Green Bay (11-2, 2-0 Horizon)
at Valparaiso (5-8, 0-2 Horizon)
Game No. 14 – Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017 – 7 p.m. CT
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) – Valparaiso, Ind.
Next Up in Crusader Basketball: The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team faces a tough test on Thursday night, as perennial Horizon League powerhouse Green Bay visits the Athletics-Recreation Center. The Phoenix have won 18 straight Horizon League regular season titles. Valpo will play Green Bay twice in the next five games.
Last Time Out: Oakland went on an 18-0 run in the first quarter of Saturday’s game at the O’rena in Rochester, Mich. and Valpo could never recover in an eventual 104-63 defeat. The Crusaders were led in scoring by Meredith Hamlet and Dani Franklin, who poured in 18 points apiece. Hamlet set a season high in scoring while also leading the team in rebounding for the first time in her Valpo career with five boards.
Following the Crusaders: Thursday’s game and every game for the remainder of the season will be available on ESPN3, WatchESPN.com and the ESPN app. In addition, live audio will be available. Jake Wulbert will handle play-by-play duties, with Renee’ Turpa providing color commentary. Links to live video, audio and stats can be found on ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach Tracey Dorow: Tracey Dorow (38-98) 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. Last year, Valpo again reached a double-figure win total by notching 10 triumphs, including an upset of Detroit Mercy in the Horizon League Tournament. 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: Green Bay holds a 35-4 lead in the all-time series. The Phoenix have won 21 consecutive meetings between the two teams, a streak that dates back to February 2008. Valpo is 2-16 all-time when the Phoenix visit the Athletics-Recreation Center. Green Bay won the most recent meeting between the two squads 71-35 on Feb. 20 of last season. Green Bay’s stifling defense held Valpo to eight points or fewer in three of the four quarters. Valpo’s most recent win over Green Bay came on Jan. 19, 2008 at the ARC, 90-88 in overtime. Launa Hochstetler drained a 3-pointer as time expired in overtime to propel Valpo to victory.
- Dani Franklin currently sits in 18th on Valpo’s all-time scoring list and needs 14 points on Thursday to pass Aimee Litka (2005-2009) for 17th in career scoring. Litka, now Aimee Niespodziany, is in her sixth season as the head coach at Holy Cross, a member of the NAIA Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference. Litka ranked ninth in the Horizon League as a senior at 11.8 points per game and was a member of the team that knocked off nationally ranked Purdue in 2008.
- Meredith Hamlet shot 8-of-14 from the floor on her way to a season-high 18 points on Saturday at Oakland. She also pulled down five boards to lead the team in rebounding for the first time in her Valpo career. Hamlet has scored double figures in three straight games and four of the last five. In two career games at Oakland – the place where both of her sisters started their collegiate careers – Hamlet has totaled 40 points after scoring 22 at the O’rena a year ago.
- Franklin ranks 30th in the nation in scoring and leads the Horizon League at 19.5 points per game. She also leads the Horizon League and ranks 21st nationally with a 46.9 3-point shooting percentage.
- Amber Lindfors leads the league and is tied for 23rd in the nation in blocked shots at 2.5 per game. She’s tied with former Wright State player Richelle van der Keijl, who transferred to New Mexico to play for Mike Bradbury.
- Valpo is attempting to dodge its fourth straight Horizon League home opening loss and will seek its first victory to open a calendar year since 2013.
- In its 45th season, Valpo is 517-615 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 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 Phoenix
- The preseason favorites to win the Horizon League for the ninth straight year.
- Have won 18 consecutive regular season titles.
- Ranked first in the NCAA Women’s Mid-Major Top 25 on CollegeInsider.com. Received 27 of the 31 first-place votes in the most recent poll.
- Went 28-5 last year including a 16-2 conference mark while securing the program’s 17th straight 20-win season and 39th consecutive winning season, the second-longest active streak in the nation.
- Received five votes in this week’s AP Top 25.
- Have the No. 17 RPI in the nation.
