Valparaiso (5-8, 0-0 Horizon)
Game #14: Saturday, January 12 - 1:35 p.m. CT
vs. Youngstown State (10-3, 0-0 Horizon)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000)
Next Up in Crusader Basketball: The Valparaiso women’s basketball team opens Horizon League play against Youngstown State at 1:35 on Saturday afternoon in the third game of a four-game home stand at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
Last Time Out: The Crusaders led from start to finish against Northern Illinois and earned a 54-49 victory. Charae Richardson scored a career-high 16 points and also grabbed six rebounds. Gina Lange and Tabitha Gerardot each added nine points. Lange also hauled in nine rebounds.
The Road Ahead: The Crusaders conclude their four-game home stand when they host Loyola (Chicago) on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 7:05 p.m.
Following the Crusaders: The game will be broadcast live on WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso, with Joey Basil and John Kloehn on the call. A link for the live video, through the Horizon League Network, 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: The Crusaders are 13-18 all-time against Youngstown State, with the Penguins winning both contests in 2012. The Penguins won 55-48 at the ARC on Jan. 7, and they won 64-58 on their home court on Feb. 2. Tabitha Gerardot scored 19 points at the ARC and had 15 points and nine rebounds at the Beeghly Center. The Penguins have won the past four meetings.
Scouting Youngstown State: Youngstown State enters the game with a 10-3 record on the year. Last time out, the Penguins defeated VCU 58-45. Brandi Brown scored 28 points (13-of-20 shooting) and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Youngstown State. Melissa Thompson added nine points and seven rebounds. Brown leads Bob Bolden’s squad with 20.4 points and 11.2 rebounds per game. She has recorded nine double-doubles this season. Heidi Schlegel adds 10.9 points per contest, while Shar’Rae Davis and Liz Hornberger chip in with 9.9 and 8.3 points per game, respectively. Four YSU players average at least four rebounds per game.
Home Sweet Home: Valparaiso played eight of its first 11 games on the road, including a pair of four-game road trips. While the road hasn’t been kind to the Crusaders, they have hit their stride at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Valpariaso is 4-1 at the ARC this season, including opening the current home stand with a pair of wins over Ball State and Northern Illinois. With wins in the final two games of the home stand, Valpo will match last season’s six wins at the ARC.
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. The squad is comprised of four freshmen, three sophomores, three juniors and three seniors.
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.
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 excelled early in the season in the rebounding tallies and currently ranks second in the Horizon League with a +1.9 average rebounding margin, which is one of only two positive margins in the league. 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. Valparaiso had a 47-27 rebounding edge in the win over Ball State. The Crusaders especially have been active on the offensive boards, pulling down at least 11 offensive rebounds in 12 of their 13 games. The Crusaders rank second in the Horizon League with 14.8 offensive rebounds per game.
Sharing is Caring: The Crusaders currently rank fourth in the league in assists/game, averaging 13.4 helpers per contest. The Crusaders are led by 3.5 assists per game from Charae Richardson. Each of its 13 games has seen Valpo assist on at least half of its made field goals. Last time out against Northern Illinois, Valpo tallied 10 assists on 19 field goals.
Connecting From the Floor: Valpo had its best game of the year from the floor against Western Michigan, converting on 27-of-53 (.509) from the field. This was the second time the Crusaders made at least half of their field goal attempts, with the other coming in a 27-of-54 performance in the win at IPFW.
Setting a Record: The Crusaders were on the mark from behind the 3-point line against Western Michigan. Valparaiso shot 9-of-12 behind the arc against the Broncos, including three makes each from Liz Horton and Abby Dean. The .750 mark is the best team performance for a single game in school history.
Earning League Honors I: Junior Tabitha Gerardot won her first-ever Horizon League Player of the Week honors for her efforts against Ball State. Gerardot recorded her second double-double of the season (and 15th of her career) with career highs in both points (28) and rebounds (17). The junior pulled down nine offensive rebounds and shot 10-of-11 from the free-throw line.
Earning League Honors II: Junior Charae Richardson has twice brought home Horizon League Newcomer of the Week honors this season. Most recently, she won for scoring a career-high 16 points and grabbing six rebounds in the victory over NIU. She won the honors earlier this season for tallying 15 points and six assists against IPFW.
Earning League Honors III: Sophomore Shaquira 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.
Leading the Way: Tabitha Gerardot, who led the Crusaders in scoring and finished second on the team in rebounding a year ago, has consistently been among Valpo’s leaders on a game-by-game basis this year. Gerardot has paced Valpo in scoring six times, and has at least tied for team-high honors on the glass eight times. She has posted two double-doubles (Purdue-Calumet and Ball State) and has been in double figures in scoring nine times.
Lange Posts Big Game: Senior Gina Lange tied her career high at IPFW, finishing the night with a team-high 18 points. Lange, who is now averaging 7.7 points per game this year, also added a team-high six rebounds.
A Career Day: Liz Horton and Abby Dean both set career-best scoring marks against Western Michigan. Horton finished with 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting (3-of-3 behind the arc), while Dean tallied 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting (3-of-5 on three-pointers).