Valpo Takes to the Road to Battle Instate Foe Ball State
Monday, November 23, 2009
Valpo Takes to the Road to Battle Instate Foe Ball State
Betsy Adams leads the Horizon League in scoring. (Ray Acevedo)

Game #4: Nov. 24, 2009, 6 p.m. CST
Valparaiso (3-0, 0-0 Horizon)
at Ball State (1-2, 0-0 MAC)
John E. Worthen Arena (11,500) - Muncie, Ind.

Coming Up in Crusader Hoops: Off to the best start in school history, Valparaiso takes to the road for the first time in 2009-2010 on Tuesday evening as the Crusaders battle instate rival Ball State. 

On the Air: Tuesday’s game against Ball State will be carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at Keaton Gillogly and Ben Hecke will call all the action live from John E. Worthen Arena.  Live stats will be available through as well.

Series Notes: Valparaiso and Ball State are meeting for the 14th time with the Cardinals holding an 8-5 all-time advantage.  The Crusaders have won five of the last six meetings between the two schools though, including a 64-55 triumph at the ARC on December 1, 2007, the last time the two schools met.  The series is tied 3-3 in Muncie, with Valpo posting a 61-49 victory on December 4, 2005, the last time the Crusaders visited Worthen Arena.

Head Coach Keith Freeman:
In his 16th season on the Valparaiso bench, Keith Freeman has a 263-181 record at the helm of the Brown and Gold.  In his 22nd season overall, Freeman has a 392-228 career mark.

Upcoming Promotion: Fans can receive four tickets for $20 to the December 5 home game against Central Michigan. 

Wrapping Up Colorado State: Valparaiso used a 26-4 run midway through the second half to overcome a nine-point deficit and defeat the Rams 68-58 on Sunday afternoon at the ARC.  The Crusaders struggled shooting the ball, starting 7-for-43 from the floor over the first 27 minutes, before rallying late.  Lauren Kenney and Ashley Varner both posted double-doubles.  Kenney tallied 19 points and 11 boards while Varner chipped in 13 points and 11 rebounds.  Betsy Adams went a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line on her way to 14 points.

Scouting Ball State: The Cardinals are wrapping up a three-game homestand and coming off of a 74-69 victory over Northern Arizona on Saturday afternoon.  Emily Maggert is averaging a double-double for Ball State scoring 19.7 points and grabbing 11.7 rebounds per contest.  She tallied 21 points and 14 boards against Northern Arizona on Saturday.  Patrice King has added 11 points per game for the Cardinals.

Where No Valpo Team Has Been Before: With the win against Colorado State on Sunday, the Crusaders have started the season 3-0 for the first time in the 39-year history of the Valpo program.  The Crusaders had never even started 2-0 since going Division I prior to the 1987-1988 campaign.

Kenney Named Horizon League Player of the Week: Lauren Kenney has been named the Horizon League’s Player of the Week after leading Valpo to wins over SIU Edwardsville and Colorado State.  The senior forward averaged 20.0 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 2.5 steals per game while registering double-doubles in both contests for the Crusaders.

Double-Trouble: Lauren Kenney has notched back-to-back double-doubles for the first time in her Crusader career.  She began last Wednesday night against SIU Edwardsville, scoring 21 points and grabbing a career-high 16 rebounds, and added 19 points and 11 caroms on Sunday against Colorado State.  She now has five career double-doubles and is also averaging one this year at 17.3 points and 10.7 boards per game.

Varner Sets Career Rebounding High on Way to First Double-Double: Ashley Varner also tallied a double-double on Sunday against the Rams, the first of her collegiate career.  The junior scored 13 points and grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds, two more than her previous best of nine set last year and matched in this year’s season-opener against Indiana Tech.

Looking for a Perfect Month: With a win against Ball State in the final game for the Crusaders in the month, Valpo would finish 4-0 in November.  The Crusaders have not had a perfect month since going 7-0 in February of 2002.

Accepting Charity: In three games this season Valparaiso has already made 19 more free throw attempts that its opponents have even attempted.  Valpo has shot 89 free throws (and made 65, 73.0%) while Crusader opponents have attempted just 46 charity tosses all season.

Adams Makes Them Pay: Betsy Adams is 18-for-19 (94.7%) from the free throw line this year after making 10-of-10 against Colorado State.  Her performance against the Rams marked the fourth most makes without a miss ever at Valpo.  Ironically, Adams went  just 6-of-10 at the line last year.

A Model of Consistency: Kelly Watts has turned in three straight games scoring six points for the Crusaders.  In two of the three contests she also grabbed six boards for the Brown and Gold in her first season since transferring to Valpo.

Peller Finds the Bucket: After having to sit out last season with a leg injury and redshirting, and being held scoreless in the first two games of this year, Kelly Peller finally connected on a triple against Colorado State.  The points were the first for Peller since March 12, 2008, a span of more than 20 months.

Playing Defense: Valpo has not allowed an opponent to score 60 points against the Crusaders yet this season, never the less 70 points.  In fact, the Crusaders have not allowed 70 points in a game since January 31, 2009, a span of 14 straight games.

Longest Homestand to Open a Season Ever: With three consecutive home games at the ARC to start the year, it marked the longest season-opening homestand in program history.  The Crusaders had not even had two straight home games to open a season since 1986-1987 when Carthage and Lewis visited Valpo and had never started with three straight home games.

Kenney Earns Preseason Honors: Lauren Kenney was named to the Horizon League’s Preseason Second Team in the voting by the league’s head coaches, media, and sports information directors.  The senior forward averaged 10.9 points and 6.0 rebounds per game for Valpo as a junior.

Valpo Tabbed Sixth in Horizon League: The Crusaders were picked to finish in sixth place this season in the Horizon League according to the conference’s preseason poll.  Last year the Crusaders finished 16-14 overall and 10-8 during the league campaign, finishing fourth.  Green Bay was selected to win the Horizon League title for the 12th consecutive season.

Home Sweet Home: Valpo has had consistent success at the ARC over the past nine years, including three straight wins to start this year.  Last season the Crusaders were 9-5 at home and since the beginning of the 2001-2002 campaign, Valpo has posted a 83-25 (.783) record at the ARC.

Freeman Among Winningest Active Coaches: Keith Freeman entered the 2009-2010 season ranked 42nd among all active Division I coaches for career victories.  He has guided the Crusaders to more than 50% of the program’s victories all-time at Valpo.

Valpo Adds Four for Next Year’s Class: Head coach Keith Freeman has signed four players to National Letters of Intent for next year.  Joining the Crusaders for the 2010-2011 season are: Maegan Callaway, a 6’0” center from Mooresville High School in Mooresville, Ind.;  Tabitha Gerardot, a 6’0” forward from  Canterbury High School in Fort Wayne, Ind.; Liz Horton, a 6’1” forward from Barr-Reeve High School in Cannelburg, Ind.; and Stefanie Lang, a 6’4” center from Valparaiso High School in Valparaiso, Ind.