at Valparaiso (3-2)
Game #6 – Wednesday, Nov. 30 – 7 p.m. CT
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) – Valparaiso, Ind.
Next Up in Crusader Basketball: The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team seeks a third consecutive win as it welcomes Evansville to the Athletics-Recreation Center on Wednesday evening. With a victory, the Crusaders can get off to their first 4-2 start through six games since the 2008-09 season and start 3-0 at home for the first time since 2009-10.
Last Time Out: The Crusaders achieved their second buzzer-beating victory in a nine-day span when Amber Lindfors converted a layup at the horn to defeat Liberty 70-68 on Friday. Georgi Donchetz, who had knocked down two free throws to tie the game at 68, delivered a sideline inbounds pass to Lindfors in the lane to provide the assist on the game-winning basket.
Following the Crusaders: Wednesday’s game will be broadcast on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app. It can also be heard on the flagship station for Valpo women’s basketball, 95.1 FM Valparaiso. David Horak will handle play-by-play, with Renee’ Turpa and Ben Ariano adding color commentary. Links to live video, audio and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach Tracey Dorow: Tracey Dorow (36-92) 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: Valpo holds a 5-6 all-time mark against Evansville in a series that dates back to 1981-82. The Purple Aces pulled out a 69-67 win in the most recent meeting, which occurred in Evansville on Dec. 3, 2010 as part of the Aces Classic. Betsy Adams hit a game-tying 3-pointer with 22.6 seconds remaining, but Evansville’s Briyana Blair scored the game-winning basket with 1.1 seconds left. Valpo’s last win over Evansville was also the Purple Aces’ most recent trip to Valpo on Dec. 21, 1997. The Crusaders prevailed 74-64.
- Valpo has had a better shooting percentage than its opponent in all five games this season.
- The Crusaders are shooting 45.4 percent this season, which ranks second in the Horizon League behind only Green Bay.
- Valpo has the best field-goal percentage defense in the league, holding opponents to 32.3 percent shooting.
- The Crusaders also lead the league in 3-point shooting (40.2 percent) and blocked shots per game (5.00). Their weaknesses have been rebounding (10th in rebounding margin at -6.8) and turnovers (20.6 per game, second most in league).
- The Crusaders have the league’s leading scorer (Dani Franklin, 22.2 ppg), 3-point shooter (Franklin, 60.7 percent, 3.4 per game), shot blocker (Amber Lindfors, 2.8 per game) and the league leader in assists (Hannah Schaub, 6.2 per game).
- Franklin is 20-of-21 at the free-throw line this season. Her 95.2 free-throw percentage ranks first among Horizon League players with more than eight attempts.
- Valpo enters the sixth game of the season seeking its fourth win. Last season, the Crusaders went into Game 6 looking for their first victory of the year.
- The Crusaders will go for a season-long three-game winning streak on Wednesday. They won four straight from Dec. 12-30 last season.
Inside the Crusaders
- In its 45th season, Valpo is 515-609 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 Purple Aces
- Evansville is coming off an 88-66 loss to Northwestern on Sunday.
- Sara Dickey became Evansville’s all-time leading scorer by notching 19 points on 7-of-16 shooting against the Wildcats. She enters Wednesday with 1,725 career points, breaking the previous record set by Shelly Brand-Adlard from 1981-85.
- Dickey ranks ninth among active NCAA Division-I players in career points.
- Dickey also matched a career-high with five 3-pointers, becoming the all-time leader in that category as well with 209 for her career. She surpassed a mark set by Courtney Felke, who played at Evansville from 2004-08.
- Sasha Robinson finished Sunday’s game with six points and 10 rebounds and has now had a double-digit rebound total in all but one game this season. With 657 career rebounds, Robinson is sixth on Evansville’s all-time list.
- The Purple Aces were picked to finish ninth in the Missouri Valley Conference preseason poll, one spot behind Illinois State, which beat the Crusaders 77-56 on Nov. 19.
- Evansville has three starters back from a team that went 3-28 and 1-17 in the MVC a year ago.
- Statistically, the Purple Aces have the worst scoring defense in the MVC, allowing 77.4 points per game. They rank sixth in scoring offense at 62.8 ppg. Evansville is shooting just 36.4 percent (8th) and 23.5 percent from 3-point range (10th).
- Evansville does rank third in the MVC in steals per game at 8.4 and second in turnover margin at plus-1.8.
- Offensive rebounding is a weakness as the Purple Aces average just 9.4 offensive boards per contest (8th) and have the worst offensive rebounding percentage (23 percent) in the MVC.
Evansville Interim Head Coach Matt Ruffing
- After five years as an assistant, Ruffing was named the program’s interim head coach on March 1, 2016.
- Took over with two games remaining in the 2015-16 regular season when Oties Epps resigned. Epps is now in the Horizon League as the associate head coach at Cleveland State.
- Before Evansville, Ruffing spent four seasons on Akron’s coaching staff. He served as a student assistant and head manager for the women’s basketball team at Dayton during his undergraduate days.
- Evansville assistant coach Omega Tandy is a 2006 Cleveland State graduate.
- 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 defeat 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.
- Contributed a season-high eight points on Nov. 21 against IU Kokomo.
- Dished out nine assists against Liberty on Nov. 25 to match a career best and set a new career watermark against Division-I competition. The nine assists marked the most by an individual Horizon League player in a single game 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. Has seen 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 in the season opener.
- Had five rebounds against Liberty on Nov. 25 to match a career high. Finished the game with eight points, including 6-of-6 from the free-throw line. Hit two clutch free throws to tie the game late, then provided the assist on the game’s final play by floating an inbounds pass into the lane, where Amber Lindfors received the pass and finished a buzzer-beating layup.
- Rose up to the competition last season against Louisville on Dec. 5, 2015, 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.
- Sat out the first three games of the season due to illness.
- Made her season debut on Nov. 21 against IU Kokomo and turned in seven points.
- 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.
- At 6-foot-4, she is the tallest Crusader since Stefani Lang (2010-2012).
- 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. That 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.
- Scored 13 points and hauled in 12 rebounds on Nov. 21 against IU Kokomo, notching Valpo’s first double-double this season and third of Lindfors’ career. She established a new career high in boards, bettering her previous best of 11, set a year ago against IU Kokomo.
- Had a buzzer-beating layup in a win over Liberty on Nov. 25. Grabbed 12 rebounds to match a career best and establish a new career high against a Division-I team.
- 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.
- 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 71.4 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.
- Scored 24 points on Nov. 21 against IU Kokomo.
- Made eight free throws on Nov. 25 against Liberty to set a career high.
- Matched a career-best with five made 3-pointers against Liberty on Nov. 25, equaling her mark set at Stetson this season. Had her first double-double of the year with 29 points and 11 rebounds in the win over the Flames.
- 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.
- Matched a career high with 16 points on Nov. 21 against IU Kokomo.
- 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.
- Chipped in nine points on Nov. 25 in a win over Liberty.
- 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.
- Made the first field goal of her collegiate career on Nov. 21 against IU Kokomo.
- 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.
- Scored the first points of her collegiate career with two free throws on Nov. 21 against IU Kokomo.
- 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.