Crusaders Set to Open 15th Mid-Con Season Saturday in Televised Game at Oral Roberts
Thursday, January 4, 2007
Game #14: Saturday, January 6, 12:05 p.m. CST
Valpo (6-7, 0-0 Mid-Con) at Oral Roberts (9-4, 0-0 Mid-Con)
Mabee Center (10,575) - Tulsa, Okla.

Coming Up in Crusader Hoops:
Valparaiso tips off its 15th and final season of Mid-Continent Conference play on Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders battle Oral Roberts, the league's preseason favorite. The Crusaders have won two straight and are beginning a stretch where they will play six of their next eight contests away from home.

On the Air: Saturday's game against Oral Roberts will be carried live by WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at The student-run radio station plans on carrying all Crusader women's basketball games this season live both over the air and online. Andrew Hansen and Matt Engelbrecht will call all the action live from the Mabee Center. The game will also be shown live in Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana on Lakeshore Public Television. Kevin Ward and Mike Wolfe will call the action.

Series Notes: Valparaiso and Oral Roberts are meeting for the 23rd time in a series that dates back to January 10, 1998. Valpo holds a 16-6 advantage all-time against the Golden Eagles including a 6-3 edge in Tulsa. Last year, the Crusaders posted an 81-54 victory over Oral Roberts at home before falling on the Golden Eagles' home floor 53-31 in the regular season finale. The two schools have met four times in the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament with Valpo winning three.

Wrapping Up Huntington: Valparaiso got 35 points from its bench on Wednesday night as the Crusaders defeated the Foresters 79-58 at the ARC. Every Crusader saw at least nine minutes of action in the win, with no one player seeing more than 23 minutes of play. Betsy Rietema led Valpo with 19 points, moving into 10th place on the Crusaders' career scoring list. Evva Comans added a career-high 10 points while Sarah Ott also added 10 for the Brown and Gold.

Scouting Oral Roberts: The preseason favorite in the Mid-Con this season, the Golden Eagles have posted the league's best non-conference mark with nine wins, including back-to-back victories their last two times out against Evangel and Central Arkansas. Oral Roberts sports the league's top two scorers in Jenny Hardin (17.5 ppg) and Elisha Turek (17.4 ppg). Turek also leads the league in rebounding (10.2 rpg) and is second in field goal percentage (56.4%). As a team, ORU leads the Mid-Con in both scoring offense (76.3 ppg) and defense (61.0 ppg).

Valpo in Mid-Con Openers: The Crusaders own a 9-5 record in Mid-Con openers heading into their final season. Valpo has won three straight, conference openers including a 65-31 victory over UMKC last season.

Crusaders Against the Mid-Con: As the Brown and Gold embarks on its final season of Mid-Con competition, Valpo has posted a 143-80 (.641) record all-time in conference play. The 143 victories are a conference record. The Crusaders have won a pair of conference regular season crowns while finishing runner-up four times.

Myers Continues to Drain Three-Pointers: Carrie Myers had made at least one three-point field goal in all 13 games thus far this season. In fact, the senior guard has made two or more in each of the last 11 games, highlighted by five triples against both Bradley and Indiana State. Myers leads the Mid-Con with 2.9 threes made per game.

Comans Posts Career Game Against Huntington: Evva Comans had a break-out game against Huntington on Wednesday night. Entering the game with just two total points on the year, the redshirt-sophomore went 5-of-7 from the floor while posting a career-high 10 points. She also tied her career-high with four rebounds.

Braun Now Third All-Time in Rebounding After Reaching 700 Boards: Tamra Braun has moved into third place on the Crusaders' career rebounding charts with 709 boards during her four-year career. The senior center is 57 boards behind Jeanette Gray (1999-2003) for second place all-time. Sarrah Stricklett (1996-2000) holds the school mark with 772 rebounds, 63 more than Braun's current total.

Ott Consistent on the Boards: Sarah Ott has been a model of consistency on the glass for Valpo this season. Averaging 3.9 rebounds per game this season, five times she has grabbed four boards while grabbing six three other times. She has at least two rebounds in every game this year.

