-0 run midway through the first half, in which the Thunderbirds were held scoreless for more than eight minutes, allowed Valpo to take a 14-point halftime lead. Carrie Myers led the Crusaders with 14 points while Agnieszka Kulaga added 13 and Sarah Ott chipped in 11 more. In the semifinals against third-seeded Oral Roberts, Valpo fell behind by 16 points in the first stanza before rallying to tie the game with under five minutes to play in the game. The Golden Eagles would not let the Crusaders take the lead though, on the way to a 69-63 victory over Valpo. Betsy Rietema tied a career high for the Crusaders with 25 points, 21 of which came in the second half. Carrie Myers added nine points for the Brown and Gold as the Crusaders saw their season come to a close.
20 Wins: Valpo won 20 games for just the fifth times in the program's history. The 20 wins in a season tie for third most in school history. The school record is 26 (2001-2002). In 1997-1998, the Crusaders won 22 games while the Brown and Gold also notched 20 victories in 1991-1992 and 2003-2004.
A Winning Tradition at Valpo: The Crusaders registered their 16th winning season in the last 17 years after finishing 20-11 on the year. Valpo also registered a winning conference record for the 14th time in the 15 years the Crusaders have been in the Mid-Continent Conference for women's basketball.
Rietema Named Academic All-American: Betsy Rietema has been selected as one of five ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America First Team selections for Division I. The honor is voted upon by members of CoSIDA. In the classroom, Rietema has a 3.97 grade point average with a double major in psychology and chemistry. Rietema is the first Crusader women's basketball player ever to be named a First Team Academic All-American.
Hochstetler Named Sixth Woman of the Year: Launa Hochstetler was named the Mid-Continent Conference Sixth Woman of the Year, marking Valpo's first major award winner since 2002 when Keith Freeman was named Coach of the Year and Katie Boone was the Newcomer of the Year.
Three Crusaders Earn All-Conference Honors: Betsy Rietema was named to the Mid-Continent Conference First Team after earning Second Team accolades last year. Tamra Braun earned Second Team All Mid-Con accolades, marking the third straight season she's received league recognition. She was a First Team pick each of the last two years. Carrie Myers earned Honorable Mention honors for the second straight year for Valpo.
Crusaders in the Mid-Con Tournament: Valpo has posted a 15-13 record all-time in the conference tournament. The 28 tournament games are the most of any school in the league. The Brown and Gold has a 14-6 record against current Mid-Con members in this event
Rietema Finishes Her Career 4th All-Time in Scoring: Senior Betsy Rietema passed Amber Schober (1998-2002) and moved into fourth place on Valparaiso's career scoring list with her 25 point performance in her final collegiate game. Rietema tallied 1,276 points over four years, averaging 11.0 points per game, the sixth best average in school history.
Valpo League's Top Free Throw Shooting Team: The Crusaders led the Mid-Con from the free throw line making 73.4% of their attempts on the season. Valpo was even better in Mid-Con regular season play, connecting on 79.4% from the charity stripe. In league play, the Crusaders made more free throws (193) than their opponents have even attempted (181).
Braun's Shooting Among Best Ever: Tamra Braun led the Mid-Con shooting 57.1% from the floor this season. Her mark ranks third on Valpo's single season chart in that category, trailing only Sarrah Stricklett's 60.0% shooting in 1997-1998 and Carrie Forsman's 57.4% shooting in 1992-1993. Braun's mark is also currently 11th best in Mid-Con history.
Myers Among Top Outside Shooters in the Country: Senior guard Carrie Myers finished the season ranked 9th in all of NCAA Division I in three-point field goals per game. Her 2.7 makes per contest lead the Mid-Continent Conference as well. In addition, her 41.5% accuracy beyond the arc ranked 15th best in the country on the year.
Valpo Among the Nation's Best: Valpo ranked among the top-50 in the country in four statistical categories as a team for the 2006-2007 season. The Crusaders finished 16th in three-point field goals per game, making 6.8 per night. In addition, Valpo's 37.4% shooting from beyond the arc ranked 12th in NCAA Division I. Valpo committed just 14.2 fouls per game, 15th fewest among all schools. Finally, the Crusaders allowed just 58.8 points per game, 48th best in the country.
