Game #2: Monday, November 12, 6 p.m. CST
Valpo (0-1, 0-0 Horizon)
at #20 Purdue (0-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
Mackey Arena (14,123) - West Lafayette, Ind.
Coming Up in Crusader Hoops: Valparaiso looks to rebound following its season-opening loss at Bowling Green as the Crusaders head to West Lafayette, Ind. on Monday evening to battle the 20th ranked Boilermakers of Purdue. The contest is game two of Valpo’s six-game season-opening road trip.
On the Air: Monday’s game at Purdue will be carried live online at www.sportsjuice.com. WVUR’s Eric Brooks and Nick Kovatch will call all the action live from Mackey Arena. All 29 regular season games will be broadcast live over the internet in addition to many games on the radio.
Series Notes: The two schools will be meeting for 13th time on Monday evening. Purdue has won all 12 previous meetings, including a 70-55 victory against the Crusaders on December 11, 2005 in Fort Wayne, Ind., the last time the two schools met. Purdue holds a 8-0 advantage in West Lafayette, but the two have not played on the Boilermakers’ home court since a 66-51 victory by Purdue on March 22, 2003 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Wrapping Up Bowling Green: The Falcons forced 29 Valpo turnovers and turned them into 39 points as Bowling Green defeated the Crusaders 81-56 on Friday evening in the season opener for both schools. Bowling Green held just a 24-21 lead midway through the first half until a 16-0 run opened the game up. The Crusaders trailed by 18 points at intermission and were unable to get any closer the rest of the way. Leah Hochstetler scored a career high 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting to lead the way. Aimee Litka also added 11 points while Sarah Ott chipped in nine more.
Scouting Purdue: The Boilermakers return just one returning starter from last year’s squad that finished last year 31-6 overall. Monday marks the season opener for a Purdue squad that advanced to the Elite Eight in last year’s NCAA Tournament. Purdue won its lone exhibition game against the Lady Stars 77-54 on November 4. Danielle Campbell led the Boilermakers with 23 points and 11 assists in the exhibition contest while Lakiesha Freeman added 19 points and seven boards. FahKara Malone, the team’s top returning scorer last year dished out 10 assists in the exhibition contest.
Hochstetler Has Career Day in Opener: Leah Hochstetler turned in her finest performance in her three year career in the opener against Bowling Green, tying for a team-high 11 points. She entered the year with just 20 career points, never scoring more than three in a game until Friday. In addition, she recorded her first career blocked shot against the Falcons.
Valpo Picked Fifth in Horizon League Race: Valparaiso had been tabbed to finish in fifth place in the Horizon League in its inaugural season according to the preseason poll conducted of the league’s head coaches, sports information directors, and selected media outlets. Milwaukee was picked to win the league followed by nine-time defending regular season champion Green Bay. UIC was picked one spot ahead of the Crusaders while Youngstown State is directly behind them.
Who Made This Schedule?: Valparaiso is set to play 10 of its 29 regular season games against teams that participated in either the 2007 NCAA Tournament or the WNIT. In the preseason polls (USA Today and Associated Press), seven of Valpo’s opponents are either ranked or receiving votes in at least one of the two. Bowling Green was receiving votes while Purdue is ranked 20th in the USA Today coaches poll.
Freshman Leads Valpo on the Boards While Another Starts Opener: Jasmine Ussery led Valparaiso with five rebounds in the opener playing in her first collegiate game while fellow freshman Ashley Varner earned a starting assignment in the opener.
Crusaders Continue Shooting Well from Long Range: After setting a school record shooting 37.4% from three-point range last year, Valpo picked up where it left off, shooting 41.2% (7-of-17) in the opener from long range.
Young Crusaders: Sanna Helenius is Valpo’s lone senior on this year’s squad. Valpo begins the season with five juniors athletically, two sophomores, and five freshmen.
Freeman Winningest Coach in Valpo History: Head coach Keith Freeman’s 229 victories are not only most in Valpo history, but also ranked him a top the Mid-Continent Conference prior to the Crusaders’ move to the Horizon League.