Valparaiso (0-2, 0-0 Horizon)
Game #3: Tuesday, November 22, 2011, 7:05 p.m. CST
vs. Western Illinois (1-2, 0-0 Summit)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.
Upcoming in Crusader Basketball: Valparaiso wraps up the pre-Thanksgiving portion of its schedule as well as its first homestand of the season on Tuesday evening as the Crusaders entertain Western Illinois at the ARC. This is the first meeting between the two former Mid-Continent Conference rivals since Valpo joined the Horizon League in 2007.
On the Air: Tuesday’s game can be seen live online through valpoathletics.com as part of the Horizon League Network. Chris Kleinhans-Schulz and Renee’ Turpa will call all of the action live from the Athletics-Recreation Center. This will be the only media outlet carrying the game on Tuesday. Live stats will be available through valpoathletics.com for all games this season as well.
Head Coach Keith Freeman: In his 18th season on the Valparaiso bench, Keith Freeman has a 276-228 (.548) record at the helm of the Brown and Gold. In his 23rd season overall, Freeman has a 405-275 (.596) 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 leads the all-time series between the two former Mid-Continent Conference rivals 19-15 dating back to the initial meeting on Dec. 9, 1988. The two schools have not met since the Crusaders defeated the Leathernecks (then known as the Westerwinds) 58-46 on Feb. 17, 2007 at the ARC. Valpo has won the last two meetings between the teams, with Western Illinois’ last win coming on March 6, 2006 in the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament semifinals in Tulsa, Okla.
Wrapping Up Rice: Valparaiso cut a 13-point halftime deficit to three with under five minutes to play and had the basketball, but the Crusaders were unable to tie the contest on Sunday afternoon and ended up falling to the Owls 54-46 in the home opener at the ARC. Gina Lange led the Brown and Gold with 15 points, a career high, while Ashley Varner added 12 points and nine rebounds. Mallory Ladd came off of the bench to score nine points and pull down a team-high 11 rebounds while Tabitha Gerardot had eight points and eight boards. Valpo outrebounded Rice 45-37 in the game.
Scouting Western Illinois: The Leathernecks have dropped two straight games on the road after opening the season with a victory at home. Western Illinois wraps up its three-game road trip at Valpo after falling 91-84 in double overtime at Northern Illinois last Wednesday evening. Sadie Webb leads the Leathernecks averaging 20.7 points per game while grabbing 6.0 rebounds per night. She scored 31 points last time out against the Huskies. Michele Salvatori adds 11.7 points per game while grabbing a team-best 8.7 boards per night. She had a double-double against NIU with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Valencia Kelly also scores in double figures, posting 10.3 points per contest.
Super Woman: Laura Richards played all 40 minutes for the Crusaders on Sunday in the home loss to Rice. The junior never left the floor for the first time in her Valpo career just one game after playing 40 of the 45 minutes in the overtime contest against SIU Edwardsville. She handed out four assists against the Owls and ranks sixth in the Horizon League this season with a 1.4 assist-to-turnover ratio. Richards also leads the conference averaging 40 minutes per contest.
Lange Posts Second Straight Career High: Gina Lange’s career high of 13 points against SIU Edwardsville lasted all of eight days. The junior forward notched her second straight career outing on Sunday afternoon, scoring 15 points to lead the Crusaders. Lange entered the season having never scored more than 12 points in a game. This year she leads the Brown and Gold averaging 14.0 points per game while shooting 60.0% from the floor.
Making Her Mark in Her First Two Collegiate Games: Mallory Ladd burst on to the scene for the Crusaders in her collegiate debut against SIU Edwardsville, beating the buzzer at the end of regulation with a three-pointer to force overtime. Ladd scored 14 points in her collegiate debut, making 4-of-8 shots from the floor and all five of her free throw attempts. She followed that effort up on Sunday in her home debut, pulling down a team-leading 11 rebounds, while adding another nine points. On the year she is averaging 11.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per contest.
Varner Returning to Her Old Self: Ashley Varner returned to the hardwood this season after missing all of last year with an ACL injury. In her first game since March 8, 2010, Varner played 29 minutes and scored seven points while pulling down eight rebounds against SIU Edwardsville. She followed that up on Sunday with 12 points and nine rebounds while tying her career high playing 37 minutes.
