Valpo Women Battle First Place Detroit Saturday
Friday, February 19, 2010
Valpo Women Battle First Place Detroit Saturday
Skyler Gick scored 10 points on Thursday at Wright State. (Ray Acevedo)

Game #25: Feb. 20, 2010, 12 p.m. CST
Valparaiso (7-17, 4-9 Horizon)
at Detroit (13-12, 11-3 Horizon)
Calihan Hall (8,295) - Detroit, Mich.

Coming Up in Crusader Hoops: Valparaiso wraps up its weekend  road trip on Saturday afternoon, as the Crusaders travel to the Motor City to battle Detroit.  Valpo is looking to bounce back following Thursday’s setback in which the Crusaders rallied from 17 points down to close within one before falling to Wright State.

On the Air:
Saturday’s game against Detroit will be carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at Keaton Gillogly and Nick Garling will call all the action from Calihan Hall.  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 Detroit are meeting for the 10th time in a series dating back to 1989.  The Titans hold a 5-4 all-time advantage after posting a 72-70 overtime victory over the Crusaders back on January 21 at the ARC.  Valpo is 3-1 all-time in Calihan Hall, winning both meetings since the Crusaders joined the Horizon League, including a 70-65 overtime triumph on year ago.  Detroit has won two straight meetings overall though.

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 267-198 record at the helm of the Brown and Gold.  In his 22nd season overall, Freeman has a 396-245 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 Wright State: Valpo rallied from a 17-point deficit with under nine minutes to play, closing to one with the basketball in the final minute, but came up just short, falling 54-51 to the Raiders on Thursday evening in Dayton, Ohio.  Whitney Farris recorded her first collegiate double-double with a career-high 22 points and matching a career-best with 10 rebounds.  Skyler Gick came off of the bench to add 10 points for the Brown and Gold, but Valpo shot just 34.6% for  the game.  The Crusaders did force 27 Wright State turnovers though, converting them into 26 points.  Kanisha Ward led the Raiders with 16 points.

Scouting Detroit:
The Titans had won six straight games and nine of their last 10 prior to a 72-62 setback against Butler at home on Thursday evening.  Brigid Mulroy leads Detroit averaging 14.3 points per game.  The guard is shooting 52.3% from three-point range and is a 91.0% from the free throw line.  Yar Shayok adds 11.7 points and 9.9 rebounds per game for the Titans.

The First Time Around: Detroit rallied from six points down with just 38 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime, then scored the first seven points of the extra session as the Titans defeated Valpo 72-70 at the ARC on January 21.  Lauren Kenney scored 24 points and pulled down nine rebounds for the Crusaders while Kelly watts added 14 points and nine boards.  Brigid Mulroy led Detroit with 19 points in the first meeting between the two schools.

Farris Posts Double-Double:
Whitney Farris registered her first collegiate double-double on Thursday evening at Wright State.  The senior scored a career-high 22 points against the Raiders, six more than her previous best, while tying a career-best with 10 rebounds.  She has also pulled down 10 boards two other times during her career.  Farris is the fourth different Crusader to tally a double-double this year, joining Lauren Kenney (four times), Kelly Watts (twice), and Ashley Varner.

Truly Special Stats: For the second time this season Valparaiso has “won” all five of the specialty stats categories, yet came up on the short end of the scoreboard.  Against Wright State, the Crusaders outscored the Raiders 26-12 in the paint, 26-19 off of turnovers, 6-4 on second chance points, 6-0 in transition, and 22-11 off of the bench.  Valpo also outscored Milwaukee in all five categories on January 28 but came up on the short end of the final score.

Youth is Shining: When Valpo rallied from its 17-point deficit to nearly tie the game on Thursday, the Crusaders did so with three freshmen on the floor.  Laura Richards, who is fourth in the Horizon League in assist-to-turnover ratio, and Skyler Gick, who scored 10 points, were at the guard spots while Gina Lange tallied six points and five boards in the post.

Forcing Turnovers: Valpo forced Wright State into 27 turnovers on Thursday night, matching a season high by a Crusader opponent.  The Crusaders recorded 13 steals, tied for their third most this season.

Getting Bench Production: Valpo’s bench has scored 20 or more points in nine of the Crusaders last 10 games after tallying 22 Thursday night against Wright State.  The other game during the span, against Wright State in the first meeting, saw Valpo tally 19 bench points.  The Crusaders scored 32 bench points against Detroit in the first meeting between the two schools, Valpo’s second  highest total this year.

One of the Top Defense in League Games: Valparaiso is second in the Horizon League in scoring defense, allowing just 58.0 points per game against conference foes this season.  Green Bay has allowed just three fewer  points in league action thus far this year.  The Crusaders also rank second in field goal percentage defense within the league at 39.3% as well as three-point field goal percentage defense, limiting conference foes to just 29.2% from beyond the arc.

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 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 February 13.  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 February 13 was the second largest in school history.  On February 1, 1978 Valpo defeated Grace on the road by 54 points, 88-34.

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.