Eastern Illinois (4-4)
at Valparaiso (3-3)
Game #7 – Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016 – 1:30 p.m. CT
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) – Valparaiso, Ind.
Next Up in Crusader Basketball: The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team rounds out a four-game homestand on Saturday by welcoming Eastern Illinois to the Athletics-Recreation Center. The Crusaders hope to start a stretch of back-to-back games on a high note with a victory over the Panthers.
Last Time Out: The Crusaders are coming off a 70-65 loss to Evansville on Wednesday night. Valpo launched a pair of potential game-tying 3-point attempts in the final eight seconds, but both caromed out. The Crusaders had pulled within a point with 34 seconds left when freshman Grace Hales swished a 3-pointer, then Hannah Schaub grabbed a steal to give Valpo a chance to take the lead. However, Dani Franklin was whistled for an offensive foul, reversing the momentum and possession back in the Purple Aces’ favor. The game featured seven lead changes.
Following the Crusaders: Saturday’s game will be broadcast on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app. It can also be heard on 95.1 FM Valparaiso, WVUR. Jordan Morandini will provide play-by-play, with Jake Wulbert adding color commentary and David Horak handling sideline reports.
Head Coach Tracey Dorow: Tracey Dorow (36-93) 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 owns an 8-4 edge in the all-time set between the two teams, which dates back to the 1987-1988 campaign. The most recent meetings between the two squads occurred on Dec. 20, 2011 at the Athletics-Recreation Center. The Crusaders eked out a 53-50 win behind 19 points by Ashley Varner and Ashley Timmerman’s go-ahead 3-pointer with 29.8 seconds remaining. The Crusaders have captured four straight wins over their former Mid-Continent Conference foe. The Panthers haven’t notched a win in the series since March 4, 1995 in the Mid-Con Tournament. Valpo holds a 4-2 record in games played at home against EIU.
- Valpo has had a better shooting percentage than its opponent in all six games this season.
- Dani Franklin is 24-of-25 at the free-throw line this year.
- Franklin pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds on Wednesday against Evansville, shattering a personal best that had stood since her third game in a Crusader uniform on Nov. 20, 2014, a 65-50 win over Northern Illinois. Franklin also had 15 points on 5-of-12 shooting.
- Franklin leads the Horizon League in points per game (21.0), free throw percentage (96 percent), 3-point field goal percentage (56.3) and 3-point field goals made per game (3.0).
- The Crusaders also have the league leader in assists per game (Hannah Schaub, 3.0) and blocks per game (Amber Lindfors, 2.8).
- Georgi Donchetz matched a career best with nine points on Wednesday against Evansville.
- As a team, Valpo leads the league in field goal percentage defense (32.8), 3-point field goal percentage (37.1) and blocked shots per game (4.5).
- With a win, Valpo would have a winning record through seven games for the first time since 2008-2009.
- Three of Valpo’s six games this season have featured common opponents with EIU. The Crusaders lost to Evansville, a team the Panthers beat 73-63. Both teams fell to Stetson, Valpo by 12 points and Eastern Illinois by 17 points. Both teams also suffered setbacks against Illinois State. In addition, Eastern Illinois played Horizon League foe Wright State and fell 71-61.
Inside the Crusaders
- In its 45th season, Valpo is 515-610 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
- 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 Panthers
- Picked to finish 12th in the 12-team Ohio Valley Conference
- Have already surpassed their win total from a year ago, when they went 3-25 and 2-14 in league play
- Coming off a 60-49 loss to Illinois State on Thursday night. Erica Brown turned in Eastern Illinois’ first triple-double since 2010 with 11 bounds, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks. Grace Lennox was also in double figures with 10 points and five rebounds
- Brown is one of seven players in the NCAA with a triple-double this season.
- Brown, the team’s lone senior, broke the record for the most blocks in a single game at EIU. The Panthers also broke the program’s single game team record with 13 blocks.
- Have found a way to get the free throw line regularly this season, leading the conference with 111 made free throws. Lennox and Smith each have 37 free-throw attempts, tied for the conference lead
- Lennox is the team’s leading scorer with 12.3 points per game, followed by Allison VanDyke and Brown, both of whom average 11.4.
- VanDyke has been named OVC Freshman of the Week each of the last two weeks.
Eastern Illinois Head Coach Debbie Black
- Fourth season at EIU
- Previously served as an assistant at Ohio State
- Helped coach the Buckeyes to seven straight NCAA Tournament appearances including six Big Ten championships
- Made four straight NCAA Tournaments as a player at Saint Joseph’s University
- Played professionally in Tasmania from 1989-96 after graduating college in 1988
- Played in the WNBA from 1999-2005, earning WNBA Defensive Player of the Year honors
- The only women’s professional player to record a quadruple doubles (points, rebounds, assists steals)
- 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.
- Posted double figures for the first time since the season opener by reaching 10 points on Nov. 30 against Evansville.
- 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.
- Equaled a career high with nine points on Nov. 30 against Evansville.
- 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.
- Sat out the game against Evansville on Nov. 30 with an ankle injury.
- 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.
- Set a rebounding career high with 16 against Evansville on Nov. 30. Bettered her previous watermark, which had stood since her third game in a Crusader uniform in 2014, by four boards.
- 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.
- Made her first start since Jan. 7, 2016 against Evansville on Nov. 30. She scored eight points on 4-of-9 shooting.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Out with 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.
- Out with injury.
- Sat out the 2015-2016 season after transferring from Saint Joseph’s College.
- Out with injury.