Valparaiso (4-16, 1-7 Horizon)
Game #21: Saturday, January 29, 2011, 1:35 p.m. CST
vs. #22/16 Green Bay (19-1, 8-0 Horizon)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.
Upcoming in Crusader Basketball: Valparaiso closes out the first half of Horizon League action with a rare Saturday night contest at the Athletics-Recreation Center. The Crusaders will entertain #22/16 Green Bay, the second nationally-ranked foe to visit Valpo this season, in the second of a four-game homestand.
On the Air: Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) as well as online at www.valpoathletics.com. Chris Kleinhans-Schulz and Drew Taylor will be calling all of the action live from the Athletics-Recreation Center. 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 273-218 (.556) record at the helm of the Brown and Gold. In his 23rd season overall, Freeman has a 402-267 (.603) 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 Green Bay are meeting for the 25th time in a series that dates back to Dec. 9, 1986. The Phoenix lead the overall series with the Crusaders 20-4 and have won five straight meetings after sweeping last year’s contests. Green Bay posted a 78-54 win in Wisconsin on Jan. 30 and a 69-44 win at the ARC on Feb. 25. The Phoenix are 10-2 against the Crusaders in Valparaiso, but Valpo’s last win in the series did come at the ARC, a 90-88 overtime thriller on Jan. 19, 2008.
Wrapping Up Milwaukee: The Panthers shot 57.4% from the floor for the game, including a 66.7% clip in the second half, and used a 21-5 second half spurt to break open a close game and defeat the Crusaders 73-61 on Thursday evening at the ARC. Milwaukee made 9-of-14 three-pointers in the game as well. Betsy Adams led Valpo with 22 points, making four threes, while Tabitha Gerardot and Kelly Watts each added 11 points. Lindsay Lauer led Milwaukee with 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting while Angela Rodriguez made 6-of-7 shots from the floor, including all four three-point attempts, while adding 16 points.
Scouting Green Bay: The Phoenix enters the game having won 10 straight following a 66-62 win at Butler on Thursday to remain unbeaten in Horizon League play. Julie Wojta leads four Green Bay players in double figures averaging 13.6 points per game while Celeste Hoewisch scores 13.0 points. Kayla Tetschlag adds 12.7 points and a team-leading 7.4 rebounds for the Phoenix. Green Bay is shooting 44.1% from the floor and 80.2% from the free throw line. The Phoenix are averaging a Horizon League best 71.5 points per game.
Valpo Versus Ranked Foes: Valparaiso is meeting a ranked opponent for the 28th time in school history, having recorded just one win. The Crusaders lone victory against a ranked foe came at the ARC on Dec. 10, 2008, a 71-60 win over #21/23 Purdue. Green Bay with be the 12th ranked team to visit the ARC all-time, and the second this season after Valpo fell 94-43 to #17/16 Notre Dame back on Dec. 20.
Adams Matches Season High: Betsy Adams connected on four three-point field goals on Thursday evening against Milwaukee on her way to matching her season high with 22 points. The junior guard finished the night a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line as well while tallying 20 or more points for the sixth time this year.
Watts Has Best Statistical Night of the Year: Kelly Watts had her best statistical game of the 2010-2011 season on Thursday evening against Milwaukee. The fifth-year senior tallied a season high 11 points while matching her season’s best with seven rebounds. Watts missed the first 11 games of the season due to injury, and since her return is averaging 3.1 points and 5.0 rebounds per game for the Brown and Gold, making four starts.
Making the Pass: Senior guard Rashida Ray had a career high four assists for the Crusaders in the loss to the Panthers on Thursday. Ray, who’s previous high was three helpers last season against Chicago State, only had four total assists in the last six games combined prior to the Milwaukee game.
Taking Care of the Basketball: Laura Richards made sure she did not turn the ball over against Milwaukee in her 34 minutes of action. The sophomore handed out five assists without a miscue and is now third in the Horizon League with a 1.3 assist-to-turnover ratio, a mark that improves to 1.8 in conference only action. Richards ranks fourth in the conference averaging 3.8 assists per game. She has had at least three helpers in all but one conference game this season.
Better on the Boards: After outrebounding opponents in just two of the first 10 games this season, the Crusaders have done better since Christmas break on the glass. Valpo has outrebounded four of their last nine opponents, and was even with another dating back to the Eastern Illinois contest. In Horizon League play Valpo is just -0.7 in rebounding margin compared with -3.5 overall.
Dialing Long Distance: Valparaiso has made nine or more three-pointers in three of the last four games and leads the Horizon League in conference play making 7.6 per league game. The Crusaders are averaging 7.2 triples per contest this season, second most in the Horizon League and 35th best nationally. Valpo is shooting 33.2% from long range as a team, second in the conference.
60 Points is the Magic Number on Defense: In all four 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.
From Deep: Betsy Adams and Ashley Timmerman rank as two of the top three Horizon League outside shooters this season. Adams, a 39.5% shooter from three-point range, is tops in the conference while Timmerman connects at 38.9% from beyond the arc, third best in the league. Adams is also second in the conference making 2.6 triples per game, ranking 48th in the country.
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 33 of her last 35 attempts beginning with the Lamar game on Nov. 20, including her last 21 straight. For the season Adams is connecting on 88.1% from the free throw line.
A Lengthy Homestand: Valpo is in the midst of a season-long four-game homestand. The Crusaders have six of their final 10 games at home, including five of their next seven overall as Horizon League play nears the midway mark of the season. Valpo begins the second half of Horizon League action next weekend hosting Wright State and Dayton to finish out the homestand after opening with a loss to Milwaukee on Thursday.
Adams Moves Into the Top-10: Betsy Adams has moved into 10th place in school history for three-pointers made. She now has 129 career triples, passing Amy Cole (1987-1991) to move onto the top-10 list. Next up on the list in ninth place is Kathryn Knoester (2000-2004) with 132, just three ahead of Adams. Betsy Adams has already made 51 threes 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 18 of the 20 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 freshman season 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 10.0 points per game, while leading the Crusaders with 6.8 rebounds per contest.
This and That: As a team Valpo is shooting 80% from the free throw line in Horizon League play ... the Crusaders are tops in the conference in offensive rebounding in league games only at 13.4 per game ... Tabitha Gerardot’s next point will be her 200th as a freshman.