Valpo Looks to Bounce Back Sunday Against Ball State
Thursday, December 7, 2006
Game #8: Sunday, December 10, 12 p.m. CST
Valpo (4-3, 0-0 Mid-Con) vs. Ball State (5-1, 0-0 MAC)
Hilliard Gates Sports Center (2,800) - Fort Wayne, Ind.

Coming Up in Crusader Hoops:
After an eight-day layoff, Valparaiso returns to the court on Sunday afternoon as the Crusaders face instate foe Ball State in Fort Wayne, Ind. as part of Hoopla: A Celebration of Women's Basketball. Valpo is looking to rebound from a loss to Indiana State last Saturday at the Hoosier State Classic.

On the Air: Sunday's game against Ball State 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 Ron Castor will call all the action live from Hilliard Gates Sports Center.

Series Notes: Valparaiso and Ball State are meeting for the 12th time in a series that dates back to January 22, 1972. The Cardinals hold a 7-4 advantage all-time, but the Crusaders have won the last four meetings between the two Indiana schools. Last year, the Crusaders posted a 61-49 victory over Ball State in Muncie, Ind. as part of the Hoosier State Classic. Each school has won one game at a neutral site.

Wrapping Up Indiana State: Betsy Rietema posted a triple-double and Tamra Braun added her 18th career double-double for Valpo, but the Sycamores made 13 three-point field goals on the way to an 83-71 victory over the Crusaders. Rietema scored 14 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished out 10 assists while Braun scored a team-high 19 points and grabbed 11 boards. A late 25-9 run by Indiana State gave the Sycamores the lead after Valpo held a 51-44 advantage early in the second half.

Scouting Ball State: The Cardinals saw their season-opening five-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday night as Ball State dropped an 82-72 decision at Illinois State. Trailing by 21 at the break, the Cardinals rallied to within three points late in the game, but could not overcome the rest of the deficit. Julie DeMuth leads Ball State on the season, averaging 17.3 points and 9.5 rebounds per contest. The junior guard scored 28 points and had 16 boards against the Redbirds on Wednesday. Lisa Rusche has added 12.3 points and 7.3 boards, including a 36-point, 10-rebound performance last weekend at Butler.

Valpo at Hoopla: This is the second straight season the Crusaders have been invited to take part in the Hoopla celebration in Fort Wayne. Last year, the Crusaders led #23 Purdue for most of the game before the Boilermakers finished the game on an 18-3 run to win 70-55.

Triple Double for Rietema: Betsy Rietema turned in a rare triple-double for the Crusaders in the loss to Indiana State last Saturday. 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 and added three steals.

50 Doubles for Rietema: Betsy Rietema posted her sixth double figure scoring game of the season in seven contests with 14 points against Indiana State. The senior forward now has posted double figures 50 times in 94 career games for the Brown and Gold.

Double Double Times Two: Tamra Braun posted a season-high 19 points while grabbing a season-best 11 boards last Saturday against Indiana State for her second double-double in just three days. She previously tallied 18 points and 10 rebounds on Thursday at Loyola (Chicago). For the senior center, she now has 18 double-doubles for her career.

Ott Has Solid Four Game Stretch: Sarah Ott had never scored in double figures in her career until the fourth game of this season. Beginning with the Akron game, the redshirt-sophomore has posted four straight double-figure efforts and has averaged 13.0 points per game over the last four contests. She also has pulled down 4.3 boards per contest while dishing out 2.2 assists during the span.

Valpo Leads the Mid-Con From Downtown: The Crusaders' 38.5% shooting clip from beyond the arc is currently best in the Mid-Continent Conference. In addition, the Brown and Gold's 6.7 triples per game is also best in the league.

Hotel Beds Again?: Valpo is in a stretch of games where the Crusaders will play seven out of nine contests away from the ARC. The Crusaders' next home game is December 19 against Notre Dame.

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.

Among the Nation's Best: Valpo ranks among the top-25 in the country in three different statistical categories as a team. The Crusaders are 16th in three-point field goals per game, making 6.7 per night. In addition, Valpo's 14.6 fouls per game rank 19th while the 14.8 turnovers per contest are 25th best.

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.

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. 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 13th in School History in Scoring: Betsy Rietema has moved into 13th all-time in school history in scoring. The senior forward has tallied 956 points, moving past Sarah Schmoyer (1992-1996). Rietema now needs just 22 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 872 points over her career passing Kathryn Knoester (2000-2004) for 17th place all-time. She now needs just four more points to match Michelle Russell (1991-1994) for 16th place all-time.

Braun Continues to Move Up Rebounding Charts: Tamra Braun is currently tied with Marlous Nieuwveen (1998-2002) for sixth all-time in school history with 657 career rebounds. The senior center is six boards shy of Cheryl Wilbrandt's fifth place total of 663 boards and 19 rebounds behind Aimee Forsman (1988-1992) for fourth place.

Rietema Finds the Rebounding Charts: Betsy Rietema has moved into 20th place on Valparaiso's career rebounding list. The senior forward has brought down 424 rebounds to date. She trails Shari Toelke (1990-1994) by four boards for 19th spot all-time in a Crusader uniform.

Braun Also Swats Shots: Tamra Braun also ranks second all-time with 153 career blocked shots. She trails Michelle Mader's (1988-1992) school record by 13 rejections.

Braun Among Mid-Con Best in Blocks: Tamra Braun's 153 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 moved into the top-20 all-time at Valparaiso in assists. The senior moved into 19th place with her 168 career helpers, passing Paige Freeman (1985-1989). Rietema needs 26 more helpers to match Tracy Saller's (1985-1987) mark of 194 assists.

Myers Deadly from Long Range: Carrie Myers enters play in fifth place on the career three-point list with 150 triples. Her next triple will tie her with Valpo graduate assistant Jamie Gutowski (2002-2006) for fourth place all-time. Myers trails Sarah Lenschow (1996-2000) by 21 threes for third all-time.

Rietema Likes Freebies: Betsy Rietema's 262 career free throws are fifth most in school history. She trails Paige Freeman (1985-1989) by 10 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.).