Game #23: Monday, February 5, 7:05 p.m. CST
Oral Roberts (14-8, 4-4 Mid-Con) at Valpo (13-9, 6-2 Mid-Con)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.
Coming Up in Crusader Hoops: Winners of nine of their last 11 games, Valparaiso will look to keep the momentum rolling while trying to keep pace in the Mid-Continent Conference race on Monday evening as the Crusaders entertain Oral Roberts at the ARC. Valpo is coming off of a 40-point win against Centenary on Saturday afternoon, the Brown and Gold's largest victory of the season.
On the Air: Monday's game against Oral Roberts will be carried live online at www.sportsjuice.com. The broadcast will be produced by Valpo's student-run radio station WVUR, but due to station obligations will not be carried over the air. Andrew Hansen and Ron Castor will call all the action live from the Athletics-Recreation Center. The game will also be shown live on Lakeshore Public Television as well as videocast at www.valpo.edu/athletics. Dick Harlan and Joe Arredondo will broadcast the game for television.
Series Notes: Valparaiso and Oral Roberts are meeting for the 24th time on the hardwood with the Crusaders holding a 17-6 edge all-time. The Crusaders hold a 7-2 advantage at the ARC, including victories in six straight games at home against the Golden Eagles. Valpo has won six of the last seven overall between the two schools, including a 57-54 win in Tulsa, Okla. back on January 6 of this season. In that game, Betsy Rietema led the Crusaders with 16 points while Tamra Braun had 13 points and 10 boards. Jenny Hardin led Oral Roberts with 16 points while Elisha Turek added 10 points and nine rebounds.
Wrapping Up Centenary: Every Crusader saw at least 10 minutes of action and 12 of the 13 scored as Valparaiso posted an 84-44 victory over the Ladies on Saturday at the ARC. Valpo connected on 12 three-pointers and shot 53.8% from the floor in the win. Sanna Helenius led the Crusaders with a career high 13 points while Betsy Rietema added 11 in the victory.
Scouting Oral Roberts: The Golden Eagles have won four of their last five games following a 55-52 victory at Western Illinois on Saturday afternoon. Oral Roberts is 3-1 in the Mid-Con away from the Mabee Center this season. Elisha Turek leads the Golden Eagles, averaging a league best 17.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per contest. Jenny Hardin, who missed six straight games with an injury, returned against the Westerwinds, and is second on the team posting 16.1 points per night. ORU is scoring a league high 70.1 points per game on the year.
Everyone Contributes: The Crusaders saw all 13 players receive at least 10 minutes of action on Saturday against Centenary, and every single one did something to contribute. Twelve of the 13 scored in the game, all 13 grabbed at least one rebound, and 11 of the 13 had at least one assist. Valpo's bench scored 47 points in the contest.
Helenius Has Career Game: Sanna Helenius posted the best game of her career with the Brown and Gold against Centenary. The junior saw 13 minutes of action, posted a career high 13 points, as well as a career best three rebounds. She also blocked her first career shot and went 8-of-8 from the free throw line.
Putting Points on the Board: Valpo's 84 points against Centenary on Saturday afternoon marked a new season high, surpassing the total of 82 against Bradley. It was also the Crusaders' highest output since putting 91 on the board against Centenary on February 6, 2006.
Taking Care of the Basketball: Valpo tied a season high with 21 assists against the Ladies on Saturday while turning the ball over just 11 times on the afternoon.
Stingy Defense: Valpo allowed just 44 points on the afternoon against Centenary, the second lowest of the season. The Crusaders allowed just 43 against the Ladies in their first meeting in Shreveport. Valpo held Centenary to just 27.8% shooting for the game on Saturday, including just 4-of-16 (25%) from three-point range.
Braun Nearing 800 Boards: Tamra Braun, Valpo's career rebounding leader, needs just nine more rebounds to hit 800 for her career. She would become just the seventh player in Mid-Continent Conference history to reach the 800 board mark.
Double Trouble: Ten of Valpo's 13 players have scored in double figures now this season after Sanna Helenius joined the group on Saturday. Six players have reached double digits more than once this year.
Blocking Streak: Tamra Braun has registered at least one block in each of Valpo's last 20 games. The senior center blocked a season high four shot attempts at IPFW.
Free Throw Shooting Key in the Mid-Con: Valpo is shooting 78.0% from the stripe in league games, best among all Mid-Con schools. This is significantly up from the season average of 71.7% overall. Sarah Ott is the team's leader from the line, shooting 85.4% for the season and 90.9% against league foes. Launa Hochstetler is a 81.8% shooter on the year and 88.2% in the Mid-Con.
