Valparaiso (7-21, 4-12 Horizon)
Game #29: Saturday, February 26, 2011, 2 p.m. CST
at Milwaukee (10-16, 7-8 Horizon)
Klotsche Center (3,500) - Milwaukee, Wis.
Upcoming in Crusader Basketball: Valparaiso closes out the road portion of the 2010-2011 regular season on Saturday afternoon in Wisconsin as the Crusaders battle Milwaukee. With a victory against the Panthers, the Brown and Gold would remain in the hunt to host a first round Horizon League Tournament game.
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 Renee’ Turpa will be calling all of the action live from the Klotsche 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 276-223 (.553) record at the helm of the Brown and Gold. In his 23rd season overall, Freeman has a 405-270 (.600) 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 Milwaukee are meeting for the 17th time in a series that dates back to Feb. 4, 1983. The Panthers lead the overall series with the Crusaders 11-5 and have won three of the last four meetings after posting a 73-61 win over Valpo at the Athletics-Recreation Center on Jan. 27. The Panthers are 6-2 against the Crusaders in Milwaukee, with Valpo’s last win in Wisconsin coming on Jan. 29, 2009, an 83-65 triumph. Valpo’s last win in the series came at the ARC, 70-58, on Feb. 27, 2010.
Wrapping Up Green Bay: The Phoenix went on two separate 14-2 runs in the first half to break the game open as the #17/13 team in the nation downed the Crusaders 75-48 on Thursday evening at the Kress Events Center in Green Bay. Valpo committed 28 turnovers, leading to 33 Green Bay points and the Phoenix turned 17 offensive rebounds into 23 second chance points. Stefanie Lang led the Crusaders with 11 points and eight rebounds while Tabitha Gerardot added 10 points. Lydia Bauer and Celeste Hoewisch led the Phoenix with 13 points while Julie Wojta had 10 points and 11 boards.
Scouting Milwaukee: The Panthers snapped a three-game losing skid on Thursday evening with a 73-66 victory over Butler at home. Lindsay Laur leads Milwaukee averaging 17.8 points per game, and has increased her total to 19.1 points per night in Horizon League action. Laur is a 92.6% free throw shooter as well, making 112-of-121 attempts on the year, and pulls down a team-leading 9.2 rebounds per game. Angela Rodriguez adds 12.2 points per night. Milwaukee is fourth in the nation as a team shooting 78.7% from the free throw line.
Earlier This Season vs. Milwaukee: Valparaiso held a two-point advantage early in the second half before the Panthers rallied with a 9-0 run to take the lead for good as Milwaukee downed the Crusaders 73-61 on Jan. 27 at the ARC. Betsy Adams led the Crusaders with 22 points while Tabitha Gerardot and Kelly Watts each added 11 points. Lindsay Laur tallied 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting while Angela Rodriguez added 16 points for the Panthers.
Standings Jumbled Heading Into Final Eight Days: Valparaiso heads into the final eight days of the regular season looking to move up at least one position in the Horizon League standings. The Crusaders currently stand ninth, but are just one game back in the win column from seventh place. The seventh and eighth place teams earn the right to host first round games. If Valpo stays ninth, the Brown and Gold would have to travel for its opening game of the tournament.
#500 For Freeman: Saturday’s game at Milwaukee marks the 500th game for head coach Keith Freeman and the helm of the Crusaders. Freeman has coached more games at Valpo than every other head coach combined, and is the school’s all-time leader in wins (276), winning percentage (.553), and seasons coached (17) as well.
Lang’s Production Up: Stefanie Lang has become a force inside off of the bench for the Crusaders over the last three games. After leading Valpo in scoring and rebounding with 11 points and eight boards on Thursday, the freshman now has five double-figure scoring nights this season. Over the last three contests, Lang is averaging 10.3 points and 8.3 boards per night, including her first collegiate double-double against Loyola (Chicago) on Feb. 17.
From Beyond the Arc: As a team Valparaiso has already made 194 three-point field goals on the season, tied for the fifth highest single season total in program history with the 2001-2002 squad. The Crusaders four one makes shy of the 2008-2009 team for fourth place and 16 triples behind the 2006-2007 squad for a spot in the top-three. The school record for threes in a season is 224 set by the 1991-1992 team and matched in 2007-2008. The Brown and Gold’s 588 attempts on the year already are tied for third most all-time. Only the 1991-1992 team with 676 triple tries and the 2007-2008 team with 631 attempts, have shot more in a season.
Adams Crashes the Boards: Betsy Adams got to the boards for the Crusaders on Thursday pulling down five rebounds. Valpo’s guard had her second highest rebounding game of the season against the Phoenix, behind her six-board effort at Loyola (Chicago) on Jan. 22.
Thomas Gets in on the Action: Stephanie Thomas played a career high 17 minutes against Green Bay on Thursday night, making positive contributions. The senior scored two points and pulled down three rebounds, but also added a couple of career highs to her resume. Thomas registered a team-high three steals, the first time she’s had more than one in a contest as a collegian, while matching a career best with two assists, also sharing the team lead.
Double Trouble: Tabitha Gerardot may only be a freshman, but she has made an immediate impact on the Crusader roster. The rookie has registered nine double-doubles this season, including four in Horizon League play. Gerardot is averaging 10.8 points per game, second on the team, while pulling down a team-leading 7.5 rebounds per night. Her nine double-doubles are tied for fourth most in the conference this year.
Adams Moves Into Eighth All-Time: Betsy Adams has moved into eighth place in school history for three-pointers made. She now has 144 career triples, passing Heidi Diefenthaler (1992-1996). Next up on the list in seventh place is Megan Newcomer (1996-2000) with 145, just one ahead of Adams. Jamie Gutowski (2002-2006) is just seven threes ahead of Adams in sixth place with 151 for her career.
Moving Up the Single Season Charts: Betsy Adams has already made 66 three-pointers this season, moving into a tie for eighth place on the school’s single season charts, sharing the spot with Aimee Litka in 2008-2009. Adams is just two triples shy of Lynda Kukla (1989-1990), Suzie Hammel (2003-2004), and Aimee Litka (2007-2008) for fifth as the trio all had 68 threes in a season. The junior guard has made at least one trey in 25 of the 27 contests this season, being shutout against just Cincinnati and Notre Dame, when she attempted just one shot in each game.
From Deep: As a team Valparaiso ranks 39th nationally making 6.9 three-point field goals per game, a mark which also ranks third in the Horizon League. Individually, Ashley Timmerman is fifth in the conference connecting on 38.1% of her triple tries while Betsy Adams is third in the league making 2.4 treys per game. Adams also ranks eighth in the Horizon League connecting at a 36.3% clip from long range.
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 her last 35 straight free throws dating back to the Coastal Carolina game on Dec. 4. Three times this season she has been a perfect 6-for-6 from the line in a game, including each of the last two games at Cleveland State and at Youngstown State. For the season Adams is connecting on 91.1% (51-of-57) from the free throw line.
This and That: Liz Horton dished out her first collegiate assist at Green Bay ... Horton also scored two points after entering the game with just five career points prior to the contest ... Erika Lang has appeared in three collegiate games, all against top-25 teams (#17/16 Notre Dame, #22/16 Green Bay, #17/13 Green Bay) ... Valpo shot 47.4% from the floor in the second half against the Phoenix Thursday.