IU Kokomo (3-3)
at Valparaiso (1-2)
Game #4 – Monday, Nov. 21 – 7 p.m. CT
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) – Valparaiso, Ind.
Next Up in Crusader Basketball: The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team is set for its 2016-2017 home opener, as the Crusaders welcome IU Kokomo for the first regular season home game of the year on Monday evening. In just their third year in existence, the Cougars are under the direction of former Crusader Whitney Farris, who appeared in 109 games for Valpo from 2006-2010. After Tracey Dorow made a return to trip to Illinois State on Saturday, this time the Crusaders will be the team welcoming an opposing coach back to her former school.
Last Time Out: The Crusaders committed 30 turnovers in a 77-56 loss at Illinois State on Saturday. That marked the most giveaways permitted in a contest by the Crusaders since Nov. 23, 2015, when they committed 32 against Notre Dame. Valpo didn’t have any player reach double figures in the game, snapping a streak of 56 straight games with at least one double-figure scorer. Valpo’s previous instance without a player in double figures was Dec. 3, 2014, an 82-59 loss at Miami of Ohio.
Following the Crusaders: Monday’s game will be broadcast on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app. David Horak will handle play-by-play, with Ethan Leach providing color commentary. Links to live video and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach Tracey Dorow: Tracey Dorow (34-92) 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 is the second all-time meeting between Valpo and IU Kokomo after last year’s 88-22 Valpo victory on Dec. 21 at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Five Valpo players finished in double figures, while the Crusaders held the Cougars to 8-of-65 (12.3 percent) shooting. The 22 points broke the school record for the fewest allowed in a single game. Amber Lindfors led the way with a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds. Both still stand as Lindfors’ career watermarks.
- Valpo is 2-2 in home openers during the first four seasons under Tracey Dorow. The Crusaders dropped the ARC lid-lifter to Notre Dame 110-54 a year ago, a season after besting Butler 91-57.
- This marks the fifth consecutive year Valpo has opened the home portion of the season against an in-state foe.
- Monday’s game is the first of two against NAIA opposition this season. Valpo hosts Grace on Dec. 10.
- The Crusaders lead the Horizon League in 3-point shooting at 44.4 percent.
- Valpo’s biggest bugaboos so far this season have been rebounding and turnovers. They rank 10th in the Horizon League in rebounding margin (minus-six) and turnovers margin (minus-11).
- Dani Franklin leads the team and ranks fourth in the league in scoring at 19.4 points per game.
- Hannah Schaub is the league leader in assists at 5.3 per contest.
- Amber Lindfors leads the Horizon League in blocked shots per game at 3.3. She is one of 20 players in the nation with 10 or more blocked shots this season.
Inside the Crusaders
- In its 45th season, Valpo is 513-609 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
- IU Kokomo is in its third season as a program after posting a 9-20 overall record and a 4-14 mark in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 2015-16.
- The Cougars are coming off an 80-27 win over Andrews on Saturday. Dejianna Butler led all scorers with 12 points and was one of five Cougars to finish in double figures. IU Kokomo outscored Andrews 22-6 in the first quarter and never looked back.
- IU Kokomo has its top three scorers from a year ago – Deja Felder (13.2 ppg), Whitney Williamson (12.9 ppg) and Dejianna Butler (11.1 ppg) – back this season.
- Returning starters Felder, Williamson and Butler are joined in the starting lineup by newcomers Aja Ladd and Maci Maupin. Ladd is a true freshman, while Maupin is a junior college transfer from Hanover College.
- The team’s roster is comprised entirely of players who hail from Indiana.
- Felder leads the team in scoring at 13.7 ppg. She entered Saturday averaging 15.2 ppg, but was held to six points against Andrews. Felder is the only IU Kokomo player averaging double figures.
- Felder is also the biggest 3-point threat on the roster. She’s 16-for-36 from deep this season.
- Butler, Williamson, Payton Thomson, Mackenzie Johnson and Tabitha DeWitt are all coming off personal season-best scoring outputs on Saturday. Butler poured in 12 points, while the others had 11 apiece.
