Valparaiso (0-5, 0-0 Horizon)
Game #6: Wednesday, November 30, 2011, 7:05 p.m. CST
vs. Indiana-Northwest (1-7, NAIA Independent)
Athletics-Recretation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.
Upcoming in Crusader Basketball: Valparaiso returns to the Athletics-Recreation Center on Wednesday evening to begin a three-game homestand as the Crusaders take on Indiana-Northwest. All three home games will take place during the next seven days as the Crusaders look to pick up their first victory of the season while continuing the non-conference portion of their schedule.
On the Air: Wednesday’s game will be carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at valpoathletics.com. Dave Caulfield and Mike Pudlow will call all of the action live from the Athletics-Recreation Center. The game can also be seen live online through valpoathletics.com as part of the Horizon League Network. 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 276-231 (.544) record at the helm of the Brown and Gold. In his 23rd season overall, Freeman has a 405-278 (.593) 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 Indiana-Northwest are meeting on the hardwood for the first time ever. The only Indiana branch campus (other than the main campus) schools that the Crusaders have faced are Indiana-South Bend (1998) and Indiana-Southeast (1987), both of which resulted in Valparaiso victories.
Wrapping Up Montana State: Valparaiso fell behind by double figures twice and rallied to take the lead on Saturday evening, but a final 14-0 run by the Bobcats proved to be too much as Montana State defeated the Crusaders 71-55 in the consolation game of the Omni Hotels Classic. Tabitha Gerardot recorded her first double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds for Valpo while Mallory Ladd added a career-high 16 points and grabbed nine boards. Valpo could not overcome 19.4% shooting from the floor in the second half though, despite outrebounding the Bobcats 48-38 on the night. Katie Bussey led Montana State with 21 points, scoring 17 before intermission. Ashley Albert added 18 points for the Bobcats.
Scouting Indiana-Northwest: The Redhawks have dropped three straight games following a 75-63 setback against Purdue-Calumet on the road Saturday afternoon. Indiana-Northwest is still looking for its first victory outside of Gary, Ind. Sharon Houston leads the Redhawks averaging 19.0 points and 17.0 rebounds per game. She missed six games earlier this season, but returned on Saturday to post 18 points, 18 boards, and seven blocks against Purdue-Calumet. Ashley Parish adds 13.0 points and 7.6 rebounds per night while adding 2.3 blocks per contest. Indiana-Northwest is averaging 25.9 turnovers per contest this year.
Gerardot Garners All-Tournament Team Accolades: Tabitha Gerardot was named to the Omni Hotels Classic All-Tournament Team following her efforts last weekend against Colorado and Montana State. The sophomore forward averaged 10 points and 5.5 rebounds per contest while shooting 57.1% (8-of-14) from the floor in Boulder, Colo.
10th Career Double-Double for Gerardot: Tabitha Gerardot notched her first double-double of the season and 10th of her Valpo career last Saturday night against Montana State. The sophomore scored 13 points and shared team-high honors with 10 rebounds against the Bobcats. Gerardot is third on the Crusader squad in both scoring and rebounding, averaging 8.8 points and 6.0 boards per contest. She has scored at least seven points in all five games this year.
Who’s in the Lineup Tonight?: Due to injuries and illnesses this season, only five Crusaders have appeared in all five games thus far this season. Gina Lange, Tabitha Gerardot, and Ashley Varner have started each contest, while Mallory Ladd and Shaquira Scott each have seen the floor in all five games as well.
Ladd Fills the Basket: Mallory Ladd tallied a career-high 16 points for the Crusaders on Saturday against Montana State. The freshman went 5-of-12 from the floor, making a triple as well, and connected on 5-of-6 from the charity stripe. The rookie has scored nine or more points in four of the five games this year, including double figures three times. She is second on the team in scoring averaging 10.0 points per contest.
She Also Rebounds Well: In addition to scoring, Mallory Ladd is having a solid start on the glass for Valpo. She pulled down nine rebounds in the loss against the Bobcats on Saturday and has grabbed nine or more boards three times already on the young season. She is second on the team grabbing 7.4 rebounds per night.
More Rebounding: Ashley Varner has also cleaned the glass for the Crusaders, grabbing seven or more rebounds in all five contests this season. on Saturday against Montana State, the fifth-year senior pulled down 10 rebounds, one off of her career high of 11 set against Colorado State on Nov. 22, 2009. Varner missed all of last season with an ACL injury but leads the team with 8.4 boards per game this year.
Carr Steps in to Play Major Minutes: Freshman Jessica Carr missed the first two games of the season with an injury and had played just 35 collegiate minutes in her career prior to Saturday night against Montana State. The rookie was forced into a starting role against the Bobcats and played 37 minutes, dishing out four assists, grabbing three rebounds, and recording a pair of steals.
Making Free Throws: Mallory Ladd ranks 64th in the country shooting 88.2% (15-of-17) from the charity stripe this season. She ranks sixth in the Horizon League while leading Valpo this season in percentage, makes, and attempts.
More Than Just Dishing the Rock: Laura Richards leads the Crusaders with 12 assists on the season (3.0 per game) as a point guard. The 5-9 junior has a 1.3 assist-to-turnover ratio, ranking third in the Horizon League, having coughed up the basketball just nine times in four games.
Adams Seventh All-Time: Betsy Adams is 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.
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.).
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: Ashley Varner tied a career high with three steals against Montana State ... Shaquira Scott also had three thefts against the Bobcats and averaged eight points per game in the Omni Hotels Classic ... Valpo ranks 19th in the country averaging just 13.4 fouls per contest.