A Record-Setting Year from Outside: Valparaiso set a new school record in 2006-2007 for three-point shooting. The Crusaders made 37.4% of their shots from beyond the arc, bettering the previous single season mark of 37.1% set by the 1997-1998 squad.
Crusaders Against the Mid-Con: As Valpo closed its final regular season in the Mid-Con, the Crusaders finished with a 154-83 (.650) record all-time in conference play. The 154 victories are a conference record, 18 more than any other league school. The Crusaders won a pair of conference regular season crowns while finishing runner-up five times in the 15 years of conference play.
Home Sweet Home: Valparaiso continues to have success at home in recent years. The Brown and Gold has a 186-101 (.648) record all-time at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Since the 2001-2002 season, Valpo has posted a 64-16 (.800) mark at the ARC.
Rietema and Myers Earn Academic All-District Honors: Betsy Rietema and Carrie Myers have each been named to ESPN The Magazine's Academic All-District V Teams. Rietema was named to the First Team for the second straight season while Myers was a Second Team pick as voted upon by members of CoSIDA.
Freeman Winningest Coach in Mid-Con History: Head coach Keith Freeman's 229 victories are not only most in Valpo history, but also rank tops in Mid-Continent Conference history for career wins. Freeman has also coached more games, 381, than any other league coach and ranks fourth in league history with a .601 winning percentage.
Freeman Earns Career Victory #350: Head coach Keith Freeman's victory over UMKC on January 29 was the 350th of his career on the sidelines. Freeman also holds school records for career victories (229) as well as winning percentage (.601) on the Valpo bench.
Myers Deadly from Long Range: Carrie Myers finished her career in third place on Valparaiso's career three-point list with 215 made triples. Myers trailed Suzie Hammel (2000-2004) by 21 threes for second place all-time.
Myers Among Best Triple Shooters in Mid-Con History: Carrie Myers' 215 career three-pointers ranks as the seventh most makes in Mid-Continent Conference laurels. The senior needed just one more three to match Kristin (Brady) Atkinson (Oral Roberts, 1998-2003) for sixth place in league history.
Myers Among Single Season Best Three-Point Shooters: Carrie Myers made 85 triples this season, ranking third on Valpo's single season list for most makes. Myers also holds fourth place on the single season charts after making 76 threes last season. Lynda Kukla holds the single season record with 101 treys in the 1991-1992 campaign, while Kukla's 1990-1991 total of 91 ranks second all-time for a season.
Bombs Away from Three: Valpo's assault from three-point range against Bradley was nearly one for the record books. The 14 made triples tie for the third most by any Crusader team in a game all-time. The school record is 17, set against Central Michigan on December 8, 2004. Valpo made 15 threes last year against UMKC. The 14 triples are tied for 10th most in a game by any team in the country this season.
Braun Sets Valpo's Career Block Record: Tamra Braun rejected three Centenary shots on January 8, moving past Michelle Mader (1988-1992) to become the school's blocked shot leader. She finished her four years with 192 career blocks, while Mader finished her career with 166. Braun ranks among Valpo's single season leaders in each of her four seasons with the Brown and Gold. This year she finished third on the single season charts with 49 swats.
Braun Among Mid-Con Best in Blocks: Tamra Braun's 192 career blocks are the fifth most in Mid-Continent Conference history. Braun passed Kim Wood (UW-Green Bay, 1992-1994) with her final block in the semifinals of the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament.
A Record Setting Night from the Stripe: When the Crusaders made all 10 free throws against Oakland on January 15, Valpo set a new single game record for free throw percentage (minimum 10 attempts). The previous best free throw shooting night in school history was 94.4% (17-of-18) against Evansville on February 13, 1988.
Valpo Registers 10th Best Free Throw Shooting Game Against UMKC: Valparaiso went 29-of-32 (90.9%) from the free throw line at home against the Kangaroos, the tenth best single game performance by a Crusader team in school history.
