Valpo Women Reach Halfway Mark of League Play Saturday
Friday, January 29, 2010
Valpo Women Reach Halfway Mark of League Play Saturday
Sylwia Zabielewicz and the Crusaders look to knock off #24/22 Green Bay. (Ray Acevedo)

Game #20: Jan. 30, 2010, 2 p.m. CST
Valparaiso (6-13, 3-5 Horizon)
at #24/22 Green Bay (17-2, 6-2 Horizon)
Kress Center (4,018) - Green Bay, Wis.

Coming Up in Crusader Hoops: Valparaiso wraps up the first half of the Horizon League slate on Saturday afternoon while also concluding its current road trip in Wisconsin when the Crusaders battle #24/22 Green Bay.  This will be Valpo’s third game this year against a top-25 opponent.

On the Air: Saturday’s game against Green Bay will be carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at Keaton Gillogly and Chris Kleinhans Shultz will call all the action live from the Kress Center.  The game can also be viewed live online through the Horizon League Network.  Live stats will be available through as well.

Series Notes: Valparaiso and Green Bay are meeting for the 23rd time in a series that dates back to 1986.  The Phoenix are 18-4 all-time against the Crusaders, and have won three straight meetings.  Last year Green Bay was a 76-45 victor in Wisconsin on January 31 before downing the Crusaders 68-60 on February 26 at the ARC.  The Phoenix are 9-2 against Valpo in Green Bay.

Head Coach Keith Freeman:
In his 16th season on the Valparaiso bench, Keith Freeman has a 266-194 record at the helm of the Brown and Gold.  In his 22nd season overall, Freeman has a 395-241 career mark.  He is Valpo’s all-time winningest coach and has amassed more than half of the victories in the program’s history.

Wrapping Up Milwaukee: Lauren Kenney and Kelly Watts both had double-doubles on Thursday night, but the Crusaders could not overcome shooting just 29.9% from the floor, falling to the Panthers 54-48.  Kenney tallied 21 of her career-high 26 points in the second half while pulling down 13 boards.  Watts had 12 points, eight in the first half, while grabbing 11 rebounds.  Valpo was 0-for-16 from three-point range.

Scouting Green Bay: The Phoenix posted a 73-62 victory over Butler on Thursday night to snap a two-game losing skid.  Ranked in the top-25 for several weeks now, Green Bay opened the year with 16 straight victories.  Kayla Tetschlag and Julie Wojta lead the Phoenix in scoring, both averaging 15.4 points per game.  They are grabbing 6.2 and 6.1 rebounds per game respectively as well.  Celeste Hoewisch adds 13.2 points per night for a team scoring 72.8 points per game.

A Double Double-Double: Lauren Kenney and Kelly Watts both tallied double-doubles on the same night Thursday evening at Milwaukee.  Kenney scored 26 points and pulled down 13 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end, for her seventh career double-double and fourth this season.  Watts added 12 points and grabbed 11 boards for her second double-double this season with the Brown and Gold.

Kenney Matches Career High: Lauren Kenney’s 26 points on Thursday marked a season-high and tied her career high with the Crusaders.  She  performs well against the Panthers, having set her career-best originally last season against Milwaukee at the ARC.

Playing Defense in the League: Valpo is allowing just 55.8 points per game in conference action this season, best in the Horizon League.  The Crusaders are limiting the opposition to just 39.08.5% shooting from the field, including a 26.4% mark from beyond the arc. 

Scoring Inside: All but two of Valpo’s points against Milwaukee came either in the paint or from the free throw line on Thursday night.  The only basket that was made outside of the lane was a jumper by Laura Richards from 16 feet in the game’s final 30 seconds.  The Crusaders failed to make a three-point attempt, going 0-for-16 from long range.

Watts Gets to the Boards: Kelly Watts has pulled down 10.4 rebounds per game in Horizon League action through the first eight games for the Crusaders.  She grabbed 11 more caroms at Milwaukee and has 83 rebounds in the eight league contests after grabbing just 41 total in the first 11 non-conference games of the season.

Overtime Streak Ends: Valpo had won five consecutive overtime games dating back to November, 2006 before suffering the extra session setback against Detroit on January 21 at the ARC.  It was the second straight year the Crusaders and Titans went to overtime, with Valpo winning in the Motor City last year.

Balanced Minutes:
Eight difference Crusaders are averaging at least 14 minutes a game for the Brown and Gold this season while nine different players have started at least one contest.  Betsy Adams is the only Valpo player to have started all 19 games this year with Ashley Varner drawing starting assignments in 18 of them.

Taking Care of the Basketball: Laura Richards ranks third in the Horizon League with a 1.7 assist-to-turnover ratio this year.  She has 26 assists and just 13 turnovers to lead all conference players with a 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio during league action.

Adams Among Nation’s Leaders:  Betsy Adams ranks 23rd in all of NCAA Division I making 2.8 three-pointers per game this season.  Her total ranks third in the Horizon League as well.

Block Party: As a team Valpo has already blocked 44 shots in 19 games, just one shy of the team’s total from all of 2008-2009.  Last year the Crusaders finished with just 45 blocks in 30 contests.

Keeping Them Off the Scoreboard: Valpo allowed just 39 points against Loyola (Chicago) on January 4, matching the sixth fewest points ever allowed by a Crusader team in the 39th year of the program’s existence.  The 39 points were the fewest allowed since the team set the school record of 31 on December 30, 2005 against UMKC.

A Perfect Effort:
Betsy Adams went a perfect 10-for-10 against Colorado State from the free throw line.  Her performance against the Rams marked the fourth most makes without a miss ever at Valpo.

Horizon League Player of the Weeks:
Lauren Kenney was named the Horizon League’s Player of the Week on November 23 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.  Ashley Varner then earned the honor on December 28 after scoring a career-high 23 points against Cincinnati. 

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.

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.