Valparaiso (2-2, 0-0 Horizon)
Game #5: Friday, November 23 - 6 p.m. CT
at #4/4 Duke (2-0, 0-0 ACC)
Cameron Indoor Stadium (9,314)
Next Up in Crusader Basketball: The Valparaiso women’s basketball team faces perhaps its toughest test of the 2012-2013 season on Friday evening, as the Crusaders travel to Durham, N.C. to take on the nation’s fourth-ranked squad in Duke. The game is the third in a stretch of eight out of nine on the road for Valpo.
Last Time Out: The Valparaiso women’s basketball team shot just 29.7% from the floor on Monday night in dropping a non-league contest at Butler, 69-55, in Indianapolis, Ind. Valpo was within two points with 6:56 to play, but the Bulldogs scored nine consecutive points to pull away. Maegan Callaway led the Crusaders with 12 points in just eight minutes off the bench.
The Road Ahead: Valpo faces another former conference rival on Tuesday, Nov. 27 when it travels to Macomb, Ill. to take on Western Illinois at 7 p.m. The Crusaders then return home to the ARC for their lone home game over a six-week stretch, hosting Saint Louis on Saturday, Dec. 1.
Following the Crusaders: Friday night’s game will be broadcast live on WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso, with Joey Basil and Renee’ Turpa on the call. Live video will be available through Duke’s website for a fee. Links for the live audio, as well as live stats, will be available through www.valpoathletics.com
Head Coach Tracey Dorow: Tracey Dorow was named the seventh head women’s basketball coach in Crusader program history in April of 2012. Dorow arrived at Valpo after spending 14 seasons as the head coach at Ferris State University, guiding the Bulldogs to four NCAA Division II Tournament appearances, two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division championships, and four 20-win seasons. In her 14 seasons at Ferris State, Dorow compiled a 232-163 (.587) record, including a 23-7 mark in 2011-2012 while guiding the Bulldogs to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Series Notes: This is the first meeting all-time between the Valparaiso and Duke women’s basketball squads. The Crusaders are 2-3 all-time against current ACC programs, with wins over Florida State (Nov. 29, 2008) and Wake Forest (Dec. 22, 2001).
Scouting Duke: Duke enters Friday night’s game at 2-0 on the season, with early-season wins over Presbyterian (84-45) and Iona (100-31). Five different players are averaging in double figures for the Blue Devils through their first two games, led by 16.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game from Tricia Listion. Duke has held its first two opponents to 27.3% shooting from the floor and has forced 57 total turnovers.
Facing Ranked Foes: #4 Duke is the highest-ranked team the Crusaders have faced since playing at #3/4 Notre Dame on Dec. 12, 2009. Valpo is looking for just its second win all-time against a ranked opponent, previously downing #21/23 Purdue on Dec. 10, 2008. The Crusaders have dropped 11 straight games against ranked opponents since that victory.
A Long Road Trip: The Crusaders are in the midst of a stretch in which they will play eight out of nine games away from the friendly confines of the ARC, with the Duke game marking the third game of the trip. The trip to Durham is by far the longest of the trip, however, as each of the other seven games are against teams either in Indiana or in states adjacent to Indiana.
Winning Her Debut: Head coach Tracey Dorow made her regular season debut a winning one on Friday, Nov. 17 by defeating Indiana. Dorow became just the second coach in Crusader women’s basketball history to win their Valpo debut on the sidelines, joining Dick Briars, whose 1983-1984 squad downed Hillsdale 71-67 in its season opener. With the win over Purdue Calumet, Dorow became the first Crusader women’s coach to win each of her first two games.
Downing the Big Ten: Valpo’s win over Indiana was just the second in program history over the Hoosiers, both of which have come at the ARC. The Crusaders previously defeated IU on Dec. 7, 1999 by a final of 64-60. Valpo’s last victory against a Big Ten team also came at the ARC on Dec. 10, 2008 over Purdue.
Roster Makeup: In her first season, Dorow is leading a squad which features eight returning letterwinners, including a trio of starters from last season. Five players are donning the Crusader uniform for the first time alongside the eight returnees as well.
Gerardot Named Preseason Second Team: Leading the returning starters is junior forward Tabitha Gerardot, a preseason Second Team All-League choice. Gerardot, an All-Newcomer Team selection following her freshman season, led the Crusaders and finished tenth in the league in scoring at 13.0 points per game in 2011-2012. Gerardot also averaged 6.8 rebounds per contest, second-best on the team
More Returning Experience: A pair of seniors join Gerardot as returning starters entering the 2012-2013 season. Forward Gina Lange is back for her final year after posting 8.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game as a junior. Meanwhile, guard Laura Richards led the Horizon League in minutes played (37.5
mpg) and finished second in the league in steals (2.8 spg) en route to a spot on the All-Defensive Team.
A Tough Schedule: The Crusaders have put together a challenging slate for the 2012-2013 campaign, including five contests against NCAA Tournament teams from a season ago. Highlights include the season opener at the ARC against Indiana, a game at perennial top-ten program Duke, and contests on the road versus 2012 NCAA Tournament qualifiers Michigan and Louisville.
Hitting the Glass: Valpo has excelled early in the season in the rebounding tallies, entering Friday’s game leading the Horizon League with a +10.5 average rebounding margin. The Crusaders out-rebounded Indiana in their season opener by 12 boards and had a massive +26 edge on the glass in the win over Purdue Calumet. Valpo has especially been active on the offensive boards, pulling down at least 13 offensive rebounds in each of its first four games, including 20 last time out.
Sharing is Caring: The Crusaders are also pacing the Horizon League in the early going in assists/game, averaging 16 helpers per contest. Each of its first four games have seen Valpo assist on at least 63% of its made field goals. Last time out against Butler, despite being limited to just 19 field goals, the Crusaders tallied 12 assists, led by four from Charae Richardson.
Earning League Honors: Sophomore Shaquira Scott showed little rust on the basketball court after playing just 10 games last season due to injury. Scott was named the Horizon League Player of the Week following the first weekend of play after leading the Crusaders with 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting in the win over IU. The sophomore was Valpo’s first player to earn weekly honors from the league office since Ashley Varner on Dec. 28, 2009.
Doubling Up: Junior Tabitha Gerardot started the regular season with an 11-point, 7-rebound effort in the win over Indiana. Gerardot then picked up her first double-double of the season and 14th of her career in Valpo’s second game of the season, leading all players with 18 points and 12 rebounds in the victory over Purdue Calumet. Gerardot again paced the Crusaders in both categories against IUPUI, going for 16 points and nine rebounds, and ranked second on the team with 11 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds at Butler.
Taking Advantage of Minutes: Redshirt sophomore Maegan Callaway played just eight minutes on Monday in the loss at Butler, but took full advantage of her playing time to lead the team in scoring. Callaway went 5-9 from the field and 2-3 from the foul line for a team-high 12 points. She also pulled down four rebounds, including a pair on the offensive glass.
Getting Back in the Groove: After having to sit out last season, redshirt junior Charae Richardson registered her first double-figure scoring output as a Crusader last Saturday at IUPUI. Richardson went for 12 points in Saturday’s contest while also adding four rebounds and four assists. The redshirt junior currently ranks third on the team in rebounding and is tied for the team lead in assists.
Career High Kind of Night: Junior Liz Horton surpassed her career highs in both points and rebounds in the Crusaders’ win over Purdue Calumet. Horton hit five of her eight field goal attempts and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the foul line for a career-high 14 points, easily surpassing her previous career best of nine points. The junior also hit the boards for a career-high six rebounds.