Game #19: Wednesday, January 24, 6 p.m. CST
Valpo (10-8, 4-1 Mid-Con) at IPFW (8-8, Independent)
Hilliard Gates Sports Center (2,800) - Fort Wayne, Ind.
Coming Up in Crusader Hoops: Valparaiso will take a step out of Mid-Continent Conference action on Wednesday evening as the Crusaders head to Fort Wayne, Ind. looking to continue winning ways battling IPFW. Valpo has won six of its last seven games overall following a 57-51 victory at Western Illinois on Saturday afternoon to keep the Crusaders at the top of the Mid-Con standings.
On the Air: Wednesday's game against IPFW will be carried live by WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics. The student-run radio station plans on carrying all Crusader women's basketball games this season live both over the air and online. Eric Brooks and Josh Weinhold will call all the action live from the Hilliard Gates Sports Center.
Series Notes: Valparaiso and IPFW are meeting for the 13th time on the basketball court, with the Crusaders holding an 8-4 series edge. Valpo has won three straight meetings against the Mastodons, including a 69-52 victory at the ARC last season. The Mastodons hold a slim 3-2 series advantage in Fort Wayne, but the Crusaders won there the last time the two schools met on IPFW's home floor, 86-60, on December 10, 2003. The first meeting between the two schools came February 16, 1977 in Valparaiso.
Wrapping Up Western Illinois: The Crusaders went on a 19-4 run over 10 minutes midway through the second half on the way to a 57-51 victory over the Westerwinds on Saturday afternoon in Macomb, Ill. Valpo trailed 25-23 at the break after Western Illinois went on a 15-4 first half spurt, but took the lead for good with 13 minutes to play in the contest. Betsy Rietema led Valpo with 14 points and seven rebounds while Tamra Braun added 13 points. Sarah Ott scored 10 points as the Crusaders shot 55.3% from the floor for the game.
Scouting IPFW: The Mastodons have won four of their last six games following an 82-75 victory over Butler on Saturday afternoon. IPFW is 4-3 at home this season. Johnna Lewis-Carlisle leads the way for the Mastodons offensively, averaging 17.1 points per game. The junior is also averaging 3.2 assists per night. Ashley Johnson is second on the roster in scoring posting 14.1 points per contest. She scored 31 against the Bulldogs on Saturday while grabbing eight rebounds. Johnson was 9-of-13 from the floor and 9-of-10 from the free throw line. Samantha Edwards is the team's rebounding leader, grabbing 5.2 per game.
Braun On Verge of 1,000 Points: Tamra Braun needs just seven points to become the 12th Crusader in the program's history to reach the 1,000-point mark for her career. She will join teammate Betsy Rietema as members of the club, as Rietema surpassed the 1,000-point total earlier this year. When Braun reaches the plateau, it will mark the first time since 2002 (Amber Schober and Marlous Nieuwveen) that Crusader teammates reached 1,000 points in the same season.
Braun's Not Missing Much in Mid-Con Play: Tamra Braun leads the conference in shooting on the season, making 60.5% of her attempts from the floor. She has been even better during Mid-Con action, shooting 69.4% from the field in those five contests.
59 is the Magic Number: Valpo is a perfect 7-0 this season when holding its opponents under 60 points per game.
Ott Finds Double Figures Again: Sarah Ott posted her sixth double figure scoring night of the season with 10 points at Western Illinois. For the redshirt-sophomore, it was just her second double figure game since December 12.
Making the Most of the Shots: Valpo had its best shooting day of the season from the field at Western Illinois, connecting on 55.3% (21-of-38) of its shots for the game. Ironically, the 38 shot attempts were the Crusaders' fewest in any game this season.
Myers Continues to Drain Three-Pointers: Carrie Myers had made at least one three-point field goal in all 18 games thus far this season. In fact, the senior guard has made two or more triples in 14 games, highlighted by five triples against both Bradley and Indiana State. Myers leads the Mid-Con with 2.8 threes made per game.
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 745 boards during her four-year career. The senior center is 21 boards behind Jeanette Gray (1999-2003) for second place all-time. Sarrah Stricklett (1996-2000) holds the school mark with 772 rebounds, 27 more than Braun's current total.
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 currently has 173 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 currently ranks tenth on the single season charts with 30 swats.
Home Sweet Home: Valparaiso continues to have success at home in recent years. The Brown and Gold has a 180-101 (.641) record all-time at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Since the 2001-2002 season, Valpo has posted a 58-16 (.784) mark at the ARC.
Myers Among Top Outside Shooters in the Country: Senior guard Carrie Myers currently ranks 15th in all of NCAA Division I in three-point field goals per game. Her 2.8 makes per contest lead the Mid-Continent Conference as well. In addition, her 43.9% accuracy beyond the arc ranks 17th best in the country through January 21.
Among the Nation's Best: Valpo ranks among the top-30 in the country in three statistical categories as a team. The Crusaders are 28th in three-point field goals per game, making 6.5 per night. In addition, Valpo's 38.5% shooting from beyond the arc ranks 17th in NCAA Division I through January 21. Finally, Valpo has committed just 14.3 fouls per game, 15th fewest among all schools.
Crusaders Against the Mid-Con: As the Brown and Gold plays in its final season of Mid-Con competition, Valpo has posted a 147-81 (.645) record all-time in conference play. The 147 victories are a conference record, and Valpo is assured of leaving the league with the most wins ever in the Mid-Con. The Crusaders have won a pair of conference regular season crowns while finishing runner-up four times.
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. The 14 triples are tied for fifth most among any team in the country this season.
Rietema Player of the Week: 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 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 Up to 8th in School History in Scoring: Betsy Rietema has moved into eighth place all-time in school history in scoring. The senior forward has tallied 1,098 points, passing Lynda Kukla's (1988-1992) total of 1,081 points. Rietema is 97 points shy of Aimee Forsman (1988-1992) for seventh place all-time.
Braun Moves into 12th in Scoring at Valpo: Senior Tamra Braun has also moved into the top-15 on Valpo's career scoring list. The Valpo center currently has scored 993 points over her career passing Shari Toelke (1990-1994) for 12th place all-time. She now needs 22 more points to match Carrie Forsman (1992-1996) for 11th place all-time.
Rietema Finds the Rebounding Charts: Betsy Rietema has moved into 14th place on Valparaiso's career rebounding list. The senior forward has brought down 496 rebounds to date. With four more boards she will match Katie Boone (2001-2005) for 13th spot all-time in a Crusader uniform.
Braun Among Mid-Con Best in Blocks: Tamra Braun's 173 career blocks 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 has moved into 17th place with her 200 career helpers, passing Sheila Kalas' (1982-1985) mark of 197. She needs two more assists to equal Amy Cole's (1987-1991) and Heidi Diefenthaler's (1992-1996) total of 202 and move into the top-15 all-time.
Myers Deadly from Long Range: Carrie Myers enters play in third place on the career three-point list with 180 triples. Myers trails Suzie Hammel (2000-2004) by 56 threes for second all-time.
Rietema Likes Freebies: Betsy Rietema's 297 career free throws are third most in school history. She is nearly 200 behind second place Sarrah Stricklett's (1996-2000) total of 494.
Braun and Rietema Rank 9th and 10th in Scoring from the Floor: Tamra Braun's 401 career field goals rank ninth in Valparaiso history. She is now 15 baskets behind Carrie Forsman (1992-1996). Betsy Rietema has also broke the top-10 with her 389 field goals, 12 behind Braun.
Freeman Winningest Coach in Mid-Con History: Head coach Keith Freeman's 219 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.).