Gerardot Crashes the Offensive Glass: Tabitha Gerardot pulled down six offensive rebounds against Rice, giving the Crusaders numerous second chance opportunities. Nine of her 14 rebounds on the season have come on the offensive end. She finished the game against the Owls with eight points for the second straight contest as well.
Making the Most of Limited Minutes: Ashley Timmerman made her 2011-2012 debut on Sunday after missing the opener due to injury. Playing just six minutes, the senior tied her career high with three assists for the Crusaders.
Crashing the Glass: Valpo leads the Horizon League with a +12.5 rebounding margin through the first two games of the year. The Crusaders outrebounded Rice 45-37 after scooping up more than 60% of the missed shots in the season opener at SIU Edwardsville. The Crusaders outrebounded the Cougars 43-26.
Making Free Throws: Valpo went 6-of-7 from the charity stripe against Rice on Sunday and is now shooting 81.3% (26-of-32) from the line on the season. Mallory Ladd is a perfect 7-for-7 while Tabitha Gerardot is 6-of-7 on the year.
A Short Bench: Valpo had just nine healthy bodies for the opener against SIU Edwardsville and would have taken that number of players on Sunday against Rice. The Crusaders dressed just eight players, with Ashley Timmerman being limited to six minutes while returning from an injury. Only seven Crusaders have played in both of the first two games this season.
Prepping for Tournament Play: Following the home game against Western Illinois, the Crusaders will fly to the Rocky Mountains for the Omni Hotels Classic hosted by Colorado. The Crusaders will face the host Buffalos on Friday before battling either Wisconsin or Montana State on Saturday night.
Gerardot Earned Postseason Honors Last Year: Tabitha Gerardot was named to the Horizon League’s All-Newcomer Team as a rookie last season. Gerardot had nine double-doubles as a freshman and averaged 10.7 points per game. Her 7.4 rebounds per contest led the Crusaders.
Valpo in the Preseason Polls: Valparaiso was tabbed to finish ninth in the Horizon League this season in the preseason coaches, media, and sports information directors poll. Green Bay was picked to win their 14th consecutive Horizon League regular season title.
Adams Named Preseason Second Team: Betsy Adams was named to the All-Horizon League Preseason Second Team in voting done by the league’s head coaches, media members, and sports information directors. Adams led Valpo in scoring with 12.6 points per game last season and finished fourth in the conference making 2.2 triples per contest. She was ninth in the Horizon League making 34.9% from three-point range on the year.
Valpo Signs Three for 2012-2013: Coach Keith Freeman added three players for next year’s class that have signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Brown and Gold beginning next fall. Joining the Crusader roster in 2012-2013 are guards Abby Dean (5-10, Carmel, Ind./Carmel H.S.), Sarah Godwin (5-10, Yardley, Pa./Princeton Day H.S. [N.J.]), and Jessi Wiedemann (6-0, Palatine, Ill./Fremd H.S.).
Adams Seventh All-Time: Betsy Adams enters play in seventh place all-time in school history for three-pointers made. She has 146 career triples, just ahead of Megan Newcomer (1996-2000). Next up on the list in sixth place is Jamie Gutowski (2002-2006) with 151, just five ahead of Adams. Adams is also sixth all-time with 423 career triple tries, 15 behind Katheryn Knoester (2000-2004) for a spot in the top-five on the attempts list.
Crusaders Have Co-Captains: Head coach Keith Freeman has announced that the Crusaders have co-captains for the 2011-2012 season. Serving in that role are fifth-year senior Ashley Varner along with senior Betsy Adams.
This and That: Valpo has three players (Gina Lange, 14.0 ppg, Mallory Ladd, 11.5 ppg, and Shaquira Scott, 10.0 ppg) averaging in double figures this season with a fourth, Ashley Varner, scoring 9.5 points per night ... Valpo is just 4-for-25 (16%) from three-point range this season ... the Crusaders rallied from 10 points down in the second half of the opener to force overtime and came back from 13 down in the second half to close within three against Rice ... Valpo has committed just 25 fouls in two games.