- This will be the third Northwest Indiana school IU Kokomo faces this season. They beat Calumet College of St. Joseph – coached by former Valpo assistant Steve Helm – 85-53 on Nov. 2, but fell to IU Northwest 69-61 on Nov. 5 in Gary.
- The Cougars are members of the River States Conference, which was previously known as the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. This is the conference’s first year with the new name.
- The KIAC, now known as the River States Conference, is the oldest in NAIA. It was established in 1916.
IU Kokomo Coach Whitney Farris
- In her third season as the head coach of the Cougars.
- Served as an assistant coach for the IU Kokomo men’s team before the launch of the women’s program.
- Was a Mid-Continent Conference all-academic selection as a freshman at Valpo.
- Played for the 2008-09 Valpo team that beat Purdue and Florida State.
- Played 90 consecutive games in her final three years at Valpo.
- Averaged seven points and four rebounds per game as a senior while ranking second on the team in assists.
- Played her prep basketball at Kokomo High School. She earned 12 varsity letters at Kokomo in four different sports.
- Received her master’s in business administration from IU Kokomo in 2014.
- One of three team captains for the 2016-17 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.
- Older sisters Annemarie and Elizabeth also played for Tracey Dorow at Valpo.
- Reached double figures for the 17th time in her Valpo career on Nov. 12 at Stetson, scoring 12 points.
- Hit a buzzer-beating layup to beat Chicago State on Nov. 16, 2016.
- 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 on Nov. 12. Tied with UIC’s KiKi Bynes (Nov. 17 vs. Robert Morris) for the most assists in a single game in the Horizon League this season.
- 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.
- Racked up a career-high seven assists on Nov. 12 at Stetson. After playing no more than nine minutes in any one game a year ago, she played 22 minutes off the bench.
- 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.
- Has sat out the first three games of the season due to illness.
- 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 last season (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 on Nov. 3.
- Turned in eight points and hauled in eight rebounds in the season opener at Stetson on Nov. 12.
- Matched a career high with six blocks on Nov. 16 against Chicago State. Wednesday marked the fourth time she’s blocked six shots in a game in her Valpo career. There have only been 10 individual six-block performances in Valpo history, and four of them belong to Lindfors. The six blocks in a single game ties for third in program history.
- The six blocks were the most in a single game by any player in the Horizon League so far this season.
- Reached double figures with 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting on Nov. 16 against Chicago State. The 11 points marked a career high against Division-I opposition.
- One of three team captains for the 2016-2017 season.
- Played in all 31 games last season as a sophomore, coming off the bench on each occasion. Made three starts as a freshman. She’s a regular starter for the first time this season.
- 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 on Nov. 3.
- Set a career high and notched Valpo’s best individual scoring performance since 1992 and fifth-best in program history with 34 points at Stetson on Nov. 12.
- 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.
- The 34-point night is the best individual scoring performance in the Horizon League so far this season.
- 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 on Nov. 12 against Stetson, Valpo went on an 11-0 run during which Franklin scored all 11 points.
- 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.
- Made her first appearance of the season at Chicago State on Nov. 16.
- 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. Returned to the court in time for the season opener at Stetson on Nov. 12.
- The lone freshman in the starting lineup for each of Valpo’s first two games this season.
- 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.
- Had seven rebounds on Nov. 16 against Chicago State, matching Dani Franklin for the team high.
- Established a career high with nine points at Illinois State on Nov. 19.
- 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.
- Scored her first collegiate point on Nov. 16, making a free throw in the win over Chicago State.
- Doubled that scoring output with two points, both on free throws, on Nov. 19 at Illinois State.
- 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.
- Made her Valpo debut on Nov. 16 against Chicago State, seeing three minutes of action off the bench.
- Sat out Saturday’s game at Illinois State due to injury.
- 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.
- Had a career day with nine points and seven rebounds on 3-of-6 shooting on Nov. 19 at Illinois State.
- 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.
- Scored nine points at Stetson on Nov. 12, 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.
- 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.
- Sat out the 2015-2016 season after transferring from Saint Joseph’s College.
- Out with injury.