Valpo Returns from Holiday Break to Face Saint Francis on Saturday
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Game #12: Saturday, December 30, 1:35 p.m. CST
Saint Francis (Ind.) (15-2, 4-0 MCC) at Valpo (4-7, 0-0 Mid-Con)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000), Valparaiso, Ind.

Coming Up in Crusader Hoops:
After a nine-day layoff for Christmas, Valparaiso returns to the hardwood on Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders entertain Saint Francis (Ind.) at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Valpo is in the midst of a four-game homestand and is playing in its final game of the 2006 calendar year. Tip-off is set for 1:35 p.m.

On the Air: Saturday's game against Saint Francis 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 Andrew Hansen will call all the action live from the Athletics-Recreation Center.

Series Notes: Valparaiso and Saint Francis are meeting for the seventh time in a series that dates back to January 11, 1979 when the Crusaders defeated the Cougars 60-42 in Valpo. The Brown and Gold holds a 4-0 advantage over Saint Francis in Valparaiso, and defeated the Cougars 78-52 in the last meeting between the schools, November 24, 2003, at the ARC.

Wrapping Up Central Michigan: Valparaiso committed 21 turnovers which led to 24 Chippewa points as Central Michigan defeated the Crusaders 62-45 last Thursday evening at the Athletics-Recreation Center. The Chippewas utilized runs of 12-1 and 18-2 to break the game open on the way to the victory. Tamra Braun led Valpo with 17 points and a season-high 13 rebounds on the way to her fifth double-double in six games.

Scouting Saint Francis: The Cougars enter the game looking to rebound after having their 13-game winning streak snapped on December 20 at Ferris State. Saint Francis is ranked fourth in the country in NAIA Division II and is a perfect 9-0 at home this season. Chivonn Keppeler leads the Cougars in scoring averaging 15.5 points per game while Nikki Lewis adds 12.7 points per contest. Jessica Hathaway has chipped in 9.2 points to go along with her team-leading 6.2 rebounds per night. As a team Saint Francis is scoring 73.5 points per contest while shooting 46.2% from the floor.

Rietema Looks to Become 11th Member of Valpo's 1,000 Point Club: Betsy Rietema is quickly approaching the 1,000 point club for her career. She currently stands at 996 points, and would become the 11th Crusader in school history to reach the milestone.

Braun Continues to Tally Double-Doubles: Tamra Braun registered her fifth double-double of the season as well as in the last six games with her 17-point 13-rebound performance against Central Michigan. The senior center now has 21 double-doubles for her career.

Braun Posts Season Rebounding High: Tamra Braun's 13 rebounds against the Chippewas represent a season-high not only for herself, but for any Crusader. Braun was one rebound shy of her career high, set against Oakland during the 2003-2004 campaign.

Braun Fourth All-Time in Rebounding: Tamra Braun has moved into fourth place on the Crusaders' career rebounding charts with 695 boards during her four-year career. The senior center is eight boards shy of Amber Schober's third place total of 703 rebounds.

Farris Scores First Collegiate Points: Freshman Whitney Farris found the scoring column for the first time in her young career against Central Michigan. The rookie connected on a three-pointer on her way to four points in the contest.

Threes Are Better Than Twos: As a team, Valpo is shooting better from three-point range than it is from inside of the arc. The Crusaders are connecting for a league-best 39.1% from long range while making just 37.4% of their two-point attempts.

Braun Leads the Mid-Con From the Field: Tamra Braun is currently leading the Mid-Continent Conference in field goal percentage, shooting 57.5% from the floor. She is 2.5% better than Elisha Turek (Oral Roberts) for second place in the league (55.0%).

Home Sweet Home: Valparaiso continues to have success at home in recent years. The Brown and Gold has a 177-100 (.639) record all-time at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Since the 2001-2002 season, Valpo has posted a 55-15 (.786) mark at the ARC.

Looking to Finish .500 in 2006: The Crusaders enter the final game of the 2006 calendar year with a 14-15 mark during the past 365 days.

Valpo Leads the Mid-Con From Downtown: The Crusaders' 39.1% shooting clip from beyond the arc is currently best in the Mid-Continent Conference. In addition, the Brown and Gold's 6.4 triples per game are also best in the league.

Myers Among Top Outside Shooters in the Country: Senior guard Carrie Myers currently ranks 21st 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 42.6% accuracy beyond the arc ranks 49th best in the country through December 17. The next NCAA rankings come out on January 2.

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.

Among the Nation's Best: Valpo ranks among the top-25 in the country in a pair of three-point statistical categories as a team. The Crusaders are 33rd in three-point field goals per game, making 6.4 per night. In addition, Valpo's 39.2% shooting from beyond the arc ranks 19th in NCAA Division I through December 17. The next NCAA rankings come out on January 2.

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 Moves Into 11th in School History in Scoring: Betsy Rietema has moved into 11th place all-time in school history in scoring. The senior forward has tallied 996 points, passing Shari Toelke's total of 992 points from 1990-1994. Rietema is 19 points shy of matching Carrie Forsman (1992-1996) and moving into the top-10 all-time at Valpo.

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 919 points over her career passing Heidi Diefenthaler (1992-1996) for 15th place all-time. She now needs just one more point to match Sarah Schmoyer (1992-1996) for 14th place all-time.

Rietema Finds the Rebounding Charts: Betsy Rietema has moved into 17th place on Valparaiso's career rebounding list. The senior forward has brought down 448 rebounds to date. She trails Sarah Schmoyer (1992-1996) by two boards for the 16th spot all-time in a Crusader uniform.

Braun Also Swats Shots: Tamra Braun also ranks second all-time with 159 career blocked shots. She trails Michelle Mader's (1988-1992) school record by seven rejections.

Braun Among Mid-Con Best in Blocks: Tamra Braun's 159 career blocks also are tied for sixth best in Mid-Continent Conference history, with Nicole Blakeslee (Buffalo, 1994-1998). 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 179 career helpers, passing Paige Freeman (1985-1989). Rietema needs 15 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 161 triples. Myers trails Sarah Lenschow (1996-2000) by 10 threes for third all-time.

Rietema Likes Freebies: Betsy Rietema's 272 career free throws are tied with Paige Freeman (1985-1989) for fourth most in school history. She trails Amber Schober (1998-2002) by five freebies for third place in the all-time record book.

Freeman Winningest Coach in Mid-Con History: Head coach Keith Freeman's 213 victories are not only most in Valpo history, but also rank top in Mid-Continent Conference history for career wins.