Valparaiso (1-5, 0-0 Horizon)
Game #7: Saturday, Dec. 4, 1 p.m. CST
vs. Coastal Carolina (4-3, 0-0 Big South)
Roberts Stadium (11,600) - Evansville, Ind.
Heritage Federal Credit Union Aces Classic Consolation
Upcoming in Crusader Basketball: It’s a short 15-hour turnaround for Valparaiso after suffering a last second 69-67 loss at Evansville. The Crusaders return to the floor at 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon to face Coastal Carolina in the consolation game of the Aces Classic.
On the Air: Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) as well as online at www.valpoathletics.com. Keaton Gillogly and Renee’ Turpa will be calling all of the action live from Roberts Stadium. 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 270-207 (.566) record at the helm of the Brown and Gold. In his 23rd season overall, Freeman has a 399-254 (.611) 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: Valparaiso and Coastal Carolina will meet on the hardwood for the first time ever on Saturday. In fact, Saturday will mark the first time the Crusaders have ever met a member of the Big South Conference on the basketball court.
Wrapping Up Evansville: Betsy Adams tied the game with 22.6 seconds to play with a three-pointer but Briyana Blair gave the Purple Aces the 69-67 win with her shot in the lane with 1.1 seconds to play on Friday evening. Adams led the Crusaders with 22 points and eight rebounds while Tabitha Gerardot tallied a double-double with 17 points and 13 boards. Gina Lange also had 11 points and eight rebounds for the Crusaders. Blair led Evansville with 17 points while added 16 points.
Scouting Coastal Carolina: The Chanticleers had their two-game game winning streak snapped on Friday evening after suffering a 96-42 loss to Central Michigan in the opening round of the Aces Classic. Sydnei Moss leads the way for Coastal Carolina averaging 9.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per contest. The Chanticleers are shooting just 32.1% from the floor on the season and committing 20.3 turnovers per game.
Tournament Time Again: Valparaiso is participating in its second in-season tournament of the year this weekend at the Heritage Federal Credit Union Aces Classic. The Crusaders opened the year playing three games as part of the Preseason WNIT and are playing in two tournaments for the first time since 2008. That year Valpo won the Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational played at Colorado State before splitting games in the Christmas City Classic hosted by Lehigh.
Freeman Seeking Win #400: Head coach Keith Freeman tries for the fourth time to record his 400th career victory on Saturday afternoon when the Crusaders face Coastal Carolina. 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 Nov. 20 when the Crusaders fell to Lamar.
Double Trouble: Freshman Tabitha Gerardot has recorded back-to-back double doubles this week. She registered her first collegiate double-double on Sunday in the Crusaders’ loss to Cincinnati. She scored 10 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, five of which came on the offensive end. She followed that effort up on Friday evening at Evansville with a career-high 17 points and a career-best 13 rebounds. For the season Gerardot is averaging 9.0 points per contest, third on the team, and a team-leading 7.8 rebounds per game.
Adams Bounces Back: After being held scoreless Sunday against Cincinnati, Betsy Adams wasted little time returning to the scoring column on Friday at Evansville. She scored a season-high 22 points, marking the fifth time in six games the junior has scored at least 15 points in a game. Adams leads the Crusaders averaging 15.0 points per game.
Three Back in Doubles: For the first time since the season opener at DePaul, Valparaiso had three players score in double figures on Friday at Evansville. Betsy Adams led the way with 22 points while Tabitha Gerardot added 17 points and Gina Lange tallied 11 more.
Lange Posts Career High: Gina Lange’s 11 points against the Purple Aces on Friday marked a new career high for the sophomore. Lange’s previous best had been eight points, which she had done twice, including earlier this season at Lamar.
Getting to the Boards: A trio of Crusaders pulled down season highs in rebounding against the Purple Aces. Tabitha Gerardot’s 13 boards bettered her previous best of 10, and included four offensive rebounds, including one which kept the possession alive, allowing Betsy Adams to tie the game with 22.6 seconds to play. Adams also had a career best on Friday, grabbing eight rebounds. Rashida Ray was the third Crusader turn pull down a career-high, grabbing five boards in a career-high 29 minutes of action.
Pencil in the Lineup: Coach Keith Freeman has been a model of consistency over the first six games of the season, starting the same combination in each game. Betsy Adams, Tabitha Gerardot, Gina Lange, Rashida Ray, and Laura Richards have all taken to the floor for the opening tip. Freeman has gone 10 players deep on the bench in all six games with Stephanie Thomas making it 11 deep in four of the six contests.
From Downtown: All 11 Crusaders that have seen the floor this season have already attempted at least one three-point field goal. Nine of the 11 players have drained a shot from beyond the arc, led by Betsy Adams who is shooting 43.2% from long range making 16-of-37.
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: With the exception of Skyler Gick, who played 20 minutes, the rest of Valpo’s bench saw just 16 minutes of action against Evansville ... Betsy Adams led the way with 39 minutes while Gina Lange played a career high 37 minutes among the starters ... Tabitha Gerardot, who had two blocks on the night, became the first Crusaders this season with more than one rejection in a game ... Valpo outrebounded Evansville 46-34, the first time the Crusaders won the battle of the boards this year.