Rietema Perfect from the Line at IUPUI: Betsy Rietema was a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe at IUPUI, becoming just the fifth player in Crusader history to register a perfect night with a minimum of 10 attempts. Lisa Diefenthaler made 12-of-12 against Western Illinois back in 1994 while Debbie Bolen was 11-for-11 against UW-Green Bay in 1991. Amber Schober ( 1998) and Katie Boone (2002) both went 10-for-10 as well while wearing a Crusader uniform.
Triple Double for Rietema: Betsy Rietema turned in a rare triple-double for the Crusaders in the loss to Indiana State. The senior forward scored 14 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished out a career best 10 assists. In addition, she committed just one turnover on the day.
Dishing the Rock: Betsy Rietema cracked the top-15 all-time at Valparaiso in assists. The senior finished in a tie for 12th place with her 228 career helpers, equalling Lina Mascarenas' (1988-1992) mark.
Rietema Player of the Week on December 5: Betsy Rietema was named the Mid-Con's Player of the Week on December 5 after averaging 15.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 2.7 steals for Valpo during a five-day stretch. She had 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds against Bradley and added 12 points and eight boards at Loyola (Chicago). She posted a triple-double, 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, against Indiana State.
Rietema Likes Freebies: Betsy Rietema's 341 career free throws placed her third in school history for most makes. She finished her four years shooting 71.0% from the charity stripe.
Rietema and Braun Become 11th and 12th Members of Valpo's 1,000 Point Club: Betsy Rietema became the 11th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark in her career with her jumper midway through the first half against Saint Francis (Ind.). Teammate Tamra Braun equalled the feat with a free throw midway through the second half at IPFW. The duo was the first to reach the mark in the same season since Amber Schober and Marlous Nieuwveen both did it during the 2001-2002 season.
Braun Moves into Top-10 in Scoring at Valpo: Senior Tamra Braun has also moved into the top-10 on Valpo's career scoring list. The Valpo center finished her career with 1,096 points passing Lynda Kukla (1988-1992) for 9th place all-time.
Braun Sets School Rebounding Record, Among Mid-Con's Best All-Time: Tamra Braun set a new Valpo career rebounding record with her 773rd career board at UMKC. The senior, who finished her career with 870 rebounds, shattered Sarrah Stricklett's (1996-2000) old record total of 772. Braun's total ranks 6th in Mid-Continent Conference history ahead of Sarah Judd (Oakland, 1998-2002) who grabbed 854 for her career. Braun finished just four rebounds behind Tiffany Kyser (IUPUI, 1999-2003) for a spot in the top-five in league history.
Rietema In the Rebounding Charts Too: Betsy Rietema has moved into 10th place on Valparaiso's career rebounding list. The senior forward has brought down 594 rebounds to date to pass Deb Lahti (1981-1984) and Carrie Forsman (1992-1996) for a spot in the top-10 all-time in a Crusader uniform.
Braun and Rietema Played Lots of Games: Tamra Braun moved into a tie with Amber Schober (1998-2002) and Lauren Bechtold (2002-2006) for third place all-time after appearing in 120 games over her four-year career wearing the Brown and Gold. Betsy Rietema appeared in 116 games, tying her for eighth place on Valpo's all-time list.
Indiana Governor Watches Valpo Down IUPUI: Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels was on hand in Indianapolis, Ind. February 12 to watch the Crusaders down IUPUI in a battle of instate foes. Governor Daniels then made a brief appearance in the Valpo locker room following the victory.
Freeman Adds Five Hoosiers for 2007-2008: Keith Freeman has signed five Indiana prep players to National Letters of Intent for the 2007-2008 season. Joining the Crusader roster next year are forward LaTice Jones (Gary, Ind./Roosevelt H.S.), guard Rashida Ray (Fort Wayne, Ind./Harding H.S.), guard Stephanie Thomas (Avon, Ind./Avon H.S.), Jasmine Ussery (Newburg, Ind./Castle H.S.), and Ashley Varner (South Bend, Ind./Washington H.S.).