Game #10: December 30, 2008, 4 p.m. CST
Valparaiso (4-5, 0-0 Horizon)
vs. North Florida (2-8, 1-1 Atlantic Sun)
Stabler Arena (5,600) - Bethlehem, Pa.
Christmas City Classic - 1st Round
Coming Up in Crusader Hoops: Valparaiso takes to
the hardwood for the final time before the new year as well as before
the beginning of Horizon League action on Tuesday evening, battling
North Florida in the consolation game of the Christmas City Classic.
The Crusaders are looking to snap a three-game losing skid and return
to the .500 mark.
On the Air: Tuesday’s game against North Florida can
be heard live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at
www.valpoathletics.com. Adam Tein and Danny Robertson will call all of
the action live from Stabler Arena. In addition, free video coverage
of the game is available through www.valpoathletics.com.
Series Notes: Valparaiso and North Florida are meeting
for the first time ever on the hardwood. The Crusaders are 2-1
all-time against teams currently in the Atlantic Sun Conference, going
1-0 against Jacksonville and 1-1 against Lipscomb.
Wrapping Up La Salle: Despite a 23-2 run in the first
half that put the Crusaders on top by as many as 13, Valparaiso turned
the ball over nine times in the second half and allowed the Explorers
to make 9-of-20 three-point field goals in falling to La Salle 67-62 on
Monday night in the opening round of the Christmas City Classic.
Lauren Kenney led Valpo with 22 points and 14 rebounds while Aimee
Litka added 15 points, including three triples. Agnieszka Kulaga had
11 points, six rebounds, and nine assists. Margaret Elderton led La
Salle with 18 points, as the Explorers also made 18-of-20 free throws
on the night.
Scouting North Florida: The Lady Ospreys have dropped
five straight games following a 67-47 setback to tournament host Lehigh
on Monday night in the first round of the Christmas City Classic.
North Florida is only averaging 48.4 points per game, and have scored
more than 56 points in a game just once this year. Jadhken Kerr leads
the team in scoring averaging 8.8 points per game, but has missed the
last four contests. Brittany Kirkland adds 8.1 points per night. The
Lady Ospreys are shooting just 33.2% from the floor, including 29.3%
from beyond the arc. In addition, North Florida is connecting on just
59.8% from the free throw line. The Lady Ospreys are -2.6 in turnover
margin, averaging 21.6 miscues per night.
Kenney Posts Double-Doubles: Lauren Kenney registered
her second double-double of the season on Monday night against La
Salle. The junior college transfer tied her season high with 22 points
while grabbing 14 rebounds, one off of her season’s best. Kenney also
had a double-double with 11 points and 15 boards against Notre Dame,
and just missed one with nine points and 10 rebounds at Colorado
State. On the season, Kenney is averaging 13.4 points and 8.6 boards
Kenney Also Makes Free Throws: After starting her
Valpo career making just 2-of-8 free throws, Lauren Kenney has made 31
of her last 35 attempts from the charity stripe beginning at Colorado
State. The junior is shooting 88.6% from the line in her last seven
Varner Posts Career Effort: Ashley Varner had a
career night for the Crusaders off of the bench against La Salle. The
sophomore scored eight points, a career high, while making 3-of-4 from
the floor. She also had two rebounds and a block in 17 minutes of
Kulaga Dishes the Rock: After registering just 15
assists through the first eight games of the season, Agnieszka Kulaga
distributed the ball nine times leading to scores for the Crusaders
against La Salle. Though a season high, the senior had a career-best
12 assists last season against Green Bay.
Valpo and the RPI: Valparaiso entered the Christmas
City Classic 44th overall in RPI among the 341 Division I programs
according to collegerpi.com through December 28. As a conference, the
Horizon League ranked 10th out of 31 conferences. The Crusaders’
strength of schedule ranked 10th in the country as well.
Hochstetler Has Career Effort Versus South Dakota State:
Launa Hochstetler poured in 20 of her career-high 24 points in the
second half for the Crusaders at South Dakota State. The senior guard
also brought down a season-high five rebounds. Her previous high
scoring output came as a sophomore with 21 points against Western
Now That is Consistency: Head coach Keith Freeman has
stayed with the same five starters in all nine games this year.
Agnieszka Kulaga, Aimee Litka, Launa Hochstetler, Lauren Kenney, and
Sylwia Zabielewicz have taken to the court each night for the tip.
Litka Returns to Double Figures: After scoring
in double figures in 31 of 34 games dating back to last season, Aimee
Litka had the string snapped at North Texas. Since then, she had
scored 10 or more points just once in four games prior to posting 15
points against La Salle on Monday evening.
Four Among League’s Leading Scorers: Valparaiso
boasts four of the Horizon League’s top-20 scorers, including three of
the top eight producers. Agnieszka Kulaga is third in the conference
scoring 16.7 points per night while Lauren Kenney ranks sixth pouring
in 13.4 points per game. Aimee Litka adds 13.3 points per contest,
eighth best in the conference while Launa Hochstetler’s 10.7 points
place her 20th. As a team, Valpo is averaging 67.3 points per game,
second in the Horizon League.
From Downtown: The Crusaders at the top of the Horizon
League in both three-point shooting percentage and makes per game.
Valpo’s 37.2% shooting from downtown leads the conference percentage
wise, while the 6.1 makes per night are also number one in the
Playing Defense: Valpo has forced opponents to
struggle shooting the basketball this season. Opponents are making
just 37.9% of its shots from the floor. The defensive field goal
percentage for the Crusaders is tops in the Horizon League. Opponents
are also shooting just 31.7% from three-point range, third best in the
conference. The Crusaders are also second in the league in rebounding
margin at +2.3 boards per night, grabbing 39.0 per game.
Kulaga Nearing Top-20 All-Time at Valpo in Scoring:
Agnieszka Kulaga has the opportunity to move into the top-20 all-time
at Valpo in scoring within the next couple of weeks. The senior guard
has scored 787 career points (9.0 per game), and needs just 43 more to
match Jill Otto’s (1985-1989) 20th place mark of 830 points.
Hochstetler Ranks Among Career Assist Leaders: Launa
Hochstetler continues to climb Valpo’s career assist list. She had
three assists against La Salle, and currently moved into a tie for
eighth place all-time with Lisa Winter (1998-2000). Both have 264
helpers for the Crusaders. Hochstetler is 14 assists shy of Suzie
Hammel’s (2000-2004) seventh place total of 278 assists.
Kulaga Joins Hochstetler on Assist List:
Agnieszka Kulaga had nine assists against La Salle and now has 215
career assists to move into 16th place all-time wearing the Brown and
Gold. The senior needs two more assists passed Lynda Kukla’s
(1988-1992) total of 208. Next up on the assist charts for Kulaga is
Stephanie Greer (1987-1991), who has 224 career helpers, nine more than
Litka Moves Into Top-10 All-Time in Triples: Aimee
Litka made three more three-pointers against La Salle to match Kathryn
Knoester’s (2000-2004) eighth place mark in school history with 132
threes. The senior is eight triples shy of Heidi Diefenthaler’s
(1992-1996) seventh place total of 140 treys while wearing the Brown