at Stetson (0-0)
Game #1 - Saturday, Nov. 12 – 6 p.m. CT
Edmunds Center (5,000) – DeLand, Fla.
Next Up in Crusader Basketball: The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team tips off the 2016-2017 season on Saturday at Stetson. The Crusaders combine top-tier returnees with fresh faces, as five freshmen and two new assistant coaches join the fold.
Last Time Out: Valpo topped Indianapolis 60-51 in exhibition action on Nov. 3 at the Athletics-Recreation Center. The Crusaders forced 22 turnovers and limited the Greyhounds to 25 percent shooting. Dani Franklin paced the team with 13 points, while Amber Lindfors poured in eight points and pulled down 11 rebounds, six of them coming on the offensive glass.
Following the Crusaders: A video stream will be available on ESPN3, Watch ESPN and the ESPN app courtesy of Stetson Athletics. The hometown radio call will be available on ValpoAthletics.com via UStream with Jordan Morandini providing play-by-play and Brandon Vickrey adding color commentary. Links for the audio, video and live stats are available on ValpoAthletics.com. In addition, follow @ValpoWBB on Twitter for in-game updates and a behind-the-scenes look at the Crusaders throughout the season.
Head Coach Tracey Dorow: Tracey Dorow (33-90) is in her fifth season at the helm of the Valparaiso women’s basketball program in 2016-17. She collected her 250th career victory on Nov. 14, 2014 with a 91-57 win over Butler. In her first season, Dorow led the Crusaders to 11 victories, including five in Horizon League play. Dorow arrived in Valparaiso after 14 seasons at Ferris State. She compiled a 232-163 record while with the Bulldogs. Ferris State posted the No. 1 grade point average in all of Division II for the 1999-2000 women’s basketball season as well as the No. 2 ranking in 2002-03.
Series Notes: This marks the second all-time meeting between the two squads and Valpo’s first trip to Stetson. The only prior showdown occurred at the Athletics-Recreation Center on Jan. 3, 2015, a 73-62 Stetson win. Haylee Thompson turned in a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds in that game. The Hatters started the game on a 12-2 spurt, then held the Crusaders without a field goal for 8:30 in the second half and outscored Valpo 17-2 during that stretch to secure the win. The Crusaders were initially scheduled to make the return trip to Stetson last January, but the addition of Northern Kentucky to the Horizon League caused them to bump that matchup to the 2016-2017 season.
Inside the Crusaders
- In its 45th season, Valpo is 512-608 all-time.
- Valpo has made two NCAA Tournament appearances (2002-03, 2003-04) and earned one WNIT berth (2001-02).
- The Crusaders have had more all-freshman team honorees in the last two years (3) than they did in the previous 12 seasons combined (2).
- Valpo reached double-figure wins for the first time since 2012-2013 a year ago with 10 victories. They also captured five league wins for the first time since ’12-13.
- Valpo has seven players on the roster listed at 6-foot or taller. The last time Valpo had that many players measure in at 6-foot or taller was the 2010-11 season.
- The five freshmen are also Valpo’s most since 2010-11.
Valpo in the Horizon League
- Since joining the Horizon League in 2007-08, Valpo is 49-108.
- Valpo has had one first team all-league selection (Launa Hochstetler, 2008-09) and two second team all-league players (Agnieszka Kulaga, 2007-08; Tabitha Gerardot, 2012-13).
- Valpo also boasts five representatives on the all-newcomer team (Lauren Kenney, 2008-09; Gerardot, 2010-11; Dani Franklin, 2014-15; Jasmyn Walker, 2014-15; Meredith Hamlet 2015-16), an all-defensive team member (Laura Richards, 2011-12), one Freshman of the Year (Franklin, 2014-15) and one Sixth Player of the Year (Franklin, 2014-15).
- Valpo is 2-2 in season openers during the Tracey Dorow era. Two of the most memorable games of the last four seasons came on the season’s first day. The Crusaders upstaged Indiana 64-52 on Nov. 9, 2012, Dorow’s first game at the helm. They downed rival Butler 91-57 on Nov. 14, 2014.
- The Crusaders will look to start the season with a road win for the first time since Nov. 19, 1999, a 61-47 victory at UIC.
- The Crusaders are expected to start three sophomores and one freshman. Valpo is the only team in the Horizon League with four underclassmen in the projected starting lineup.
Inside the Hatters
- The Hatters open the season on Friday night against Webber International, so the game against the Crusaders will mark their second of the season. They open with four straight home contests before a six-game road trip.
- Senior guard Brianti Saunders was named Atlantic Sun Preseason Player of the Year after averaging 17.8 points per game a year ago. She started all 32 games last season and reached double figures on 30 occasions, including a school-record 40 points against Georgia Southern. Saunders enters the season sixth on Stetson’s all-time scoring list.
- Senior forward Breana Bey joins Saunders on the ASUN preseason all-conference team. She averaged 11.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game last year and was a six-time ASUN Newcomer of the Week. She was selected as one of three ASUN Newcomers of the Year at season’s end. Bey started her collegiate career at Monroe College.