Rietema Becomes 11th Member 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 at the 9:32 mark of the first half against Saint Francis (Ind.).

Rietema Second in Assist/Turnover Ratio: Betsy Rietema's 1.54 assist-to-turnover ratio is second best in the Mid-Continent Conference.

Home Sweet Home: Valparaiso continues to have success at home in recent years. The Brown and Gold has a 179-100 (.642) record all-time at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Since the 2001-2002 season, Valpo has posted a 57-15 (.792) mark at the ARC.

Valpo Leads the Mid-Con From Downtown: The Crusaders' 39.9% shooting clip from beyond the arc is currently best in the Mid-Continent Conference. In addition, the Brown and Gold's 6.7 triples per game also lead the league.

Myers Among Top Outside Shooters in the Country: Senior guard Carrie Myers currently ranks 14th in all of NCAA Division I in three-point field goals per game. Her 2.9 makes per contest lead the Mid-Continent Conference as well. In addition, her 43.2% accuracy beyond the arc ranks 26th best in the country through December 31.

Among the Nation's Best: Valpo ranks among the top-25 in the country in three statistical categories as a team. The Crusaders are 37th in three-point field goals per game, making 6.3 per night. In addition, Valpo's 38.6% shooting from beyond the arc ranks 20th in NCAA Division I through December 31. Finally, Valpo is committing just 14.8 fouls per game, 21st fewest among all schools.

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.

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.

Rietema Player of the Week December 5: Betsy Rietema was honored as the Mid-Continent Conference's Player of the Week on December 5 after averaging 15.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 2.7 steals per game for the Brown and Gold during a five-day stretch. She had a game-high 20 points while grabbing eight rebounds against Bradley then 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 Moves Into Top-10 in School History in Scoring: Betsy Rietema has moved into 10th place all-time in school history in scoring. The senior forward has tallied 1,028 points, passing Carrie Forsman's (1992-1996) total of 1,015 points. Rietema is 49 points shy of Suzie Hammel (2000-2004) for ninth place on the career list and 53 points behind Lynda Kukla (1988-1992) for eighth place all-time.

Braun Among Top-20 in Scoring Also: Senior Tamra Braun has also moved into the top-20 on Valpo's career scoring list. The Valpo center currently has scored 932 points over her career passing Sarah Schmoyer (1992-1996) for 14th place all-time. She now needs 46 more points to match Cheryl Wilbrandt (1989-1993) for 13th place all-time.

Rietema Finds the Rebounding Charts: Betsy Rietema has moved into 16th place on Valparaiso's career rebounding list. The senior forward has brought down 466 rebounds to date. With one more board she will match Robyn Lippert (1987-1991) for 15th spot all-time in a Crusader uniform.

Braun Nearing Blocks Record: Tamra Braun is closing in on the Valparaiso University record for career blocked shots. She trails Michelle Mader's (1988-1992) school record by just three rejections with her 163 career swats.

Braun Among Mid-Con Best in Blocks: Tamra Braun's 163 career blocks also are sixth best in Mid-Continent Conference history. Kim Wood (UW-Green Bay, 1992-1994) is fifth with 191 blocks.

Dishing the Rock: Betsy Rietema has also cracked the top-20 all-time at Valparaiso in assists. The senior moved into 19th place with her 191 career helpers, passing Paige Freeman (1985-1989). Rietema needs three more helpers to match Tracy Saller's (1985-1987) mark of 194 assists.

Myers Deadly from Long Range: Carrie Myers enters play in fourth place on the career three-point list with 168 triples. Myers trails Sarah Lenschow (1996-2000) by three threes for third all-time.

Rietema Likes Freebies: Betsy Rietema's 281 career free throws are third most in school history. She is more than 200 behind second place Sarrah Stricklett's (1996-2000) total of 494.

Freeman Winningest Coach in Mid-Con History: Head coach Keith Freeman's 215 victories are not only most in Valpo history, but also rank tops in Mid-Continent Conference history for career wins.

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.).