at Chicago State (0-1)
Game #2 – Wednesday, Nov. 16 – 7 p.m. CT
Jones Convocation Center (7,000) – Chicago, Ill.
Next Up in Crusader Basketball: The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team continues its season-opening stretch of three games away from the Athletics-Recreation Center on Wednesday. The Crusaders make the short jaunt to the Windy City to clash with Chicago State.
Last Time Out: The Crusaders fell 87-75 in Saturday’s season opener at Stetson, a team picked to finish third in the Atlantic Sun. The Crusaders shot 45.5 percent, but were outrebounded 45-30 and surrendered 22 offensive boards. Dani Franklin scored a career-high 34 points, the most by any Crusader in a single game since 1992. Franklin’s performance marks the fifth-best single-game scoring output in program history.
Following the Crusaders: Wednesday’s game will be broadcast on Valpo’s flagship radio station, 95.1 FM Valparaiso. David Horak will have play-by-play, with Renee’ Turpa adding color commentary. Links to live audio and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach Tracey Dorow: Tracey Dorow (33-91) 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: The Crusaders and Cougars will hook up for the first time since Dec. 6, 2013, a 74-50 Valpo win in Toledo, Ohio. In the game, the Crusaders notched their first victory of the season after an 0-7 start. Valpo held Chicago State to 20 percent shooting in the first half. Every player in uniform for that game scored and hauled in a rebound. None of the players in uniform that night are still with the program. Valpo holds a commanding 35-6 lead in the all-time series with Chicago State. The last time the Crusaders visited Chicago State, they fell 62-54 on Dec. 2, 2009.
Franklin Starts Strong
- Dani Franklin is tied with Drake’s Lizzy Wendell for first in the nation in scoring after her 34-point performance in the season opener at Stetson. She set a career high and notched Valpo’s best individual scoring performance since 1992 and fifth-best in program history.
- Franklin bested her previous career high by nine points, a mark that was established on Dec. 30, 2014 against Purdue Calumet and matched on Feb. 11, 2016 against Oakland.
- Only two players in program history have reached the 34-point mark before Franklin. Debbie Bolen did so three times, while Stephanie Greer owns the all-time single-game scoring record with 39 in 1990.
- Franklin went 12-of-19 shooting and 5-of-7 from 3-point range. The .714 single-game 3-point shooting percentage tied for 10th in program history. The 12 made field-goals and five made 3-pointers marked career bests.
- In the first half of Saturday’s game against Stetson, Valpo went on an 11-0 run during which Franklin scored all 11 points.
- Georgi Donchetz dished out a career-high seven assists on Saturday at Stetson. After playing no more than nine minutes in any one game a year ago, she played 22 minutes off the bench.
- Grace Hales scored nine points, marking the third straight year a Valpo freshman has score nine points or more on opening night. Meredith Hamlet and Dani Franklin did so each of the last two seasons, and both went on to make the Horizon League all-freshman team.
- Hales knocked down three 3s in her Crusader debut, becoming the first player to do so since Annemarie Hamlet in 2014. Hales became the first freshman to pour in three 3s in a season opener in the last decade.
- The Crusaders played four freshmen in the season opener for the second consecutive year. They started one freshmen and three sophomores.
- Valpo shot 88.2 percent from the free-throw line against Stetson, its best mark since Jan. 7 of last season.
- Meredith Hamlet reached double figures for the 17th time in her Valpo career on Saturday, scoring 12 points.
Inside the Crusaders
- In its 45th season, Valpo is 512-609 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).
Inside the Cougars
- Chicago State was picked to finish eighth in the eight-team Western Athletic Conference.
- The Cougars are led by sophomore guard/forward Kaylee Allen, who was selected to the preseason all-WAC second-team. Allen is the team’s leading returning scorer after posting 12.6 points per game a year ago.
- The Cougars finished last season at 4-25, 1-13 in the WAC. They return three starters from the 2015-16 squad. They retained seven total letterwinners and have 68 percent of their scoring back from last season.
- Chicago State opened the season with an 83-33 loss to Kansas State on Friday. Sh’Toya Sanders turned in a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds to pace the Cougars. Allen chipped in eight points and seven boards.
- The Cougars led the WAC in blocks last year with 117 (4 bpg). Sanders led the way with 47 blocks for an average of 1.6 per game, ranking second individually in the conference.
Chicago State Coach Angela Jackson
- Back for her 14th season in charge of the program.
- Chicago State’s all-time wins leader.
- Started her coaching career as an assistant at Wayne State, then made a stop at Michigan State from 1993-2000.
- First college head coaching position came at Saginaw Valley State in 2000-01.
- Served as the associate head coach at Michigan from 2001-03, before getting hired at Chicago State.
- Helped her team to the 2010-11 Great West Conference title, earning the conference Coach of the Year award that season. Chicago State reached the Final Four of the WBI in 2010-11.
- 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.
- Dish out eight assists in this year’s season opener at Stetson.
- 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.
- Turned in eight points and hauled in eight rebounds in the season opener at Stetson.
- 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.
- Started her first collegiate game on Nov. 12 at Stetson, scoring six points and notched three rebounds in 29 minutes.
- Scored 16.1 points per game at Cathedral last season.
- Received honorable mention all-state recognition as a senior in high school.
- Made her Valpo debut on Nov. 11 at Stetson, playing three minutes.
- 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.
- Scored two points and had two rebounds in 13 minutes in her Valpo debut on Nov. 12 at Stetson.
- 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.