Valparaiso (7-12, 2-4 Horizon)
Game #20: Saturday, February 2 - 1:35 p.m. CT
vs. Cleveland State (10-9, 2-4 Horizon)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000)
Next Up in Crusader Basketball: The Valparaiso women’s basketball team welcomes Cleveland State to the Athletics-Recreation Center at 1:35 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
Last Time Out: Shaquira Scott scored made runner with 21.2 seconds left to give Valparaiso a one-point lead, but Kim Demmings made the winner for Wright State with 6.3 ticks left to give the Raiders a 67-66 win. Tabitha Gerardot had her sixth double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Charae Richardson added 17 points and Gina Lange grabbed 11 rebounds.
The Road Ahead: The Crusaders close out the first half of Horizon League play when they travel to Detroit to play the Titans at 1:00 p.m on Saturday, Feb. 9.
Following the Crusaders: The game will be broadcast live on WVUR-FM, 95.1, Valparaiso, with John Kloehn and Joey Basil on the call. A link for the live video from 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 13-9 all-time against the Vikings, with each team winning on the other team’s home floor last season. Cleveland State won in 49-45 at the ARC, while the Crusaders won 66-48 at the Wolstein Center. Tabitha Gerardot led Valpo with 16 points at the ARC, and Gerardot and Ieva Jansone each scored 12 points at CSU. The Vikings have won five of the past six meetings.
Scouting Cleveland State: The Vikings enter the game with a 10-9 record (2-4 HL) on the year. Last time out, Cleveland State lost 96-77 at Detroit. Kiersten Green paced the Vikings with 25 points on 10-of-14 shooting (4-of-5 3-pointers). Shalonda Winton had 24 points and Cori Coleman added 19 points and 10 rebounds. Winton leads Cleveland State in scoring with 21.7 points per game (2nd in HL). Coleman and Green also average in double-figures, scoring 12.7 and 10.3 points per game respectively. Winton leads Kate Peterson’s squad with 10.7 rebounds per game, which is 2nd-best in the Horizon League.
Home Sweet Home: Valparaiso opened the season by playing eight of its first 11 games on the road. While the road hasn’t been kind to the Crusaders, they have hit their stride at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Valparaiso is 5-3 at the ARC this season, including three wins during a recent four-game home stand. Valpo needs one more win to match last season’s six home wins at the ARC.
Winning Her Debut: Head coach Tracey Dorow made her regular season debut a winning one on 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. Valpo’s last win over 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 14.3 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. She is one of five Horizon League players to rank in the top-10 in the league in both scoring and rebounding. With 18 points against Wright State, Gerardot passed the 1000-point mark for her career (1008).
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 road games at 2012 NCAA Tournament teams Duke, Michigan and Louisville.
Hitting the Glass: Valpo has excelled early in the rebounding tallies and currently ranks second in the Horizon League with a +3.4 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 16 of their 19 games. The Crusaders rank second in the Horizon League with 13.8 offensive rebounds per game. All seven 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 13.5 assists per contest. Valparaiso is led by 3.5 assists per game from Charae Richardson and 3.4 from Laura Richards. Richards is third in the Horizon League with an assist/TO ratio of 2.0. This season, Valpo has assisted on at least half of its made field goals 18 times. Last time out against Wright State, Valpo had 12 assists on 24 hoops. Richardson had four assists against the Raiders.
Connecting From the Floor: Valpo had its best game of the year from the floor against Youngstown State, converting on 23-of-44 (.523) shots from the field. This was the fifth 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, a 27-of-54 performance in the win at IPFW, a 28-of-56 showing at UIC and a 29-of-57 performance in the win at Milwaukee.
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 totaling 16 points and six rebounds in the win over NIU.
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 eight times, and has at least tied for team-high honors on the glass 11 times. She has posted six double-doubles (19 career) and has been in double figures in scoring 12 times.
Terrific Trio: Tabitha Gerardot, Shaquira Scott and Charae Richardson did the bulk of the scoring in Valpo’s win at Milwaukee. The three combined for 69 of VU’s 84 points, with Gerardot totaling 33 (career-high), Scott 22 (career-high) and Richardson 14.
A Career Night: Gina Lange tied her career-high in points for the second time this season by scoring 18 against Green Bay. The senior, who is second in the Horizon League in field goal percentage, was 7-of-10 from the floor.