Valparaiso (1-2,0-0 Horizon)
Game #4: Wednesday, Nov. 24, 7:05 p.m. CST
vs. Ball State (2-2, 0-0 MAC)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.
Upcoming in Crusader Basketball: After opening the 2010-2011 season with three games on the road, the Valparaiso Crusaders return to the Athletics-Recreation Center on Wednesday evening for their home opener entertaining instate rival Ball State.
On the Air: Wednesday’s game will be broadcast live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) as well as online at www.valpoathletics.com. Mike Targonski and Nick Garling will be calling all of the action live from the Athletics-Recreation Center. The game can also be seen live online through the Horizon League Network. Live stats will be available through www.valpoathletics.com for the game as well.
Head Coach Keith Freeman: In his 17th season on the Valparaiso bench, Keith Freeman has a 270-204 (.570) record at the helm of the Brown and Gold. In his 23rd season overall, Freeman has a 399-251 (.614) career mark. He is Valpo’s all-time winningest coach and has amassed more than half of the victories in the program’s history.
Series Notes: Ball State leads the all-time series between the two Hoosier State schools 9-5 following a 71-64 win in Muncie, Ind. last year. Prior to last year’s game, Valpo had won five of the last six meetings between the two schools. Ball State holds a 3-1 advantage in Valparaiso but the Crusaders won the last meeting at the ARC 64-55 in 2007. The series began January 22, 1973.
Wrapping Up Lamar: The Crusaders hung with the Cardinals for nearly 30 minutes on Saturday afternoon, but an 11-0 run over five-and-a-half minutes proved to be the difference as Lamar defeated Valpo 74-58 down in Beaumont, Texas. Playing in the final game of the WNIT, the Crusaders and Cardinals were knotted at 30 at halftime. Lamar went on a 10-0 run early in the half which Valpo answered, but the Crusaders could not answer the final run. Betsy Adams led Valpo with 15 points while Ashley Timmerman came off the bench to score 10. Jenna Plumley led five Cardinals in double figures with 14 points and six assists. Valpo was outrebounded 41-32 and committed 22 turnovers in the setback.
Scouting Ball State: The Cardinals have split their first four games of the season after defeating Evansville 61-58 on Saturday in Muncie, Ind. Ball State has faced two Horizon League foes already on the season, downing Wright State (64-63) and falling at Detroit (78-60). Emily Maggert leads the Cardinals in scoring and rebounding, averaging a double-double at 15 points and 11 boards per contest. Suzanne Grossnickle has added 11.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Ball State is outrebounding opponents by nearly six boards per game, but has committed 21.5 turnovers per contest.
Rough Stretch to Open the Season: Participating in the Preseason WNIT, Valparaiso faced three teams that earned berths in the NCAA Tournament one year ago.
Freeman Seeking Win #400: Head coach Keith Freeman is looking for his 400th career victory when the Crusaders take on Ball State. Freeman is in his 23rd season of coaching women and picked up win #300 back in 2004 against Oral Roberts. He just coached his 650th career game on Saturday when the Crusaders fell to Lamar.
Valpo in Home Openers: The Crusaders have won five straight home openers following an 86-57 win over Indiana Tech last season. Valpo has also downed Bowling Green, Ball State, Northern Arizona, and Northern Iowa in the stretch that dates back to the beginning of the 2005-2006 season. The Crusaders have won eight of their last nine home openers overall and are 12-4 in home openers under Keith Freeman.
Pencil In the Points: Betsy Adams has scored at least 15 points in each of the first three games of the season for the Crusaders, including a 20-point effort against Austin Peay last Friday. Adams is tied for third in the Horizon League averaging 16.7 points per game.
Lange Produces Career Marks: Gina Lange made the most of her career-high 34 minutes against Lamar on Saturday. The sophomore post matched her career best with eight points and set a new career high with eight rebounds, including four on the offensive end. Through three games Lange has already played in 65 minutes this year, half of her entire total of 130 minutes played during her rookie campaign.
Instant Offense: Maegan Callaway gave the Crusaders an offensive spark off of the bench against Lamar, scoring seven points in just six minutes of action. The freshman went 3-for-4 from the floor and also grabbed four rebounds, including two on the offensive glass.
From Downtown: Valparaiso leads the Horizon League averaging 7.3 three-point field goals per game this season. Betsy Adams leads the conference individually with 3.3 triples per game, and is fourth shooting 47.6% from beyond the arc. Ashley Timmerman has made 5-of-12 (41.7%) as well while seven different Crusaders have made at least one shot from long range this season.
A Texas Outlaw: Laura Richards registered seven steals last weekend in Beaumont, Texas. She tallied four steals against Austin Peay in the Crusaders’ first win of the year on Friday and followed it up with three more thefts against host Lamar on Saturday.
Timmerman Steps Up: Ashley Timmerman has made nearly 59% of her shots from the floor over the last two games while posting a pair of double digit scoring efforts. She tallied 16 points against Austin Peay and had 10 more against Lamar.
Newcomers Account for Major Minutes: Valparaiso’s newcomers have accounted for 39.5% of the Crusader minutes on the floor this season. Led by freshman Tabitha Gerardot who is averaging 29.3 minutes per contest, the newcomers have been on the floor for 237 out of 600 minutes already this year.
Valpo Signs Three for 2011-2012: Coach Keith Freeman added three players for next year’s class that signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Brown and Gold beginning next fall. Joining the Crusader roster in 2011-2012 are Jessica Carr (5-7, G, Arcadia, Ind., Hamilton Heights H.S.), Mallory Ladd (6-0, F, Evansville, Ind./Memorial H.S.), and Shaquira Scott (5-10, G, Wilmette, Ill./Loyola Academy).
Crusaders to Have Tri-Captains: Head coach Keith Freeman has announced that the Crusaders will have tri-captains for the 2010-2011 season. Serving in that role are seniors Ashley Varner and Rashida Ray along with junior Betsy Adams.
No Relation Here: Despite having three Lang(e)’s on the roster, none of the three players are related to one another. Gina Lange returns for her sophomore season after arriving from Wyoming, Minn. and averaging 1.9 points and 1.5 rebounds per game while appearing 16 times as a freshman last year. Freshman Stefanie Lang is a local product from Valparaiso High School who earned Honorable Mention All-State accolades for the Vikings. Erika Lang joined the Crusader roster this fall as a walk-on. The freshman hails from Las Vegas, Nev.
Valpo Tabbed Ninth in Preseason Poll: Valparaiso was picked to finish in ninth place in the Horizon League preseason poll conducted of the league’s coaches, sports information directors, and media members. Finishing with 82 points, the Crusaders were just two points behind eighth place Wright State. Green Bay was picked to win the league followed by Butler and Detroit. Cleveland State and UIC shared the fourth spot with Milwaukee predicted to finish sixth and Loyola seventh. Youngstown State was picked last in this year’s preseason balloting.
Varner to Miss Season with ACL Injury: Valpo senior Ashley Varner will miss the 2010-2011 season due to an ACL injury she suffered during the fall. Varner would have been one the Crusaders’ top returning post players, but plans to use the season as a redshirt year now and return to the court for 2011-2012. Varner averaged 7.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game for the Crusaders last year with a team-leading 17 blocked shots.
Freeman Among Winningest Active Coaches: Keith Freeman entered the 2010-2011 season tied for 43rd 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 and holds every one of Valpo’s coaching records. He is just one victory shy of reaching 400 for his career.
This and That: In just 29 total minutes this season, Maegan Callaway has been to the free throw line a team-leading 12 times ... Valpo faces the second of four Big East teams on its schedule Sunday, hosting Cincinnati.