Valparaiso (11-19, 5-11 Horizon)
Game #31: Wednesday, March 13 - 7:00 p.m.
at #20/20 Green Bay (26-2, 16-0 Horizon)
Kress Events Center (5,000)
Next Up in Crusader Basketball: The Valparaiso women’s basketball team continues postseason play on Wednesday when the Crusaders visit Green Bay to take on the top-seeded Phoenix in the quarterfinals of the Horizon League Tournament on Wednesday evening.
Last Time Out: Tabitha Gerardot posted her 11th double-double of the season with 25 points and 11 rebounds and the Crusaders led for the vast majority of the game in a 67-57 win over UIC on Monday in the first round of the HL Tournament. Jessica Carr posted a new career-high with 14 points. Laura Richards had 12 points, six boards and five assists Rachel Story led UIC with 17 points.
The Road Ahead: With a victory, Valparaiso will advance to the Horizon League Tournament semifinals. The Crusaders would face the winner of Detroit-Wright State at the site of the highest remaining seeded team on Friday.
Following the Crusaders: The game will be broadcast live on the Horizon League Network. A link for the live video and live stats will be available through www.valpoathletics.com.
Head Coach Tracey Dorow: Tracey Dorow (11-19) 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 had 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 4-27 all-time against Green Bay. The Phoenix won both regular season meetings, winning 78-55 in Valpo on Jan. 26, and winning 80-38 at Green Bay on Feb. 23. Gina Lange led the Crusaders with 18 points in the first meeting, and Shaquira Scott had nine points and seven rebounds in the second. Adrian Ritchie led the Phoenix with 15 points in the first game, and Megan Lukan scored 22 in the second meeting.
Scouting Green Bay: The Phoenix enter the game with a 26-2 record (16-0 HL) on the year. Last time out, Green Bay beat Milwaukee 80-56 on Saturday. Lydia Bauer led Green Bay with 22 points (6-9 3FG), and Adrian Ritchie added 19 (5-6 3FG). Ritchie leads a balanced Green Bay attack with 13.6 points per game. Sarah Eichler (11.4) and Stephanie Sension (10.5) also average in double figures for Kevin Borseth’s team. Ritchie, a First Team All-HL selection, leads the Phoenix with 5.0 rebounds per game and has tallied 75 steals on the year (2.7 per game). Green Bay has won 21 games in a row since starting the year 5-2.
Sweet Home ARC: 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 9-5 at the ARC this season. With nine home wins, Valpo had its most wins at the ARC since 2008-2009.
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.
Gerardot Named All-HL Second Team: Junior forward Tabitha Gerardot was a Second Team All-League choice when the league announced its award winners on Monday. Gerardot, who averaged 13.0 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per contest in 2011-2012, is averaging 15.3 points and 9.1 rebounds a game this season. She is one of six Horizon League players to rank in the top-10 in the league in both scoring and rebounding. Gerardot posted eight double-doubles in Horizon League play, and she finished seventh in scoring and fourth in rebounding. Her .828 free-throw percentage was third-best in the league.
Hitting the Glass: Valpo has excelled in the rebounding tallies and currently ranks second in the Horizon League with a +5.3 average rebounding margin. Valparaiso had a 47-27 rebounding edge in the win over Ball State and out-rebounded Youngstown State 46-22. The Crusaders had a 48-27 advantage against UIC. Against Cleveland State, Valpo had a 54-35 rebounding edge. In the win over Detroit, the Crusaders had a 42-27 advantage. Valparaiso has been active on the offensive glass, pulling down at least 11 offensive boards in 25 of their 30 games. The Crusaders rank second in the HL with 14.0 offensive rebounds per game. All 11 Valpo wins have come when they have out-rebounded their opponents.
Comeback Kids: Three times this season, Valparaiso has rallied from first-half deficits of at least 11 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. Valpo trailed UIC 23-12 and then outscored the Flames 76-39 over the final 28 minutes to win 88-62.
Sharing is Caring: The Crusaders currently average 13.7 assists per contest. Valparaiso is led by 3.7 assists per game from Laura Richards and 3.2 from Charae Richardson. Richards is fourth in the HL with an assist/TO ratio of 2.0. This season, Valpo has assisted on at least half of its made field goals 26 times. The Crusaders dished out 15 assists on 21 hoops against UIC. Richards led Valpo with five, and Jessica Carr added four.
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.
Earning League Honors I: Junior Tabitha Gerardot has won Horizon League Player of the Week honors three times this season, most recently for a pair of double-doubles against Wright State and Cleveland State. Gerardot put up 18 points and 10 rebounds against the Raiders, and then she bettered that with 32 points and a career-high 19 boards in a win over the Vikings. Gerardot was honored earlier this season for posting double-doubles against Ball State (Dec. 29) and Youngstown State (Jan. 12). Against BSU, Gerardot totaled 28 points and 17 rebounds, and she had 26 points and 17 rebounds against YSU.
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 14 times, and has at least tied for team-high honors on the glass 20 times. She has posted 11 double-doubles (24 career) and has been in double figures in scoring 21 times.
Surpassing Milestones: Tabitha Gerardot surpassed the 1,000-point mark for her career against Wright State in January, and she grabbed her 700th career rebound against Detroit. She currently stands 8th on the all-time VU scoring list with 1,196 points, and she is fourth on the rebounding list with 712. She needs 22 points to pass Marlous Nieuwveen for seventh place in scoring.
Three-headed Threat: In the first round win over UIC, Tabitha Gerardo, Jessica Carr and Laura Richards dominated the stats for Valpo. The trio combined for 51 of Valparaiso’s 67 points, and they also combined for 21 rebounds and 10 assists.
Valpo in the HL Tournament: The Crusaders enter Wednesday’s game with a 2-5 record all time in Horizon League Tournament games. Valparaiso earned its second-ever HL Tourney win by beating UIC 67-57 in the first round on Monday. The Crusaders are 1-3 in road Horizon League Tournament games. Valparaiso and Green Bay have once met in the HL Tournament, with Green Bay winning 77-53 in the quarterfinals last season. Valpo is 1-0 against the Phoenix in other conference tournaments, winning 72-69 in the 1991 North Star Conference Tourney.