On Pace For Record-Setting Year from Outside: Valparaiso is currently on pace to break the team's single season three-point percentage record. The Crusaders are currently shooting 38.8% from beyond the arc, while the 1997-1998 squad currently holds the school mark at 37.1%.
Myers Among Best Triple Shooters in Mid-Con History: Carrie Myers' 193 career three-pointers ranks as the eighth most makes in Mid-Continent Conference laurels. The senior needs seven more threes to match Krista Ragan (Oral Roberts, 1997-2002) for seventh place in league history.
Valpo Plays Close Games: The Crusaders have played 13 games decided by 10 points or less this season, winning nine of them. Six of the seven conference games in the first half of the season were decided by seven points or less. Valpo is also 4-1 in games decided by five points or less.
Myers Continues to Drain Three-Pointers: Carrie Myers had made at least one three-point field goal in all 22 games thus far this season. In fact, the senior guard has made two or more triples in 18 games, highlighted by five treys against Bradley, Indiana State, and at UMKC. Myers leads the Mid-Con with 2.9 threes made per game.
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 180 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 is currently seventh on the single season charts with 37 swats.
Home Sweet Home: Valparaiso continues to have success at home in recent years. The Brown and Gold has a 181-101 (.642) record all-time at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Since the 2001-2002 season, Valpo has posted a 59-16 (.787) mark at the ARC.
Braun Among Mid-Con Best in Blocks: Tamra Braun's 180 career blocks are sixth best in Mid-Continent Conference history. Kim Wood (UW-Green Bay, 1992-1994) is fifth with 191 blocks.
Myers Among Top Outside Shooters in the Country: Senior guard Carrie Myers currently ranks 8th 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 42.3% accuracy beyond the arc ranks 24th best in the country through February 1.
Among the Nation's Best: Valpo ranks among the top-30 in the country in three statistical categories as a team. The Crusaders are 23rd in three-point field goals per game, making 6.6 per night. In addition, Valpo's 38.2% shooting from beyond the arc ranks 12th in NCAA Division I through January 28. Finally, Valpo has committed just 14.5 fouls per game, 17th 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 149-82 (.645) record all-time in conference play. The 149 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.
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.
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.
Myers Among Single Season Best Three-Point Shooters: Carrie Myers has made 63 triples this season, ranking seventh on Valpo's single season list for most makes. She is two threes away from Suzie Hammel's 2001-2002 total for sixth place. Myers also holds third place on the single season charts after making 76 last season. Lynda Kukla holds the single season record with 101 treys in the 1991-1992 campaign.
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 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 is the first to reach the mark in the same season since Amber Schober and Marlous Nieuwveen both did it during the 2001-2002 season.
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 1,153 points and is 42 points shy of Aimee Forsman (1988-1992) for seventh place all-time.
Braun Moves into 11th in Scoring at Valpo: Senior Tamra Braun has also moved near the top-10 on Valpo's career scoring list. The Valpo center currently has scored 1,018 points over her career passing Carrie Forsman (1992-1996) for 11th place all-time. She needs 59 more points to match Suzie Hammel (2000-2004) for 10th 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 know has 791 rebounds, passed Sarrah Stricklett's (1996-2000) total of 772. Braun's current total ranks eighth in Mid-Continent Conference history, moving past Stricklett on that list as well. Next up on the Mid-Con list for Braun is Heather Farquharson (Northeastern Illinois, 1994-1998) who grabbed 796 for her career.
Rietema Finds the Rebounding Charts: Betsy Rietema has moved into 13th place on Valparaiso's career rebounding list. The senior forward has brought down 521 rebounds to date. With 16 more boards she will match Jill Otto (1985-1989) for 12th all-time in a Crusader uniform.
Dishing the Rock: Betsy Rietema has also cracked the top-15 all-time at Valparaiso in assists. The senior has moved into 14th place with her 210 career helpers, passing Lynda Kukla's (1988-1992) total of 208. She needs 14 more to equal Stephanie Greer (1987-1991) for 13th place.
Myers Deadly from Long Range: Carrie Myers enters play in third place on the career three-point list with 193 triples. Myers trails Suzie Hammel (2000-2004) by 43 threes for second all-time.
Rietema Likes Freebies: Betsy Rietema's 308 career free throws are third most in school history. She is 186 behind second place Sarrah Stricklett's (1996-2000) total of 494.
Freeman Winningest Coach in Mid-Con History: Head coach Keith Freeman's 222 victories are not only most in Valpo history, but also rank tops in Mid-Continent Conference history for career wins.
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 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.).