Valparaiso (6-16, 2-9 Horizon)
Game #23: Saturday, February 11, 2012, 1 p.m. CST
at Butler (10-12, 6-5 Horizon)
Hinkle Fieldhouse (10,000) - Indianapolis, Ind.
Upcoming in Crusader Basketball: Valparaiso wraps up its three-game road trip on Saturday afternoon traveling to historic Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis to battle longtime rival Butler. The Crusaders are looking for back-to-back road victories for the first time since March of 2008.
On the Air: Saturday’s game will be carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at valpoathletics.com. Chris Kleinhans-Schulz and Renee’ Turpa will call all of the action live from Hinkle Fieldhouse. 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 282-242 (.538) record at the helm of the Brown and Gold. In his 23rd season overall, Freeman has a 411-289 (.587) 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 Butler are meeting for the 27th time in a series that dates back to Feb. 11, 1980. The Bulldogs lead the overall series 20-6 but the Crusaders snapped a four-game losing streak to Butler earlier this season. In the first meeting this year between the two schools, Valpo posted a 58-53 victory over the Bulldogs at the ARC on Jan. 14. Butler is 10-1 against the Crusaders all-time at Hinkle Fieldhouse, and has won eight straight in Indianapolis. The Crusaders’ lone win against Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse came on Dec. 5, 1983, a 49-35 victory.
Wrapping Up Cleveland State: Ashley Varner scored a career high 26 points and added 13 rebounds while Ieva Jansone also posted a career best with 12 points as the Crusaders defeated the Vikings 66-48 last Saturday afternoon in Cleveland, Ohio. Valpo’s defense limited Cleveland State to just 22.2% shooting and 13 points in the first half and pulled away for the victory in the second half. Tabitha Gerardot also tallied double figures for the Brown and Gold with 12 points. Shalonda Winton led all scorers, tallying 28 of Cleveland State’s 48 points for the game.
Scouting Butler: The Bulldogs have won three straight games and four of their last five overall following a 65-63 win at Youngstown State last Saturday. Sarah Hamm leads Butler averaging 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while Devin Brierly adds 10.5 points per contest. The Bulldogs are 6-2 at home this season and are shooting 37.9% from the floor and 71.1% from the free throw line. Haley Howard is 37-of-39 (94.9%) from the charity stripe to lead the way. As a team Butler is averaging 58.4 points per game and surrendering 60.1 per contest.
Varner Has Career Night: Ashley Varner became the first Crusader this season to score 20 points in a game when she tallied a career-high 26 points at Cleveland State last Saturday. The fifth-year senior also pulled down 13 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the year while playing a career-best 39 minutes against the Vikings. Varner made 6-of-13 shots from the floor.
Getting to the Free Throw Line: Ashley Varner made 13-of-18 free throws against the Vikings. Her 13 free throws made tie her for fifth on Valpo’s single game list while her 18 attempts mark the third most by any Crusader in a game in school history.
Jansone Doubles Up Scoring Total: Ieva Jansone entered Saturday’s game at Cleveland State with just 12 career points at Valpo in 10 games. The junior scored a career-high 12 points against the Vikings to double her total, making 5-of-6 from the charity stripe in addition to three field goals. She scored the 12 points in just 13 minutes off of the bench as well.
Getting Defensive: Valparaiso limited Cleveland State to just 13 first half points on Saturday in the victory. The Vikings were stuck on 10 until making a three-pointer in the final 20 seconds of the half. Valpo’s defense also limited Cleveland State to just 28.6% shooting from the floor for the game, including a 22.2% clip in the first half.
Lots of Minutes Played: Valpo had four players log 39 or more minutes on Thursday evening at Youngstown State and followed that up with three more playing 39 or more minutes at Cleveland State on Saturday. Laura Richards went the distance for the fifth and sixth times this season, never leaving the floor all weekend. Ashley Timmerman added 39 minutes in both contests while Ashley Varner set a new career high with 39 minutes of play at Cleveland State.
Gerardot a Model of Consistency: Tabitha Gerardot pulled down eight rebounds for the Crusaders against Cleveland State, marking the 10th time this season the sophomore has grabbed eight or more boards. She is second on the team averaging 6.7 rebounds per night. In addition, Gerardot had scored eight or more points in every contest but one this season after tallying 12 more points at Cleveland State. Gerardot leads Valpo scoring 12.1 points per game, which ranks 12th in the Horizon League.
Nearly Automatic from the Stripe: Tabitha Gerardot is shooting 84.1% (37-of-44) from the free throw line since Horizon League play began this year. She has made 20 of her last 21 free throw attempts dating back to Jan. 19. For the season Gerardot is shooting at a 79.3% (73-of-92) clip which ranks fourth in the conference.
Varner on the Rebounding List: Ashley Varner has continued to climb the Crusaders’ all-time rebounding charts this season, passing Katie Boone (2001-2005) for 13th on the career list. The fifth-year senior’s 516 career boards are 21 boards behind Jill Otto (1985-1989) for 13th on the career charts.
Top-10 for Richards on Assists Chart: Laura Richards has moved into 10th place all-time at Valpo with 258 assists, passing Kathryn Knoester (2000-2004) on the career charts. Richards is six assists behind Lisa Winter (1998-2000) for ninth on the all-time list and 20 helpers behind Suzie Hammel (2000-2004) for a spot in the top-eight.
What Foul?: With such a short bench, fouls have become a premium this season for the Crusaders. Valpo has done a good job of staying out of foul trouble all season, committing just 13.0 fouls per game this season, 12th fewest among all NCAA Division I schools. In fact, the Crusaders went the entire first half without an infraction on Jan. 19 at Loyola (Chicago).
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 Kathryn Knoester (2000-2004) for a spot in the top-five on the attempts list.
Varner Earns Academic Honor: Ashley Varner was named as the Horizon League’s Scholar-Athlete of the Month for December. The fifth-year senior averaged 13.7 points and 9.7 rebounds per game in seven contests during the month, posting four double-doubles. In the classroom she is enrolled in graduate school working on her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling after already earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
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.
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.
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.).
This and That: Ieva Jansone pulled down a season’s best five rebounds at Cleveland State ... Valpo has held 12 of its 22 opponents to 55 points or fewer ... Gina Lange has grabbed seven or more boards in three straight games ... the Crusaders outrebounded Cleveland State 50-32 on Saturday ... Valpo outscored the Vikings 36-18 in the paint.