at No. 1 Notre Dame (7-0)
Game #8 – Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016 – noon CT
Purcell Pavilion (9,149) – Notre Dame, Ind.
Next Up in Crusader Basketball: The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team faces a quick turnaround as it returns to the court on Sunday afternoon for a showdown with No. 1 Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish sit atop both the Associated Press and the USA Today Coaches Poll. This marks the first time in program history the Crusaders have played the No. 1 team in the nation.
Last Time Out: The Crusaders competed in a game of runs on Saturday afternoon at the Athletics-Recreation Center. The Crusaders delivered the first blow with an early 18-0 run to take a 20-5 lead. Eastern Illinois responded with a 17-0 run of its own to go up 22-20 in the second quarter. Valpo dominated the third 27-15, but was outscored 27-14 in the fourth and needed nearly every bit of what was once an 18-point cushion to hang on for the victory.
Following the Crusaders: Sunday’s game will be broadcast on WatchESPN.com. It can also be heard on 95.1 FM Valparaiso, WVUR. Jordan Morandini will provide play-by-play, with David Horak and Renee’ Turpa adding color commentary for the Valpo radio broadcast. Links to live video, audio and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach Tracey Dorow: Tracey Dorow (37-93) 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: The first game in Notre Dame women’s basketball history came against the Crusaders on Dec. 3, 1977. The Fighting Irish prevailed 48-41, the first of 26 consecutive head-to-head victories, a streak that remains intact entering Sunday. Last season, Notre Dame came to the Athletics-Recreation Center and earned a 110-54 victory. Marina Mabrey turned in the fifth triple-double in school history with 18 points, 12 steals and 10 assists.
- Valpo has not had a winning record this late in the season since 2008-2009. This matches the program’s best record through seven games since 1991-1992.
- This marks the first time this season Valpo faces a back-to-back. The last time the Crusaders played on consecutive days in the regular season was Nov. 27-28, 2015 against San Diego and Northern Colorado as part of a Thanksgiving tournament.
- Valpo hasn’t played on consecutive days at two different locations since Dec. 19-20, 2012 at Western Michigan and Michigan.
- The Crusaders seek their first victory against a nationally-ranked opponent since Dec. 10, 2008, a 71-60 triumph over No. 21/23 Purdue at the Athletics-Recreation Center. The Crusaders trailed by as many as 10 points but rallied for the first win over a nationally-ranked foe in program history.
- The Valpo men’s and women’s basketball teams both play the No. 1 team in the nation in a four-day span as the Crusader men play at Kentucky on Wednesday.
- Dani Franklin is coming off a 33-point performance on Saturday against Eastern Illinois. She matched a career best with 12 made field goals, went 6-of-7 at the free throw line with the misfire just her second of the year and pulled down six rebounds. Franklin finished one point shy of her career high, which was set in this year’s season opener against Stetson.
- Franklin became just the third player in program history with at least two career games with 33 points or more, joining Debbie Bolen and Tabitha Gerardot.
- Franklin owns the two highest individual single-game scoring outputs in the Horizon League this season.
- Franklin is scoring 22.7 points per game to lead the Horizon League. The Valpo’s single-season record for scoring average is 22, set by Debbie Bolen in 1991-1992.
- Georgi Donchetz made it back-to-back games with nine points on Saturday against Eastern Illinois. She utilized two triples to reach that total, her first made 3s of the season. The two made 3s in a game marked a career high.
- Hannah Schaub equaled a career high with nine assists in the win over the Panthers.
- The Crusaders have not won the turnover battle against a Division-I team this season.
- The Crusaders have had a better shooting percentage than their opponent in all seven games this season.
Inside the Crusaders
- In its 45th season, Valpo is 516-610 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 Fighting Irish
- The Fighting Irish are off to a 7-0 start for the fourth straight year.
- With her first basket on Wednesday night at Iowa, Brianna Turner became the 36th Notre Dame player to reach 1,000 career points. She is the second player this year to hit that mark as Lindsay Allen did the same on Nov. 17.
- Allen and Turner were both named to the Wade Trophy Watch List on Thursday. The trophy is presented annually by the WBCA to the top women’s collegiate player in the country.
- Notre Dame’s leading scorer is Arike Ogunbowale, who is averaging 17.4 points per contest. She was a member of the ACC All-Freshman team a year ago, when she came off the bench in all 35 games.
- Allen leads the ACC and ranks sixth in the nation in assists per game at 7.7.
- Allen was a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award for the nation’s best point guard last season, while Turner was a 2016 All-American.
- Notre Dame’s most recent game came on Wednesday night, a 73-58 victory over Iowa in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Fighting Irish helped the ACC win the event again this year. The ACC has emerged victorious every season in the challenge’s 10-year history.
- Allen and Turner rank 33rd and 34th respectively on the school’s all-time scoring list.
- Associate head coach Niele Ivey will see her No. 33 retired in a special pregame ceremony on Sunday. Ivey becomes the third inductee into the Ring of Honor, joining Ruth Riley and Skylar Diggins. Beth (Morgan) Cunningham will join the ranks on Jan. 29 this season.
- Notre Dame leads the ACC in 3-point field goal percentage at 41.6 (10th in the nation) and rebounding margin at +14.9 (sixth in the nation).
- Notre Dame is the three-time defending ACC regular season and tournament champion. The Fighting Irish have reached the NCAA Tournament 21 straight years, but did see their run of five straight Final Four appearances end with last year’s Sweet 16 loss to Stanford.
Notre Dame Coach Muffet McGraw
- 30th season at Notre Dame.
- Became the third head coach of the program on May 18, 1987 and has held the post ever since.
- One of just four coaches in women’s NCAA basketball history with at least five appearances in the national championship game.
- Has led her team to seven Final Fours and won the 2001 national title.
- Naismith Coach of the Year in 2001, AP Coach of the Year in 2013 and 2014 and USBWA Coach of the Year in 2001 and 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 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.
- Dished 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.
- Matched her career best again on Dec. 3, once again handing out nine assists in the victory over Eastern Illinois.
- 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.
- Made it back-to-back games with nine points on Dec. 3 against Eastern Illinois. Utilized two triples to reach that total, her first made 3s of the season. The two made 3s in a game marked a career high.
- 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 in 2015-2016.
- 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.
- Returned to the court on Dec. 3 against Eastern Illinois and pulled down eight rebounds.
- 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.
- Scored 33 points on Dec. 3 against Eastern Illinois, finishing one shy of a career high. She became just the third player in program history who has scored 33 points or more in at least two games.
- Has led the team in scoring in six of Valpo’s seven games.
- 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.
- Matched a career high with nine points and pulled down a career-best eight rebounds on Dec. 3 against Eastern Illinois.
- 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.