Game #24: Feb. 18, 2010, 6 p.m. CST
Valparaiso (7-16, 4-8 Horizon)
at Wright State (8-15, 4-9 Horizon)
Ervin J. Nutter Center (11,019) - Dayton, Ohio
Coming Up in Crusader Hoops: Coming off of a large, record-setting victory on Saturday afternoon, Valparaiso looks to continue its momentum on Thursday evening in Dayton, Ohio as the Crusaders battle Wright State. Both schools are jockeying for position over the next three weeks for the upcoming Horizon League Championships.
On the Air: Thursday’s game against Wright State will be carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at valpoathletics.com. Keaton Gillogly and Nick Garling will call all the action from the Ervin J. Nutter Center. The game can also be viewed live online through the Horizon League Network. Live stats will be available through www.valpoathletics.com as well.
Series Notes: Valparaiso and Wright State are meeting for the 16th time in a series that dates back to 1990. The Crusaders hold a 10-5 advantage all-time and have won two of the last three meetings between the two schools, including a 59-52 victory over the Raiders back on January 23 of this season. The series is knotted at three in Dayton though, a place where Valpo has not won since January 27, 1994.
Upcoming Promotions: At the Saturday, February 27 game against Milwaukee, fans can receive four tickets for just $20. The game against the Panthers also marks Senior Day, where Valpo’s four seniors will be honored prior to tip-off.
Head Coach Keith Freeman: In his 16th season on the Valparaiso bench, Keith Freeman has a 267-197 record at the helm of the Brown and Gold. In his 22nd season overall, Freeman has a 396-244 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 Youngstown State: Valpo shot a season-high 53.3% from the floor and held the Penguins to a school record low for points allowed on Saturday afternoon on the way to an 80-28 victory at the ARC. All 13 players that dressed saw at least nine minutes of action, as the Crusaders held Youngstown State to just 2-of-24 (8.3%) shooting in the second half. Lauren Kenney led Valpo with 21 points and eight rebounds while Laura Richards added 11 points. Brandi Brown led Youngstown State with eight points.
Scouting Wright State: The Raiders have dropped three straight contests following a 77-68 setback in overtime at Loyola (Chicago) on Saturday afternoon. LaShawna Thomas leads Wright State in scoring, averaging 13.3 points per contest. The Raiders have six players averaging at least 7.2 points per contest this year. As a team Wright State is shooting 41.5% from the floor but is committing 20.4 turnovers per game.
The First Time Around: Betsy Adams scored 22 points and Valparaiso held off a late Wright State run as the Crusaders defeated the Raiders 59-52 at the ARC on January 23. The Crusaders led by 13 midway through the second half before Wright State cut the advantage to one, but the Crusaders never gave up the lead. Lauren Kenney added 11 points for Valpo while LaShawna Thomas led the Raiders with 13 points.
Detroit’s Game Time Set: Valparaiso will face Detroit at 12 p.m. CST on Saturday afternoon at Calihan Hall.
A Record-Setting Afternoon: Valparaiso held Youngstown State to a record-low for points allowed in a game, surrendering just 28 points against the Penguins on Saturday afternoon. Youngstown State scored just 12 second half points while shooting 8.3% (2-of-24) from the floor during the stanza. The previous school record for points allowed in a game by a Valpo team was 31, against UMKC on December 30, 2005. Earlier this season, on January 4, Valpo matched what is now the seventh fewest points ever allowed by a Crusader team, 39, against Loyola (Chicago).
Nearly a Record Victory Margin as Well: The 52-point margin of victory against Youngstown State on Saturday was the second largest in school history. On February 1, 1978 Valpo defeated Grace on the road by 54 points, 88-34.
Kenney Makes the Easy Ones: Lauren Kenney has been nearly unstoppable most of the year scoring in the post. The senior is shooting 55.6% from the field, second best in the Horizon League, after connecting on 10-of-13 shots against Youngstown State. Kenney also ranks 19th in all of NCAA Division I in field goal percentage and is shooting 57.8% against conference competition this year.
Richards Has Career Night Against YSU: Freshman point guard Laura Richards scored a career-high 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting against Youngstown State on Saturday. The rookie also registered a personal best with five steals against the Penguins.
Getting Bench Production: Valpo’s bench matched Youngstown State’s total output of 28 points on Saturday afternoon while accounting for 24 rebounds. Gina Lange, a freshman, scored a career-high eight points while pulling down seven rebounds. Kelly Watts also grabbed seven boards while scoring six points. Stephanie Thomas registered a career-high five rebounds.
Making Free Throws of Late: Valparaiso went 27-of-32 (84.3%) from the free throw line last weekend in games against Cleveland State and Youngstown State. The Crusaders were 14-of-17 against the Vikings on Thursday before connecting on 13-of-15 against the Penguins.
Top Defense in League Games: Valparaiso leads the Horizon League in scoring defense, allowing just 58.3 points per game against conference foes this season. The Crusaders also rank second in field goal percentage defense within the league at 38.8% as well as three-point field goal percentage defense, limiting conference foes to just 27.7% from beyond the arc.
Best Shooting Night of the Year: Valparaiso’s 53.3% shooting from the floor was the best of the season for the Crusaders. Valpo connected on 60% of its attempts in the second half.
Adams in Single Season Top-10: Betsy Adams has moved into 10th place on Valpo’s single season three-point list with 60 triples this season. The sophomore guard has passed Michelle Russell (1993-1994) and is five treys behind Suzie Hammel (2001-2002) for ninth place on the single season charts.
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. Green Bay was selected to win the Horizon League title for the 12th consecutive season.
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.