Valpo Looks for Third Straight Win as Crusaders Host Bradley Tuesday
Monday, November 27, 2006
Game #5: Tuesday, November 28, 7:05 p.m. CST
Bradley (3-3, 0-0 MVC) at Valpo (2-2, 0-0 Mid-Con)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000), Valparaiso, Ind.

Coming Up in Crusader Hoops:
Valparaiso begins a stretch of three games over six days on Tuesday evening as the Crusaders host Bradley at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Valpo has won two straight and is looking for its first victory ever against the Braves.

On the Air: Tuesday's game against Bradley 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. Eric Brooks and Josh Weinhold will call all the action live from the Athletics-Recreation Center.

Series Notes: Valparaiso and Bradley are meeting for the sixth time in a series that began on January 12, 1983. The Braves are 5-0 all-time against the Crusaders after posting a 79-71 double-overtime victory over the Brown and Gold last year in Peoria, Ill. Valpo trailed by nine in the second half of the contest before forcing overtime. Betsy Rietema led Valpo with 22 points and eight rebounds while Tamra Braun added 14 points and 10 boards. Bradley has defeated the Crusaders twice in Valparaiso, with the last meeting here taking place during the 1985-1986 season.

Wrapping Up Akron: Launa Hochstetler's free throw with 37.8 seconds remaining gave Valpo the lead and Akron missed a shot at the buzzer as the Crusaders held on to defeat the Zips 50-49 on Wednesday evening in Akron, Ohio. Valpo had a 10-point second half lead only to see Akron take a late lead. Betsy Rietema led the Crusaders with 12 points while Sarah Ott added a career-high 10 points. Tamra Braun added eight points and nine rebounds.

Scouting Bradley: The Braves moved to .500 after winning two of their last three games following a 72-56 victory over San Jose State on Saturday. Bradley is averaging 73.0 points per game on the year, but is still looking for its first road victory. Kelly Krumwiede leads four Braves in double figures with 13.5 points per game while grabbing a team-best 7.3 rebounds. Devyn Flanagan has added 12.8 points per contest while Erika Nelson and Ashley Chelleen tally 10.3 and 10.2 points respectively.

Note on Game Time Change: Valpo's game Saturday against Indiana State in Indianapolis for the Hoosier State Classic will tip off at 12 p.m. CST (1 p.m. EST). This is a change from earlier published schedules.

One Point Makes a Difference: Launa Hochstetler may have just scored one point on Wednesday at Akron, but it was a big one. The sophomore's free throw with 38.7 seconds remaining gave the Brown and Gold a one-point victory over the Zips, and came in front of Hochstetler's hometown fans. Launa and her twin sister Leah, are from Berlin, Ohio, less than an hour from Akron.

Double Trouble: Betsy Rietema posted her third double figure scoring game of the season at Akron with her team-high 12 points. The senior forward now has posted double figures 47 times in 91 career games for the Brown and Gold.

Just Missing a Double-Double: Tamra Braun scored eight points and grabbed nine rebounds against the Zips, just missing out on a double-double. The senior center has 16 career double-doubles already but is still looking for her first one this season.

Getting to the Free Throw Line: Valpo has done a solid job of getting to the free throw line in the early stages of the 2006-2007 campaign. The Crusaders have been to the charity stripe 89 times in four games (22.2 times per game). Last season Valpo averaged 16.3 trips to the line per game. The Crusaders have made 58 free throws while their opponents have attempted just 64 this year.

Taylor Grabbing Rebounds Right and Left: Krystal Taylor is making the most of her minutes this season. The fifth-year senior is averaging 4.0 rebounds per game in just 8.8 minutes of action per game. Of her 16 rebounds this season, seven have come on the offensive end. She tied her career high with six rebounds at Akron on Wednesday.

Not Staying Home Long: Following the game against Bradley, Valpo will play four straight games away from the ARC before finally returning home against on December 19 when the Crusaders host Notre Dame.

Home Sweet Home: Valparaiso's victory to open the home campaign against Northern Arizona improved the Brown and Gold's record to 176-98 (.642) all-time at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Since the 2001-2002 season, Valpo has posted a 54-13 (.806) mark at the ARC.

Valpo Picked Second in Mid-Con Race: Valparaiso had been tabbed to finish in second place in the Mid-Continent Conference this season according to the preseason poll conducted of the league's head coaches, sports information directors, and selected media outlets. The Crusaders trailed only Oral Roberts in the balloting. Ironically, Valpo and the Golden Eagles will open Mid-Con play against each other on January 6.

Three Crusaders Tabbed to League's Preseason Teams: Valparaiso had three Crusaders selected to the Mid-Continent Conference's Preseason All-Conference Teams. Tamra Braun and Betsy Rietema were named to the First Team while Carrie Myers was selected to the Second Team. Braun averaged 12.0 points and a team-high 8.3 boards per game last season on her way to First Team All Mid-Con honors. Rietema, a Second Team All Mid-Con selection last year, led Valpo with 13.0 points per game while grabbing 6.0 rebounds per night. Myers earned Honorable Mention accolades last season posting 10.6 points per game while shooting 40.2% from three-point range.

Rietema Moves Into 14th in School History in Scoring: Betsy Rietema has moved into 14th all-time in school history in scoring. The senior forward has tallied 810 moving past Heidi Diefenthaler (1992-1996). Rietema now needs just 10 points to match Sarah Schmoyer (1992-1996) for 13th all-time in scoring.

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 832 points over her career passing Jill Otto (1985-1989) for 19th place all-time. She now needs just eight more points to move into 18th place (Mo Drabicki, 1994-1998).

Freeman Winningest Coach in Mid-Con History: Head coach Keith Freeman's 211 victories are not only most in Valpo history, but also rank top in Mid-Continent Conference history for career wins.

Braun Continues to Move Up Rebounding Charts: Tamra Braun is currently ninth all-time in school history with 631 career rebounds. The senior center is 11 shy of Carie Wickham's (1996-2001) eighth place total of 642 boards.

Rietema On the Verge of Rebounding Charts: Betsy Rietema needs just four more boards to move into a tie for 20th place on Valparaiso's career rebounding list. The senior forward has brought down 398 rebounds to date. Darcie Miller (1992-1996) currently holds the 20th spot all-time in a Crusader uniform.

Braun Also Swats Shots: Tamra Braun also ranks second all-time with 147 career blocked shots. She trails Michelle Mader's (1988-1992) school record by 19 rejections.

Braun Among Mid-Con Best in Blocks: Tamra Braun's 147 career blocks also are seventh best in Mid-Continent Conference history. Her three rejections against Northern Arizona moved her past Lauren Powers (UMKC, 1997-2001) in the league's record book. Next up for the senior is Nicole Blakeslee (Buffalo, 1994-1998) who is sixth with 159 swats.

Myers Deadly from Long Range: Carrie Myers enters play in seventh place on the career three-point list with 137 triples. The senior is three triples behind Heidi Diefenthaler (1992-1996) for the sixth spot all-time and trails Megan Newcomer (1996-2000) by eight for fifth place in Valpo laurels.

Rietema Likes Freebies: Betsy Rietema's 252 career free throws are fifth most in school history. She trails Paige Freeman (1985-1989) by 21 for fourth place in the all-time record book.

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.).