- Coming off a 62-41 win over Wright State.
- Mehryn Kraker, the 2016 Horizon League Tournament MVP, is third in the league in scoring at 18.0 points per game. Sandwiched between Franklin and Kraker is Cleveland State’s Ashanti Abshaw at 18.7 points per contest.
- Kraker is the reigning Horizon League Player of the Week after shooting 17-of-24 from the field and 7-of-10 from beyond the arc in Green Bay’s first two Horizon League games. She had 17 points against Northern Kentucky and 28 points against Wright State.
- The Phoenix lead the league in scoring defense (48.5), field goal percentage (45.5), field goal percentage defense (33.0), 3-point field goal percentage (35.2) and rebounding defense (29.7).
- Green Bay’s scoring defense (48.5 points per game) ranks second in the nation, behind only Campbell at 45.7 points per game. Nationally, the Phoenix are 33rd in field goal percentage and 10th in field goal percentage defense.
- Lost three of their top seven players with Tesha Buck, Kali Lukan and Mariah Monke all departing. Lukan graduated, while Monke had one season of eligibility remaining but chose to forgo her final season and begin her career in education. Buck elected to transfer to New Mexico to play for former Wright State head coach Mike Bradbury and is sitting out this season due to transfer rules.
- Every player on the roster is from the state of Wisconsin.
Green Bay Head Coach Kevin Borseth
- Received a contract extension through 2020-21 during the offseason.
- In his fifth season of his second stint at Green Bay. Previously guided the Phoenix from 1998-2007, leading Green Bay to the NCAA Tournament seven times in nine years.
- Spent five seasons as the head coach at Michigan between his two stints at Green Bay.
- Has been the Horizon League Coach of the Year in eight of his 13 seasons in charge of the Phoenix.
- Fast Facts: Has started all 44 games since joining the program… 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… Finished in double figures 16 times a year ago and is Valpo’s leading returning scorer at 10.6 points per game.
- Last Time Out: Went off for a season-high 18 points at Oakland while also leading the team in rebounding for the first time in her Valpo career with five boards. Has now scored 40 points in two career games at Oakland after pouring in 22 in Rochester a year ago.
- Season Highlight: Hit a buzzer-beating layup to defeat Chicago State on Nov. 16, 2016.
- Career Highlight: 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.
- Worth Noting: Had her first missed free-throw of the season on Dec. 29 against Detroit Mercy, but still went 7-of-8 at the stripe, setting a career-high for made free throws in a game.
- Awards & Honors: Named to Horizon League all-freshman team last year… Team Captain this season.
- Fast Fact: Led the team in steals (32) and assists (101) last season.
- Last Time Out: Snapped a two-game scoring drought with two points on Dec. 31 at Oakland. Went 1-of-4 from the floor in her first non-start of the season.
- Season Highlight: 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 at that point, but has since been surpassed by Indiya Benjamin’s 10 against Point Park on Dec. 21.
- Career Highlight: 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. Also knocked down five triples against Detroit in the Horizon League quarterfinals later that season.
- Fast Fact: Snapped a streak of 12 straight games with at least one assist on Dec. 31 at Oakland.
- Last Time Out: Was held to one point and went 0-of-3 from the floor in 16 minutes of action on Dec. 31 at Oakland.
- Season Highlight: Reached double figures for the first time in her Valpo career on Dec. 4 at No. 1 Notre Dame by scoring 10 points.
- Worth Noting: Had a career-high eight rebounds on Dec. 29 at Detroit Mercy. Led the team in rebounding for the first time in her Valpo career. Also scored six points to surpass the 100-piont mark for her career.
- Awards and Honors: Named a team captain this season.
- Fast Fact: Notched her first points against Division-I competition this season with five points in seven minutes at Detroit Mercy on Dec. 29
- Last Time Out: Played five minutes and had two rebounds but did not attempt a shot on Dec. 31 at Oakland.
- Season Highlight: Made her season debut on Nov. 21 against IU Kokomo and turned in seven points.
