Crusader Homestand Continues Thursday Night as Valpo Entertains Central Michigan
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Game #11: Thursday, December 21, 7:05 p.m. CST
Central Michigan (6-4, 0-0 MAC) at Valpo (4-6, 0-0 Mid-Con)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000), Valparaiso, Ind.

Coming Up in Crusader Hoops:
Valparaiso continues its current four-game homestand while playing its final game before the Christmas holiday on Thursday evening when the Crusaders entertain Central Michigan. Valpo is looking to snap a four-game losing skid in the 7:05 p.m. tip-off.

On the Air: Thursday's game against Central Michigan 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 Adam Amin will call all the action live from the Athletics-Recreation Center.

Series Notes: Valparaiso and Central Michigan are meeting for the fourth time in a series that began November 30, 2003. Valpo holds a 2-1 edge all-time, but the Chippewas posted a 55-49 victory over the Crusaders last season in Mount Pleasant, Mich. The Brown and Gold won the only meeting between the two schools at the ARC, 81-60, during the 2004-2005 campaign.

Wrapping Up Notre Dame: Breona Gray's free throw with 1.2 seconds remaining lifted the Fighting Irish to a 60-59 victory over the Crusaders on Tuesday evening. Betsy Rietema's old-fashioned three-point play tied the game with 25.3 seconds left for Valpo in a game that saw five ties and seven lead changes. The Crusaders trailed by as many as seven points in the second half before rallying to take a lead. Rietema led all scorers with 22 points while Agnieszka Kulaga added 10 points and five rebounds. Sarah Ott played all 40 minutes grabbing a team-high six boards.

Scouting Central Michigan: The Chippewas have been on a role recently, winners of their last four games following a 68-49 victory over Dartmouth on Monday night. Central Michigan also defeated Big East foe Syracuse during the winning streak. Sharonda Hurd leads a balanced Chippewa offense which sees eight players average more than six points per game. Hurd, a senior, leads the team with 11.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per night. Defensively, Central Michigan is forcing opponents to commit 21.8 turnovers per contest.

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 992 points, and with just eight more points would become the 11th Crusader in school history to reach the milestone. The last player to reach 1,000 points was Suzie Hammel (1,077) in 2004.

Kulaga Has Solid Game Against Notre Dame: Agnieszka Kulaga played one of her best all-around games in a Crusader uniform Tuesday against Notre Dame. The sophomore point guard scored 10 points, had two assists, five rebounds, and three steals for Valpo in the one-point loss. On the year, Kulaga is shooting 50.0% (10-of-20) from three-point range and is averaging 2.2 assists per contest.

Ott Makes Free Throws: Sarah Ott has made the most of her opportunities at the free throw line this year. Shooting 82.1% (23-of-28), the redshirt-sophomore has made 17 of her last 19 attempts at the line.

Braun Fourth All-Time in Rebounding: Tamra Braun has moved into fourth place on the Crusaders' career rebounding charts with 682 boards during her four-year career. The senior center is 21 boards shy of Amber Schober's third place total of 703 rebounds.

Season High for Individual Scoring: Betsy Rietema's 22 points against Notre Dame mark a season high for points scored in a game by a Crusader this season.

Valpo-Notre Dame Games Close at the ARC Recently: Despite having never beaten Notre Dame in the program's history, Valpo has had three straight tight games with the Fighting Irish at the ARC following the one-point loss on Tuesday. The last three meetings Valpo played at home have been decided by an average of 5.6 points.

Braun Leads the Mid-Con From the Field: Tamra Braun is currently leading the Mid-Continent Conference in field goal percentage, shooting 54.9% from the floor.

Home Sweet Home: Valparaiso continues to have success at home in recent years. The Brown and Gold has a 177-99 (.641) record all-time at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Since the 2001-2002 season, Valpo has posted a 55-14 (.797) mark at the ARC and is 2-1 at home this year, with the one defeat coming by one-point to Notre Dame.

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 6.5 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.

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.

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 a Tie for 11th in School History in Scoring: Betsy Rietema has moved into a tie for 11th all-time in school history in scoring. The senior forward has tallied 992 points, equalling the total scored by Shari Toelke from 1990-1994. Rietema is 23 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 902 points over her career passing Heidi Diefenthaler (1992-1996) for 15th place all-time. She now needs just 18 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 441 rebounds to date. She trails Sarah Schmoyer (1992-1996) by nine boards for the 16th spot all-time in a Crusader uniform.

Braun Also Swats Shots: Tamra Braun also ranks second all-time with 157 career blocked shots. She trails Michelle Mader's (1988-1992) school record by nine rejections.

Braun Among Mid-Con Best in Blocks: Tamra Braun's 157 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 175 career helpers, passing Paige Freeman (1985-1989). Rietema needs 19 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 159 triples. Myers trails Sarah Lenschow (1996-2000) by 12 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.