- Stetson was picked to finish third in the ASUN in the preseason poll, trailing only Jacksonville and Florida Gulf Coast.
- The Hatters finished last season 20-12 and advanced to the second round of the Women’s Basketball Invitational. This marked the program’s sixth consecutive 20-win season and sixth straight postseason appearance. The Hatters did not have any seniors on the roster.
- Stetson also returns ASUN Freshman of the Year McKenna Beach, who reached double figures five times and averaged 5.8 points per game.
- Johanna McMillan gains eligibility for Stetson this season. She sat out last year after transferring from UNC Wilmington.
- The Hatters have reached the ASUN finals once and semifinals twice in the last three seasons, but the seniors are seeking their first league title and trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Stetson Coach Lynn Bria
- In her ninth season in charge of the Stetson program.
- Has guided the Hatters to two conference titles, two NCAA Tournament appearances and three WNIT bids.
- Before Stetson, spent one season as an assistant coach at Miami. During the 2006-2007 season, she was a member of West Virginia’s coaching staff.
- Has also served as the head coach at Ohio University, UCF and Division-II Texas Women’s University.
- Graduated from the University of Charleston in 1990.
- One of three team captains for the 2016-2017 season. Holds the rare distinction of serving in that capacity as a sophomore.
- Named to Horizon League all-freshman team last year.
- Finished in double figures 16 times a year ago and is Valpo’s leading returning scorer at 10.6 points per game.
- Poured in 21 points (8-13 FG) in the Crusaders’ 94-91 Horizon League Tournament win over Detroit on March 10, 2016. Her 71.4 percent 3-point performance in that contest tied for 10th in program history.
- Exploded for 29 points at Northern Kentucky on Dec. 30, 2015. Went 10-of-11 shooting, the third-highest single-game field goal percentage in program history.
- Started in all 31 contests as a freshman, one of three Crusaders to start every game during the 2015-16 season.
- Made 69 3-pointers last season, tying for the fifth most in a single season in school history. In addition, she set the record for the most 3-pointers by a freshman.
- Led the team in steals (32) and assists (101) last season.
- Had multiple assists in 11 of her last 12 games to close the 2015-2016 campaign.
- Appeared in all 31 games and made 28 starts as a freshman.
- Went 5-for-7 from beyond the arc on Nov. 28, 2015 against Northern Colorado, tying for the 10th best 3-point field goal percentage in a single game in program history.
- One of three team captains for the 2016-2017 season.
- Appeared in 10 games as a freshman and nine games as a sophomore. Expected to see an uptick in playing time this season.
- Rose up to the competition last season against Louisville on Dec. 5, leading the team with 12 points.
- Set the NJCAA record for 3-pointers in a single season (143) in 2014-15 at Dakota College at Bottineau.
- Finished the 2015-16 season with 71 blocks, the second most in a single season in program history.
- Was the first Crusader to reach 70 blocks in a single season since Michelle Mader in 1991-1992.
- Led the Horizon League with 2.4 blocks per game.
- Blocked six shots in a game on three separate occasions (Miami of Ohio, IU Northwest, Cleveland State), becoming the first player in program history to notch six blocks or more in three different games.
- Made 29 starts as a freshman last season.
- At 6-foot-4, she is the tallest Crusader since Stefani Lang (2010-2012).
- Had eight points and a team-high 11 rebounds in the exhibition against Indianapolis.
- One of three team captains for the 2016-2017 season.
- Played in all 31 games last season as a sophomore, came off the bench on each occasion. Made three starts as a freshman. She’s expected to be a regular starter this year.
- Horizon League Freshman of the Year and Sixth Player of the Year in 2014-15.
- Shot 43.3 percent from 3-point range as a freshman in 2014-2015, the fourth best single-season mark in program history.
- Led the way with 13 points in the exhibition game against Indianapolis.
- Appeared in 13 games as a freshman a year ago.
- A four-year letterwinner at Heritage Christian High School, where she led the Eagles in 3-point shooting and free throw shooting every season. The team went 57-4 with her in the starting lineup.
- The longest-tenured Crusader as she enters her fourth season with the program. Only her third year playing after sitting out one season due to transfer rules.
- Came to the Crusaders from Utah State.
- Led the team in field goal percentage at 51.9 percent last season.
- Missed the exhibition game against Indianapolis with concussion-like symptoms.
- Was the lone freshman in the starting lineup for the exhibition game against Indianapolis.
- Father Scott Morrison is a former Valparaiso men’s basketball player.
- Second-team all-state last season after averaging 16.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game at Glenbrook South High School.
- Scored 16.1 points per game at Cathedral last season.
- Received honorable mention all-state recognition as a senior in high school.
- Had 17.1 points per game at Highland High School in Ohio before having her season cut short by an ACL injury.
- Collected honorable mention all-state accolades her senior season.
- Illinois Basketball Coaches Association first-team all-state selection last year.
- Averaged 18.1 points per game at Cissna Park High School as a senior.
- Averaged 19.2 points, 3.2 assists and 4.7 rebounds at Westview last year.
- Was named all-state by both the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association and the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.
- Sat out the 2015-2016 season after transferring from Saint Joseph’s College.
- Out with injury.