Valpo Women Return Home Tuesday to Battle Notre Dame
Monday, December 18, 2006
Game #10: Tuesday, December 18, 7:05 p.m. CST
Notre Dame (7-3, 0-0 Big East) at Valpo (4-5, 0-0 Mid-Con)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000), Valparaiso, Ind.

Coming Up in Crusader Hoops:
Valparaiso returns home to the Athletics-Recreation Center on Tuesday evening for the first time since November 28 as the Crusaders open up a four-game homestand against Notre Dame. Valpo is looking to snap a three-game losing skid.

On the Air: Tuesday's game against Notre Dame 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 Eric Brooks will call all the action live from the Athletics-Recreation Center. The game will be shown live on Lakeshore Public Television in Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana and on WHME 46 in South Bend as well as videocast at Dick Harlan and Todd Medland will have that call.

Series Notes: Valparaiso and Notre Dame are meeting for the 20th time with the Brown and Gold still seeking its first victory against the Fighting Irish. Last year, Notre Dame defeated Valpo 58-50 in South Bend, Ind. Betsy Rietema led the Crusaders with 11 points and Tamra Braun had 10 more. The Fighting Irish are 8-0 against the Crusaders in Valparaiso.

Wrapping Up Northern Iowa: Tamra Braun registered her fourth consecutive double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds but it was not enough for Valpo as the Crusaders fell to the Panthers 67-49 on Saturday afternoon in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Northern Iowa took the lead late in the first half with a 10-0 run and Valpo could not get closer than three points at any point in the second half.

Scouting Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish have won four of their last five games following a 75-65 victory over IUPUI on Saturday afternoon. Notre Dame has defeated a pair of teams currently ranked in the top-25, Bowling Green and Purdue, and are led by Charel Allen. The junior guard is averaging 14.0 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. Tulyah Gaines adds 11.4 points per contest, while shooting 52.0% from the floor. As a team, the Fighting Irish are shooting 42.5% from the field and 78.1% from the line.

Braun Nothing But Double Trouble: Tamra Braun has been a force for the Crusaders in the paint over the past four contests. The senior center has tallied four consecutive double-doubles, following Saturday's 18-point, 11-rebound performance at Northern Iowa. Braun has now tallied 20 double-doubles during her career with the Brown and Gold.

Litka Makes First Career Start: Sophomore Aimee Litka made her first collegiate start for the Crusaders on Saturday afternoon at Northern Iowa. It was her 34th career game and she tallied three points, a steal, and an assist in 17 minutes of action.

Braun Fourth All-Time in Rebounding: Tamra Braun has moved into fourth place on the Crusaders' career rebounding charts with 678 boards during her four-year career. The senior center is 25 boards shy of Amber Schober's third place total of 703 rebounds.

Valpo-Notre Dame Games Close at the ARC Recently: The last two meetings at the Athletics-Recreation Center have been close, despite the fact the Crusaders have never beaten the Fighting Irish. On December 4, 2002, Valpo dropped a six-point decision, 74-68, while falling by 10, 69-59, on November 30, 2004.

Free Throw Shooting Getting Better: Despite the fact Valpo is shooting just 67.8% from the line this season, the Crusaders have shown signs of improvement of late. Valpo shot 76.1% (32-of-42) over the last three games, all of which were away from the ARC.

Braun Leads the Mid-Con From the Field: Tamra Braun is currently leading the Mid-Continent Conference in field goal percentage, shooting 59.4% from the floor. After a slow start to begin the season, the senior is averaging 16.3 points per game over the last four contests.

Home Sweet Home: Valparaiso continues to have success at home in recent years. The Brown and Gold has a 177-98 (.644) record all-time at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Since the 2001-2002 season, Valpo has posted a 55-13 (.809) mark at the ARC and is a perfect 2-0 at home this year.

Valpo Leads the Mid-Con From Downtown: The Crusaders' 39.2% 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.

Rietema Nearing 1,000 Point Club: Betsy Rietema is quickly approaching the 1,000 point club for her career. She currently stands at 970 points, 30 shy of the magic number. Rietema would become just the 11th Crusaders in school history to reach the milestone.

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 24th in three-point field goals per game, making 6.6 per night. In addition, Valpo's 38.7% shooting from beyond the arc ranks 23rd in NCAA Division I.

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.

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 13th in School History in Scoring: Betsy Rietema has moved into 13th all-time in school history in scoring. The senior forward has tallied 970 points, moving past Sarah Schmoyer (1992-1996). Rietema now needs just eight points to match Cheryl Wilbrandt (1989-1993) for 12th 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 900 points over her career passing Heidi Diefenthaler (1992-1996) for 15th place all-time. She now needs just 20 more points 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 437 rebounds to date. She trails Sarah Schmoyer (1992-1996) by 13 boards for the 16th spot all-time in a Crusader uniform.

Braun Also Swats Shots: Tamra Braun also ranks second all-time with 156 career blocked shots. She trails Michelle Mader's (1988-1992) school record by 10 rejections.

Braun Among Mid-Con Best in Blocks: Tamra Braun's 156 career blocks also are seventh best in Mid-Continent Conference history. She has moved 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.

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 171 career helpers, passing Paige Freeman (1985-1989). Rietema needs 23 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 156 triples. Myers trails Sarah Lenschow (1996-2000) by 15 threes for third all-time.

Rietema Likes Freebies: Betsy Rietema's 268 career free throws are fifth most in school history. She trails Paige Freeman (1985-1989) by four for fourth 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.

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.).