Valparaiso (3-14, 0-5 Horizon)
Game #18: Thursday, January 20, 2011, 7 p.m. CST
at UIC (7-9, 2-3 Horizon)
UIC Pavilion (8,000) - Chicago, Ill.
Upcoming in Crusader Basketball: Valparaiso returns to the road for the fifth time in the last seven games on Thursday evening, taking to the Windy City of Chicago to battle the UIC Flames. The UIC Pavilion was the site of the Crusaders’ last Horizon League victory, closing the 2009-2010 season.
On the Air: Thursday’s game will be broadcast live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) as well as online at www.valpoathletics.com. Chris Kleinhans-Schulz and Nick Garling will be calling all of the action live from the UIC Pavilion. In addition, the game can 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 272-216 (.557) record at the helm of the Brown and Gold. In his 23rd season overall, Freeman has a 401-263 (.604) 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 UIC are meeting for the 33rd time in a series that dates back to Dec. 4, 1980. The Crusaders hold a 19-13 all-time advantage against the Flames after the two schools split a pair of meetings one year ago, each winning on the other’s home floor. UIC posted a 60-51 win at the ARC on Jan. 2 to open Horizon League play while Valpo wrapped up the regular season on March 6 with an 88-77 win in Chicago. UIC holds a slim 8-7 advantage over the first 15 meetings played in the Windy City.
Wrapping Up Cleveland State: Valpo played one of its best halves of the season to open the game on Saturday, leading by seven at the break, but the Vikings fought back and used a late 12-0 run to defeat the Crusaders 68-58 at the ARC. Valpo built a 10-point lead early in the first half only to have Cleveland State tie and take the lead early in the second. Betsy Adams led Valpo with 14 points while Gina Lange added a career-high 12 more. The Crusaders made 10 three-pointers in the game, but gave up 42 second half points. Janelle Adams led Cleveland State with 15 points while Destinee Blue added 13 more.
Scouting UIC: The Flames have dropped three straight games following a 60-51 loss at Green Bay on Saturday afternoon. Shameia Green leads UIC, and ranks fourth in the Horizon League, averaging 16.4 points per game while Briana Hinkle adds 12.5 points and 3.9 assists per contest, tied for second in the conference. Jasmine Bailey is the team’s top rebounder at 8.6 boards per contest, while also scoring 10.1 points per night. As a team UIC is a 38.0% shooting team, but just 27.4% from three-point range while opponents are shooting 41.5% from the floor against the Flames. The Flames are 5-2 at the UIC Pavilion this year, including 2-0 in Horizon League action.
Defense Strong for 20 Minutes Against CSU: Valparaiso’s defense was solid for the first 20 minutes against Cleveland State, allowing the Vikings to score just 26 points, the second fewest allowed in a first half by the Crusaders this season. Only in the win at Eastern Illinois, when Valpo allowed 22 points, did the Crusaders allow fewer in the opening 20 minutes. It was also the third fewest points allowed in a half all year, behind the EIU first half and the second half versus Coastal Carolina when Valpo surrendered just 18 points.
60 Points is the Magic Number on Defense: In all three of Valpo’s victories, the Brown and Gold has held the opposition in the 50s in the scoring column. However, when the opponent has hit 60 points, the Crusaders have not been able to produce a win on the year.
Dialing Long Distance: Valparaiso made a season-high 10 three-pointers, including eight in the first half, last Saturday against Cleveland State. The Crusaders are averaging 6.9 triples per contest this season, second most in the Horizon League and 45th best nationally.
Lange Producing in League Play: Gina Lange has become a fairly consistent scorer for the Crusaders since the start of Horizon League play. The sophomore tallied a career-high 12 points against Cleveland State last Saturday and ranks second on the team averaging 9.2 points per contest during Horizon League play.
Ray Tallies Season High: Rashida Ray posted a season-high nine points, all in the first half, Saturday against the Vikings. The senior guard made three three-pointers in five attempts, her best shooting night of the season. She also pulled down four rebounds, one shy of her career high set earlier this season at Evansville.
Richards Hands Out Seven Assists: Laura Richards dished out a team-high seven assists Saturday against Cleveland State, her third game this season with at least that many helpers. The sophomore guard ranks fifth in the Horizon League with 3.8 assists per game and is sixth in the conference with a 1.2 assist-to-turnover ratio.
From Deep: Betsy Adams and Ashley Timmerman rank among the Horizon League’s top outside shooters this season. Adams, a 42.7% shooter from three-point range, is second in the conference while Timmerman connects at 39.1% from beyond the arc, fifth best in the league. Adams’ mark also ranks the her 28th nationally in Division I from long range. The junior is also second in the conference, and 48th nationally, making 2.6 triples per game.
Super Woman: Twice this season Betsy Adams never stepped off of the court, playing all 40 minutes. She first went the distance at IPFW on Dec. 8 before matching the effort on Jan. 13 at home against Youngstown State. Those are the only two times during her career she has played the duration of the contest. Adams’ career high for minutes played is 44 in an overtime contest one year ago at Detroit.
Adams Moves Into the Top-10: Betsy Adams made three three-pointers against Cleveland State on Thursday night to move into 10th place alone all-time in school history for triples made. She now has 122 career threes, passing Amy Cole (1987-1991) on the top-10 list. Next up on the list in ninth place is Kathryn Knoester (2000-2004) with 132, 10 ahead of Adams. Betsy Adams has already made 44 triples this season after making 64 last year to rank 10th on the single season charts. The junior guard has made at least one trey in 15 of the 17 contests this season, being shutout against just Cincinnati and Notre Dame, when she attempted just one shot in each game.
Gerardot Has Five Double-Doubles: Tabitha Gerardot has already tallied five double-doubles in her brief 17-game career as a Crusader. Gerardot already has double-doubles against Cincinnati, Evansville, Coastal Carolina, Chicago State, and Eastern Illinois this year, and is second on the team in scoring at 9.8 points per game, while leading the Crusaders with 6.8 rebounds per contest.
Accepting Charity: After making just four of her first seven free throws this season, Betsy Adams has found her stroke at the charity stripe. The junior guard has made 27 of her last 29 attempts beginning with the Lamar game on Nov. 20, including her last 15 straight. For the season Adams is connecting on 86.1% from the free throw line.
This and That: Kelly Watts made her first start of the season for the Crusaders Saturday against Cleveland State ... with Watts in the starting lineup, it marked the third different lineup the Crusaders have used in the last four games ... Valpo started the year with the same lineup for 14 straight games ... Watts tied a career high with two assists against Cleveland State ... Tabitha Gerardot recorded a new career high with three assists against the Vikings ... Betsy Adams is averaging 16.8 points per game in Horizon League play while shooting 47.8% from the floor, including 48.4% from three-point range ... Valpo is shooting 76.1% from the free throw line in league play.