Game #18: January 29, 2009, 7 p.m. CST
Valparaiso (9-8, 4-3 Horizon)
at Milwaukee (8-10, 3-4 Horizon)
Klotsche Center (5,000) - Milwaukee, Wis.
Coming Up in Crusader Hoops: After having its three-game winning streak snapped on Friday evening at Butler, the Valparaiso Crusaders will look to rebound and return to winning ways on Thursday night when the Brown and Gold travels to Milwaukee. Valpo is in the midst of a three-game road trip and currently tied for fourth place in the Horizon League standings.
On the Air: Thursday’s game against Milwaukee will be carried live on the Horizon League Network at horizonleaguenetwork.tv or through the link at valpoathletics.com. In addition, the game can be heard live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and through the Valpo athletics website. Adam Amin and Danny Robertson will call all of the action live from the Klotsche Center. The game will also be shown live on Time Warner Sports 32 in the Milwaukee area. Live stats are also available via Gametracker through valpoathletics.com.
Series Notes: Milwaukee leads the all-time series against Valpo 8-2 and hold a 5-1 advantage in Wisconsin. Last season the Panthers won all three meetings between the two schools. During the regular season Milwaukee was a 68-62 victor at the ARC before posting a 76-70 triumph in Milwaukee. The Panthers also downed the Crusaders 67-60 in Milwaukee in the quarterfinals of the Horizon League Tournament. The Crusaders’ last win in the series came in Valpo, 61-57, back in 2001.
Wrapping Up Butler: Susan Lester scored 27 of her game-high 31 points in the first half as the Bulldogs defeated Valpo 77-44 on Friday evening in Indianapolis, Ind. Butler opened up a 48-19 lead at halftime after shooting 70.4% from the floor in the opening 20 minutes and Valpo could never recover. Betsy Adams made four three-pointers to lead the Crusaders with 12 points.
Scouting Milwaukee: The Panthers have won two of their last three games following an 83-74 victory on the road at Loyola last Saturday afternoon. Milwaukee tied an NCAA record making 26-of-26 from the free throw line in the win. Traci Edwards is second the Horizon League in scoring averaging 17.7 points per game while ranking third in rebounding grabbing 8.1 boards per night. Lindsay Laur is the team’s second leading scorer with 8.3 points per game. As a team the Panthers lead the league making 6.2 threes per game and dishing out 14.7 assists.
Adams For Three: Betsy Adams went 4-for-5 from three-point range on Friday evening against Butler to score a team-leading 12 points for the Crusaders. The four triples marked a new career high for the freshman, with the 12 points being just two shy of her season’s best. Adams has stepped up in Horizon League play this year, averaging 7.3 points per game against conference foes. She is shooting 38.7% from long range in league play as well while averaging just over 16 minutes per contest.
Welcome Back Lauren: Lauren Kenney returned to the Crusader lineup for the first time on Friday at Butler since missing six games with an ankle injury. She was 2-for-2 from the floor and added a rebound and a steal in eight minutes of action. On the season, the junior leads Valpo in both scoring (12.0 points per game) and rebounding (7.7 boards per night) while shooting 51.6% from the floor.
Farris Crashes the Glass: Whitney Farris has been getting to the glass over the last eight games. The junior forward has grabbed six or more rebounds in five of the eight contests, while grabbing a team-leading five on Friday at Butler. Farris is averaging 4.9 boards per game this season, but leads the team with 5.3 rebounds in Horizon League action.
Forcing Turnovers in League Play: Valpo is forcing opponents into 21.3 turnovers per contest in conference play this season. The Crusaders forced 26 miscues from Loyola on Saturday, and have also created 27 and 31 takeaways against Cleveland State and Wright State. Valpo is +4.6 in turnover margin against Horizon League foes this season.
Emig Has Solid Outing: Having moved into the starting lineup for the last four games, Katie Emig has started to become more of an offensive producer. The redshirt-sophomore scored nine points, including making a career-high 5-of-6 free throws, against butler. She added a season-high 14 points against UIC two games ago, and is averaging 7.8 points per game since moving into the starting lineup. Emig also played a career-high 29 minutes against the Bulldogs on Friday.
Who Is Going to Do the Scoring Tonight?: Eight different Crusaders have led the Brown and Gold in scoring this season. Agnieszka Kulaga is the team-leader with six high scoring contests, while Launa Hochstetler has led the team on four other nights.
Among the Nation’s Best at the Free Throw Line: Agnieszka Kulaga and Launa Hochstetler rank 13th and 24th respectively in all of NCAA Division I at the free throw line this season. Kulaga also leads the Horizon League shooting 88.5% (46-of-52) from the line. For her career, the senior is an 83.1% shooter from the charity stripe and just reached the 225 career attempt mark to qualify to become Valpo’s career percentage leader. Hochstetler is shooting 84.7% for her career, but still needs nine more attempts to move to the top of the all-time charts.
Valpo Makes More Free Throws Than League Opponents Attempt: Valpo has made 98 free throws this season in Horizon League action. The Crusaders have made 17 more free throws than conference foes have even attempted during these games. On the season as a whole, the Crusaders lead the conference shooting 74.3% from the charity stripe.
League’s Leading Offense: Valpo leads the Horizon League scoring 64.6 points per game on the season. The Crusaders have three of the top-20 scorers in the league, led by Aimee Litka who is eighth with 11.8 points per night. The team’s leading scorer, Lauren Kenney (12.0 ppg) missed the six games with an injury and is not currently eligible for the league leaders.
Surpassing 300 Assists: Launa Hochstetler’s feed to Whitney Farris with 13:53 to play in the second half against Loyola made the senior just the sixth Crusader in school history to reach the 300 assist mark for a career. Hochstetler currently has 303 career assists and needs just 37 more helpers to move into the top-five all-time wearing the Brown and Gold.
Playing Overtime: Valparaiso’s overtime win against Detroit was the Crusaders’ fifth straight when playing extra sessions. The Crusaders have not dropped an overtime contest since November 21, 2005, a double-overtime affair against Bradley.
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 game or two. The senior guard has scored 818 career points, and needs just 12 more to match Jill Otto’s (1985-1989) 20th place mark of 830 points.
Kulaga Nearing Top-15 in Assists: Agnieszka Kulaga had two assists against Loyola and now has 223 career assists to rank 16th all-time wearing the Brown and Gold. She is one assist shy of Stephanie Greer (1987-1991), who is 15th all-time with 224 career helpers and five behind Lina Mascarenas (1988-1992) and Betsy Rietema (2003-2007) for 13th place all-time.
Litka Among Top-10 All-Time in Triples: Aimee Litka made one more three-pointer against Loyola and has passed Heidi Diefenthaler (1992-1996) into seventh place all-time at Valpo for triples made in a career. Litka now has 142 treys in four seasons, and trails Megan Newcomer (1996-2000) by just three triples for sixth place all-time.