Valparaiso (6-8, 1-0 Horizon)
Game #15: Wednesday, January 16 - 7:05 p.m. CT
vs. Loyola (Chicago) (5-9, 0-1 Horizon)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000)
Next Up in Crusader Basketball: The Valparaiso women’s basketball team concludes its four-game home stand and looks to stay unbeaten in Horizon League play when it hosts Loyola (Chicago) at 7:05 on Wednesday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
Last Time Out: The Crusaders trailed by as many as 15 in the first half but went on 21-2 and 11-0 scoring runs to take the lead for good and defeat Youngstown State 67-59 in Valparaiso’s Horizon League opener. Tabitha Gerardot scored 26 points and tied her career high with 17 rebounds. Gina Lange scored 15 points and had six rebounds, and Charae Richardson added 13 points.
The Road Ahead: The Crusaders hit the road for the first time in Horizon League play when they travel to Chicago to take on UIC on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 3:00 p.m.
Following the Crusaders: The game will be broadcast live on the Horizon League Network, with Joey Basil and John Kloehn on the call. A link for the live video, 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 18-3 all-time against Loyola, with each side winning on its own home floor last season. The Ramblers won 86-56 in Chicago in January, and the Crusaders won a 69-46 decision at the ARC in February. Tabitha Gerardot scored 20 points (9-of-10 shooting) in the Valparaiso win. The Crusaders are 7-3 against the Ramblers since joining the Horizon League.
Scouting Loyola: Loyola enters the game with a 5-9 record on the year. Last time out, the Ramblers dropped their Horizon League opener to UIC 73-62. Monica Albano led Loyola with 15 points. Taylor Johnson and Simone Law each added 14 points, with Johnson also grabbing nine boards. Albano, who is tops in the Horizon League in 3-pointers per game, leads the Ramblers with 13.7 points per contest. Johnson and Patrice King also average double-figures with 11.6 and 10.2 points per game, respectively. Law is fourth-best in the Horizon League with 9.3 rebounds per game for Eric Simpson’s squad.
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. Valparaiso is 5-1 at the ARC this season, including opening the current home stand with three-straight wins. With a win against Loyola, 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.
Gerardot Named Preseason Second Team: Junior forward Tabitha Gerardot was a preseason Second Team All-League choice, and she is earning those accolades. Gerardot, who led the Crusaders in scoring at 13.0 points per game and was second with 6.8 rebounds per contest in 2011-2012, averages 13.4 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. She is one of three Horizon League players to rank in the top-10 in the league in both scoring and rebounding.
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 +3.9 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. Valparaiso had a 47-27 rebounding edge in the win over Ball State, and out-rebounded Youngstown State 46-22. The Crusaders especially have been active on the offensive boards, pulling down at least 11 offensive rebounds in 13 of their 14 games. The Crusaders rank second in the Horizon League with 14.6 offensive rebounds per game. All six Crusader victories have come when they have out-rebounded their opponents.
Down but Not Out: Twice this season, Valparaiso has rallied from first-half deficits of at least 15 points to come back and pick up the win. Against Ball State, the Crusaders trailed 27-8 and outscored the Cardinals 50-26 the rest of the way to win 58-53. Against Youngstown State, Valpo trailed 34-19 before finishing the game on 48-25 run to claim a 67-59 win.
Sharing is Caring: The Crusaders currently average 13.4 assists per contest. Valparaiso is led by 3.5 assists per game from Laura Richards and 3.4 helpers per game from Charae Richardson. Richards is tops in the Horizon League with an assist/TO ratio of 2.7. Each of its 14 games has seen Valpo assist on at least half of its made field goals. Last time out against Youngstown State, Valpo tallied 13 assists on 23 field goals. Richards led the Crusaders with six assists against the Penguins.
Connecting From the Floor: Valpo had its best game of the year from the floor against Youngstown State, converting on 23-of-44 (.523) from the floor. This was the third time the Crusaders made at least half of their field goal attempts, with the others coming in a 27-of-53 performance against Western Michigan and 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, and she added her second Player of the Week award for her performance against Youngstown State. Against the Cardinals, Gerardot recorded her second double-double of the season with career highs in both points (28) and rebounds (17). Against Youngstown State, Gerardot recorded her third double-double of the year (16th of her career) with 26 points and 17 rebounds.
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 after leading Valpo 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 nine times. She has posted three double-doubles and has been in double figures in scoring nine times.
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).