Game #30: March 8, 2010, 7 p.m. CST
#9 Milwaukee (11-18, 6-12 Horizon)
at #8 Valparaiso (9-20, 6-12 Horizon)
Horizon League First Round
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.
Coming Up in Crusader Hoops: Postseason play begins on Monday evening for the #8 seed Valparaiso Crusaders as the Brown and Gold host the #9 seed Milwaukee Panthers at the ARC. Valpo earned the home game on the final day of the regular season with a victory over UIC and now looks for its first win ever in the Speedway Horizon League Women’s Basketball Championship.
On the Air: Monday’s game against Milwaukee will be carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at valpoathletics.com. David Schroeder and Keaton Gillogly will call all the action from the ARC with Nick Garling providing sideline reports. 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 Milwaukee are meeting for the 15th time with the Panthers holding a 9-5 all-time advantage. The two schools split a pair of meetings this year, with Valpo winning 70-58 at the ARC on February 27 after Milwaukee won 54-48 in Wisconsin on January 28. The schools are 3-3 against each other all-time at the ARC with the Crusaders having won the last two meetings in Valparaiso.
Head Coach Keith Freeman: In his 16th season on the Valparaiso bench, Keith Freeman has a 269-201 record at the helm of the Brown and Gold. In his 22nd season overall, Freeman has a 398-248 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 UIC: Lauren Kenney and Raegan Moore each scored career highs, helping Valpo’s bench score 68 points on the way to an 88-77 victory over UIC on Saturday afternoon in Chicago. Kenney scored 27 points and had seven rebounds while Moore poured in 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting. Valpo shot 55.6% from the floor as a team, including 7-of-11 from three-point range.
Valpo in the Horizon League Tourney: Valpo is appearing in the Horizon League Tournament for the third time, still seeking its first victory. In 2008 the Crusaders fell at Milwaukee 67-60 in the quarterfinals before hosting Wright State last year and suffering a 64-59 loss in the quarterfinals.
Scouting Milwaukee: The Panthers have dropped eight of their last 10, but snapped a four-game losing skid on Saturday afternoon with a 73-39 victory over Youngstown State in Milwaukee. Lindsay Laur leads the Panthers averaging 13.9 points per game while shooting 84.8% from the free throw line. She is pulling down 8.0 rebounds per contest, and ranks in the top-six in the Horizon League in all three categories. Milwaukee leads the conference in three-point field goal percentage defense, limiting opponents to just 29.4% shooting from long range.
The Regular Season: Valpo shot just 29.9% from the floor and went 0-for-16 from three-point range as the Panthers defeated the Crusaders 54-48 on January 28 in Wisconsin. Lauren Kenney had 26 points and 13 boards while Kelly Watts tallied 12 points and 11 rebounds. Lindsay Laur led the Panthers with 19 points and seven boards in the first meeting. Raegan Moore scored 16 points to lead five Crusaders in double figures on February 27 as Valpo earned a senior day victory 70-58 over Milwaukee. Valpo forced 22 Panther turnovers on the afternoon. Sami Tucker led the Panthers with 17 points while Danielle Jorgenson pulled down 19 rebounds.
Continuing the Winning Ways at the ARC: With the victory over Milwaukee last Saturday, Valparaiso is guaranteed of finishing at least .500 at home for the ninth consecutive season. In fact, the Crusaders have had a winning record at the ARC for 19 of the last 20 years.
Going on a Scoring Binge: Valparaiso’s 88 points on Saturday afternoon against UIC marked a season-high for the Crusaders. The last time Valpo scored more than 88 points in a contest was January 19, 2008, a 90-88 victory over Green Bay. Valpo had not scored more than 88 points in a game that did not go into overtime since scoring 91 against Centenary on February 6, 2006.
Good Shooting Leads to Scoring: In addition to a season-high scoring output, Valpo’s 55.6% shooting from the field marked a season best for the Crusaders. Valpo shot 63.6% (7-of-11) from three-point range, also its best long-range shooting night of the season.
Getting Bench Production: Valparaiso scored 68 bench points in the win over UIC, accounting for 77.3% of the team’s points. The Crusaders’ bench also scored 51 points one week earlier in the win against Milwaukee.
Kenney and Moore Post Big Numbers: Lauren Kenney and Raegan Moore both posted career highs in points against UIC on Saturday. Kenney tallied a career-best 27 points, the most by a Crusader since Aimee Litka scored 28 points at UIC on January 10, 2008. Moore added 25 points for the Brown and Gold, making 10-of-12 shots from the floor, including all three three-point attempts.
Welcome Back Betsy: Betsy Adams made both three-point attempts at UIC, the first time she had sank a triple since February 13 against Youngstown State. She ranks third in the Horizon League making 2.4 per game.
Who’s Starting Tonight?: Valpo has seen 10 of its 13 players draw at least two starting assignments on the season, with no one starting more than 27 of the 29 games this year for the Brown and Gold. In fact, only Ashley Varner, Whitney Farris, and Laura Richards have seen action in all 29 games on the season.
Kenney Among Top All-Time in Points Per Game: Having played in her 50th career game at Loyola (Chicago), Lauren Kenney now qualifies for the career points per game list at Valpo. Her 11.8 points per contest rank her fifth all-time, just ahead of Sarah Schmoyer’s (1992-1996) 11.2 points per game. Jeanette Gray (1999-2003) is fourth at 12.0 per contest.
Kenney Makes Shots: Lauren Kenney ranks third in the Horizon League shooting 56.1% from the floor this season. Her shooting percentage currently ranks sixth on Valpo’s single season charts, behind Sarrah Stricklett’s fifth place mark of 56.3%. Kenney’s 2008-2009 percentage of 54.4% is seventh on the all-time list as well.
Adams in Single Season Top-10: Betsy Adams has moved into 10th place on Valpo’s single season three-point list with 62 triples this season. The sophomore guard has passed Michelle Russell (1993-1994) and is three treys behind Suzie Hammel (2001-2002) for ninth place on the single season list.
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.
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.