Crusaders Close Out Homestand Wednesday Hosting Huntington
Tuesday, January 2, 2007
Game #13: Wednesday, January 3, 7:05 p.m. CST
Huntington (9-5, 1-3 MCC) at Valpo (5-7, 0-0 Mid-Con)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000), Valparaiso, Ind.

Coming Up in Crusader Hoops:
Valparaiso opens the 2007 calendar year at home on Wednesday evening as the Crusaders entertain Huntington University. Valpo is looking for back-to-back victories for the first time since the end of November following a 60-46 victory over Saint Francis (Ind.) on Saturday afternoon.

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

Series Notes: Valparaiso and Huntington are meeting for the ninth time overall, but the first since January 17, 1987. The Crusaders and Huntington have each won four times with the Foresters winning the last three contests between the two schools, including a 62-59 decision in Valpo in the last meeting. The Crusaders hold a 3-2 series edge in games played in Valparaiso.

Wrapping Up Saint Francis (Ind.): Betsy Rietema became the 11th Crusader in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark with 13 points and a career-high 15 rebounds as Valpo defeated the Cougars 60-46 at the ARC last Saturday. Tamra Braun added her sixth double-double in the last seven games with 13 points and 10 boards while Carrie Myers added 12 points. With Saint Francis holding a one-point lead with just over seven minutes to go, a 14-0 run by Valpo broke the game open to give the Crusaders the victory.

Scouting Huntington: The Foresters have won four of their last five games after going 2-1 at the Saint Xavier Tournament December 27-29, including a 60-40 victory over Spring Arbor to wrap up the tournament. Amy Berry leads the way for Huntington with 17.1 points per game while shooting 91.8% from the free throw line. Jenna Donaldson adds 12.3 points per contest as well as a team-leading 5.9 rebounds per game. Donaldson is the team's top three-point shooter, connecting on 53.1% from beyond the arc.

Freeman to Face His Alma Mater: Head coach Keith Freeman will be facing his alma mater as well as a former player as the Crusaders host Huntington. Freeman coached Forester head coach Lori Culler while he was the head coach at Huntington (1983-1985). In fact, during the 1983-1984 season, the duo led Huntington to a win at Valpo 93-77.

Rietema Become 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.). The senior forward has 1,009 points and is now poised to move into the top-10 on the Crusaders' scoring charts with just six more points.

Braun Continues to Tally Double-Doubles: Tamra Braun registered her sixth double-double of the season, all of which have come in the last seven games, with her 13-point, 15-rebound performance against Saint Francis (Ind.). The senior center now has 22 double-doubles for her career.

Rietema Has Career Day on the Boards: Betsy Rietema's 15-rebound performance against Saint Francis (Ind.) on Saturday afternoon represented a career-high for the senior. Along with her 13 points, Rietema also dished out eight assists, two shy of her second triple-double of the year.

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 705 boards during her four-year career. The senior center is 61 boards behind Jeanette Gray (1999-2003) for second place all-time. Sarrah Stricklett (1996-2000) holds the school mark with 772 rebounds, 67 more than Braun's current total.

Peller Earns First Collegiate Start: Freshman Kelly Peller made her first college start on Saturday against Saint Francis (Ind.). The rookie made the most of the opportunity with a career-best five points.

Home Sweet Home: Valparaiso continues to have success at home in recent years. The Brown and Gold has a 178-100 (.640) record all-time at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Since the 2001-2002 season, Valpo has posted a 56-15 (.789) mark at the ARC.

Valpo Leads the Mid-Con From Downtown: The Crusaders' 38.6% shooting clip from beyond the arc is currently best in the Mid-Continent Conference. In addition, the Brown and Gold's 6.3 triples per game also lead the league.

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.

Rietema Player of the Week December 5: Betsy Rietema was honored as the Mid-Continent Conference's Player of the Week on December 5 after averaging 15.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 2.7 steals per game for the Brown and Gold during a five-day stretch which Valpo went 2-1. She began the week with a game-high 20 points while grabbing eight rebounds in a win over Bradley. Rietema then added 12 points and eight boards in a road victory over Loyola (Chicago) before posting her first career triple-double, 14 points, 10 rebounds, and a career-high 10 assists, against Indiana State.

Rietema Just Outside Top-10 in School History in Scoring: Betsy Rietema has moved into 11th place all-time in school history in scoring. The senior forward has tallied 1,009 points, passing Shari Toelke's total of 992 points from 1990-1994. Rietema is just six 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 932 points over her career passing Sarah Schmoyer (1992-1996) for 14th place all-time. She now needs 46 more points to match Cheryl Wilbrandt (1989-1993) for 13th place all-time.

Rietema Finds the Rebounding Charts: Betsy Rietema has moved into 16th place on Valparaiso's career rebounding list. The senior forward has brought down 463 rebounds to date. She trails Robyn Lippert (1987-1991) by four boards for the 15th spot all-time in a Crusader uniform.

Braun Nearing Blocks Record: Tamra Braun is closing in on the Valparaiso University record for career blocked shots. She trails Michelle Mader's (1988-1992) school record by four rejections with her 162 career swats.

Braun Among Mid-Con Best in Blocks: Tamra Braun's 162 career blocks also 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 moved into 19th place with her 187 career helpers, passing Paige Freeman (1985-1989). Rietema needs seven 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 165 triples. Myers trails Sarah Lenschow (1996-2000) by six threes for third all-time.

Rietema Likes Freebies: Betsy Rietema's 279 career free throws are third most in school history. She is more than 200 behind second place Sarrah Stricklett's (1996-2000) total of 494.

Freeman Winningest Coach in Mid-Con History: Head coach Keith Freeman's 214 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.).