- Career Highlight: Rose up to the competition against Louisville on Dec. 5, 2015, leading the team with 12 points.
- Worth Noting: Set the NJCAA record for 3-pointers in a single season (143) in 2014-15 at Dakota College at Bottineau.
- Fast Facts: Has at least one block in each of her last 29 games dating back to Dec. 30, 2015 against Northern Kentucky... Recorded three blocks on Dec. 29 against Detroit Mercy, becoming the third player in Valpo history with 100 career blocks.
- Last Time Out: Scored four points on 2-of-5 shooting in 20 minutes on Dec. 31 at Oakland, moving past 200 points for her Valpo career.
- Season Highlight: 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 are the most in a single game by any player in the Horizon League so far this season.
- Career Highlight: Had a career-high 17 points on Dec. 10, 2016 against Grace College. Her previous career high of 15 had stood since Dec. 21, 2015 against IU Kokomo.
- Worth Noting: 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.
- Fast Facts: Hadn’t missed a free throw in a true road game since March 5, 2015 at Oakland, a stretch of 36 straight made free throws in true road contests, entering the Dec. 29 game against Detroit Mercy, but went 4-for-9 on Valpo’s last road swing… Leads the league in scoring at 19.5 points per game… Needs 14 points to pass Aimee Litka (2005-2009) for 17th on Valpo’s all-time scoring list.
- Last Time Out: Reached double figures for the 10th straight game on Dec. 31 against Oakland, pouring in 18 to share the team lead with Hamlet.
- Career Highlight: 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, 2016… 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.
- Season Highlight: 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. Matched a career best with 12 made field goals, and went 6-of-7 at the free-throw line, with the misfire just her second of the year.
- Awards & Honors: Horizon League Freshman of the Year and Sixth Player of the Year in 2014-15. Team captain this season.
- Worth Noting: Shot 43.3 percent from 3-point range as a freshman in 2014-2015, the fourth best single-season mark in program history …Owns the two highest individual single-game scoring outputs in the Horizon League this season.
- Fast Fact: Has appeared in 11 of Valpo’s 13 games this season, including eight straight.
- Last Time Out: Snapped a streak of four straight scoreless performances with two points in 18 minutes at Oakland on Dec. 31. Also pulled down a career-high three rebounds against the Grizzlies.
- Career Highlight: Set a career high with eight points including two made 3s on Dec. 4, 2016 against Notre Dame.
- Fast Fact: Made the first 3-pointer of her collegiate career on Dec. 11 at Indiana.
- Last Time Out: Had seven points on 1-of-5 shooting on Dec. 31 at Oakland. Knocked down a career-high five free throws.
- Worth Noting: 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.
- Fast Facts: The lone freshman in the starting lineup for each of Valpo’s first 10 games this season.
- Last Time Out: After being held scoreless in the first half, notched eight second-half points on Dec. 31 at Oakland. Also had four rebounds and two steals.
- Season Highlight: Reached double figures for the first time in her Valpo career with 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting against Grace College on Dec. 10.
- Worth Noting: Father Scott Morrison is a former Valparaiso men’s basketball player.
- Fast Fact: Scored 16.1 points per game at Cathedral last season.
- Last Time Out: Played a season-high 15 minutes at Oakland on Dec. 31, scoring one point and grabbing three boards.
- Season Highlight: Scored her first collegiate point on Nov. 16, making a free throw in the win over Chicago State.
- Worth Noting: Received honorable mention all-state recognition as a senior in high school.
- Fast Fact: 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.
- Last Time Out: Made her first career start on Dec. 31 at Oakland, but was held to two points in nine minutes while being plagued by foul trouble.
- Season Highlight: Scored nine points at Stetson on Nov. 12, marking the third straight year a Valpo freshman has scored 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.
- Career Highlight: Opened conference play in style with a career-high 13 points on Dec. 29 at Detroit Mercy, her second consecutive game in double figures.
- Worth Noting: Father Ross played football and basketball at Indiana University.