Valpo Women Return to the Hardwood Wednesday at IPFW
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Valpo Women Return to the Hardwood Wednesday at IPFW
Laura Richards is coming off of a career-high eight assists. (Ray Acevedo)

Valparaiso (2-5, 0-0 Horizon)
Game #8: Wednesday, Dec. 8, 7 p.m. CST
at IPFW (4-3, 1-1 Summit)
Memorial Coliseum (10,500) - Fort Wayne, Ind.

Upcoming in Crusader Basketball: Valparaiso wraps up its three-game road trip on Wednesday evening taking the short trip down U.S. 30 to Fort Wayne to battle the Mastodons of IPFW at the Memorial Coliseum.  This will be the third of five Indiana schools the Crusaders will face this season, as the Brown and Gold look for their first win of the year on an opponents’ home court.

On the Air: Wednesday’s game will be broadcast live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) as well as online at  Chris Kleinhans-Schulz and Nick Garling will be calling all of the action live from Memorial Coliseum.  Live stats will be available through for the game as well.

Head Coach Keith Freeman: In his 17th season on the Valparaiso bench, Keith Freeman has a 271-207 (.567) record at the helm of the Brown and Gold.  In his 23rd season overall, Freeman has a 400-254 (.612) 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 IPFW will be renewing a series which began on February 16, 1977.  The Crusaders hold an 8-4 all-time advantage against the Mastodons and have won four straight meetings between the two schools.  The two sides have not met since Jan. 24, 2007, a 75-67 Valpo victory in Fort Wayne.  IPFW’s last victory in the series came Jan. 19, 1984, a 79-64 win at home.  The two schools have split the six meetings played in Fort Wayne.

Wrapping Up Coastal Carolina:
Despite shooting just 15.4% from the floor in the second half, and not scoring for the first 9:53 of that period, Valparaiso rallied from a nine-point deficit with 12 minutes to play to defeat the Chanticleers 59-52 in overtime on Saturday afternoon in the consolation game of the Aces Classic.  Tabitha Gerardot registered her third straight double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds while Betsy Adams led all scorers with 15 points.  Ashley Timmerman scored seven of her 14 points in the extra period while Rashida Ray also scored all five of her points in overtime.  Sydnei Moss led Coastal Carolina with 11 points and 10 boards.

Scouting IPFW: The Mastodons snapped their two-game losing skid on Monday evening with a 60-58 Summit League victory over UMKC at home.  IPFW will be playing the fifth of a six game homestand when they host the Crusaders.  Stephanie Rosado leads IPFW in scoring and rebounding averaging 17.9 points and 8.6 boards per contest.  Rosado is shooting 49% from the floor and 84.4% from the charity stripe.  Kayla Drake adds 12.0 points and 3.0 assists per night while Anne Boese chips in 10.7 points per game.  The Mastodons are forcing 21.1 turnovers per game as a team but are being outrebounded by 5.4 boards per night.

Freeman Earns Win #400: Head coach Keith Freeman needed five extra minutes on Dec. 4, but they were well worth it as the Crusaders’ come-from-behind win over Coastal Carolina, 59-52, gave him his 400th career victory coaching women’s basketball.  In his 23rd season on the sidelines, he 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.

Double-Doubles Becoming Regular Occurrence: Freshman Tabitha Gerardot has recorded three double-doubles in a seven day span for the Crusaders.  She registered her first collegiate double-double on Sunday, Nov. 28 in the Crusaders’ loss to Cincinnati.  She scored 10 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.  She followed that effort up on Friday at Evansville with a career-high 17 points and a career-best 13 rebounds.  One day later, against Coastal Carolina, she poured in 13 more points and matched her career-high with 13 more boards.  For the season Gerardot is averaging 9.6 points per contest, second on the team, and a team-leading 8.6 rebounds per game. 

Another 15 for Adams: For the sixth time in seven games this season, Betsy Adams scored 15 points for the Crusaders in the win over Coastal Carolina.  This effort came one day after she scored a season-high 22 points against Evansville.  She has led Valpo in scoring in all six games as well this year and leads the Crusaders averaging 15.0 points per game.  The junior enters Wednesday’s game at IPFW just 14 points shy of 500 for her career.

Knocking Them Down in Crunch Time: Ashley Timmerman made all eight of her free throw attempts on Saturday in the overtime victory over Coastal Carolina, including four in the final 26.9 seconds to secure the win.  The junior college transfer is a perfect 11-for-11 from the charity stripe this season.

Richards Sets New Career High:
Laura Richards tallied a new career high on Saturday when she dished out eight assists against the Chanticleers.  The sophomore point guard ranks fifth in the Horizon League averaging 3.9 helpers per contest while also tying for seventh in the conference with a 1.7 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Pack the House Night Set for Dec. 20: Valparaiso will take part in the NCAA’s Pack the House initiative on Monday, Dec. 20 when the Crusaders host Notre Dame.  The premise for the event is for each participating institution  to select a game at which an attempt is made to better the previous year’s top attendance mark or set a new all-time attendance record.  Based on the final results nationwide, conference champions as well as one overall national champion will be determined by the NCAA.  Free winter hats will be give to the first 500 fans in attendance.

Pencil in the Lineup: Coach Keith Freeman has been a model of consistency over the first seven 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 at least 10 players deep on the bench in all seven games.

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 44.2% from long range making 19-of-43.  Adams is fourth in the Horizon League in three-point shooting percentage and leads the league in triples per game.  She ranks in the top-45 nationally in both categories as well.

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.

This and That:
With the win over Coastal Carolina, the Crusaders have now won six of their last seven overtime contests ... Gina Lange played a career-high 42 minutes in the overtime win over the Chanticleers ... Valpo shot a season’s best 84% (21-of-25) from the free throw line against Coastal Carolina ... the Crusaders rank 38th nationally making 7.1 three-pointers per game ... following the game Valpo returns home for three straight beginning with Pittsburgh on Saturday.