Crusaders Begin Road Swing Looking for Fourth Straight Win
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Game #6: Thursday, November 30, 7 p.m. CST
Valpo (3-2, 0-0 Mid-Con) at Loyola (Chicago) (0-5, 0-0 Horizon)
Gentile Center (5,500) - Chicago, Ill.

Coming Up in Crusader Hoops:
Valparaiso takes to the road for the first of four straight games away from the Athletics-Recreation Center on Thursday evening as the Crusaders take on future Horizon League foe Loyola (Chicago). The Crusaders are looking for their fourth consecutive victory.

On the Air: Thursday's game against Loyola 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 Adam Amin will call all the action live from the Gentile Center. A videocast of the game will also be available online through the Horizon League Network. To access the game free of charge, go to

Series Notes: Valparaiso and Loyola are meeting for the 11th time in a series that dates back to the 1993-1994 season. The Crusaders have won all 10 of the previous meetings, including last year's 83-50 victory at the ARC. Tamra Braun scored 21 points and Carrie Myers added 20 in the win for the Brown and Gold. Valpo is 5-0 against the Ramblers in the Windy City. The Crusaders last traveled to Loyola on December 18, 2004, a 72-61 victory over the Ramblers.

Wrapping Up Bradley: Valparaiso made 14 three-pointers, third most in school history, and shot 56.0% from beyond the arc, as the Crusaders defeated the Braves 82-73. Betsy Rietema led the Brown and Gold with 20 points and eight rebounds while Agnieszka Kulaga added a career-high 18 points. Carrie Myers scored 17 and Sarah Ott has a career-best 12 points as Valpo placed four players in double figures.

Scouting Loyola: The Ramblers are still looking for their first victory of the season following a 101-71 loss at Indiana State on Tuesday night. Marquise Hanser leads Loyola scoring 16.0 points per game. She tallied 20 points and seven assists in the loss to the Sycamores. Jenna Real is also tallying double figures for Loyola, scoring 10.2 points per night. As a team the Ramblers are shooting 40.2% from the floor, but allowing opponents to connect on 49.8%. Loyola is a 78.8% shooting team from the free throw line.

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.

Facing a Future Opponent: Next year when Valpo battles Loyola, twice, there will be even more riding on the game. The Crusaders will join the Ramblers in the Horizon League on July 1, 2007. The Brown and Gold is 61-64 all-time against current Horizon League foes.

Bombs Away from Three: Valpo's assault from three-point range on Tuesday night against Bradley was 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.

Double Trouble: Betsy Rietema posted her fourth double figure scoring game of the season in just five contests this season with her team-high 20 points against Bradley. The senior forward now has posted double figures 48 times in 92 career games for the Brown and Gold.

Kulaga Has All-Around Career Night: Agnieszka Kulaga had her finest game in a Valpo uniform during her young career against Bradley. The sophomore guard set a career high with 18 points, including three three-pointers, while dishing out a career-best five assists.

Ott Has Career Night as Well: Sarah Ott tallied career highs in nearly all statistical categories on Tuesday night against the Braves. She scored 12 points, grabbed six rebounds, and dished out four assists without committing a turnover, all personal bests.

Myers Doesn't Miss Often: Carrie Myers made 6-of-10 field goals, including 5-of-8 from three-point range, on her way to a season-high 17-points against Bradley.

Rietema Leads League in Triple Percentage: Betsy Rietema has attempted just seven three-point field goals this season, but has connected on five of them. Her 71.4% accuracy currently leads the Mid-Continent Conference in shooting percentage.

Looking for Four Straight: Valpo is looking for its fourth straight victory for the first time since winning five in a row from Dec. 30-Jan. 12 of last season.

Home Sweet Home: Valparaiso's victory to open the home campaign against Northern Arizona improved the Brown and Gold's record to 177-98 (.644) all-time at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Since the 2001-2002 season, Valpo has posted a 55-13 (.809) 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 13th all-time in school history in scoring. The senior forward has tallied 830 moving past Sarah Schmoyer (1992-1996). Rietema now needs just 48 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 835 points over her career passing Jill Otto (1985-1989) for 19th place all-time. She now needs just five more points to move into 18th place (Mo Drabicki, 1994-1998).

Braun Continues to Move Up Rebounding Charts: Tamra Braun is currently ninth all-time in school history with 636 career rebounds. The senior center is six shy of Carie Wickham's (1996-2001) eighth place total of 642 boards.

Rietema Finds the Rebounding Charts: Betsy Rietema has moved into 20th place on Valparaiso's career rebounding list. The senior forward has brought down 406 rebounds to date. She trails Shari Toelke (1990-1994) by 22 boards for 19th spot all-time in a Crusader uniform.

Braun Also Swats Shots: Tamra Braun also ranks second all-time with 148 career blocked shots. She trails Michelle Mader's (1988-1992) school record by 18 rejections.

Braun Among Mid-Con Best in Blocks: Tamra Braun's 148 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 sixth place on the career three-point list with 142 triples. The senior is three triples behind Megan Newcomer (1996-2000) for fifth place in Valpo laurels and just nine threes behind Jamie Gutowski (2002-2006) for fourth place all-time.

Rietema Likes Freebies: Betsy Rietema's 254 career free throws are fifth most in school history. She trails Paige Freeman (1985-1989) by 19 for fourth place in the all-time record book.

Freeman Winningest Coach in Mid-Con History: Head coach Keith Freeman's 212 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.).