Milwaukee (10-4, 2-1 Horizon)
at Valparaiso (5-9, 1-2 Horizon)
Game No. 15 – Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 – 1:30 p.m. CT
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) – Valparaiso, Ind.
Next Up in Crusader Basketball: The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team will look to get back on the winning track on Saturday afternoon as Milwaukee pays the Athletics-Recreation Center a visit. The Crusaders are seeking their first Horizon League victory of the season.
Last Time Out: The Crusaders suffered a 75-36 setback at the hands of Green Bay on Thursday at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Valpo was held without a field goal for a stretch of 13:59 in the first half and committed 26 turnovers in the game.
Following the Crusaders: Saturday’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 and Kevin Huang 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: Milwaukee leads the all-time series 20-9 in a matchup that occurred for the first time 23 years ago. The Panthers have won three straight and six of the last eight. Milwaukee won both matchups between the two teams last season, including a 70-60 triumph in the most recent clash between the two squads, which occurred on Feb. 18, 2016 at the ARC. Imani Scott-Thompson came off the bench to hit three triples and finished with 13 points in the defeat. Valpo’s most recent win over Milwaukee came on Feb. 12, 2015, when the Crusaders prevailed 69-56 at the ARC.
- Valpo is attempting to snap a five-game losing streak and avoid starting league play 0-4 for the third time in the last four years.
- Valpo assistant coach John Motherwell spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Milwaukee from 2005-10. The Panthers shared the Horizon League regular season title and won the Horizon League Championship in 2005-06, earning a spot in the NCAA Tournament. He was the position coach for two-time Horizon League Player of the Year Traci Edwards.
- Valpo sophomore Amber Lindfors’ sister Courtney started her collegiate career at Milwaukee, where she spent her first two seasons. She led the Horizon League in blocked shots with 1.75 per game as a sophomore for the Panthers.
- Dani Franklin needs nine points on Saturday to pass Aimee Litka for 17th on Valpo’s all-time scoring list.
- Franklin leads the Horizon League in scoring at 18.5 points per game, narrowly ahead of Cleveland State’s Ashanti Abshaw (18.4) and Green Bay’s Mehryn Kraker (18.3).
- Saturday is a battle of the best two free-throw shooting teams in the league, as Milwaukee enters play at 79 percent and Valpo is at 77.9 percent.
- The Crusaders were held to 22.7 percent shooting on Thursday against Green Bay, their first time this season below 30 percent. In fact, it was Valpo’s lowest field-goal percentage since Feb. 23, 2013 (21.2 percent at Green Bay).
- 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 Panthers
- Picked to finish third in the Horizon League preseason poll after placing second last season.
- Won 19 games and notched a berth in the WNIT a year ago.
- Led in scoring by junior Steph Kostowicz, who is tied for fourth in the league at 16.9 points per game. She’s also the team’s top rebounder with 8.9 boards per game, third in the league.
- Kostowicz was named first-team all-Horizon League a year ago and preseason first-team all-league this year.
- Lead the league in rebounding margin at plus-8.9.
- Had four players in double figures in Thursday’s 88-65 win over UIC. The Panthers racked up a season-high 20 assists. Sierra Ford-Washington led all players with 19 points.
- Signature victory came on Nov. 22, an 80-63 win over Big Ten foe Wisconsin, snapping a 17-game head-to-head losing streak to the Badgers that dated back to Dec. 15, 1992.
- Common opponents with the Crusaders are Illinois State and Chicago State. The Panthers topped the Redbirds 68-60 and the Cougars 71-49.
Milwaukee Head Coach Kyle Rechlicz
- In her fifth season at the helm.
- Earned the Horizon League Coach of the Year award last season, becoming the second coach in program history to do so.
- Guided her team to a second-place finish last year despite being picked to finish ninth.
- Served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Wisconsin during the 2011-12 season.
- Then Kyle Black, Rechlicz was a key member of a successful Wisconsin team from 1998-2002.
- Served as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at Dayton from 2007-11.
- Was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Cleveland State from 2003-2007.
- Fast Facts: Has started all 45 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: Scored eight points on 3-of-10 shooting while hauling in five rebounds on Thursday against Green Bay.
- Season Highlight: Went off for 18 points at Oakland on Dec. 31, setting a season high at the Horizon League school closest to her hometown of McBain, Mich.
- 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… Has eight points or more in each of her last four games… Made a game-winning layup at the buzzer to beat Chicago State on Nov. 16.
- 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: Played 20 minutes and did not score on Thursday against Green Bay.
- 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. Now hasn’t had an assist in either of the last two games.
- Last Time Out: Was held to two points on Thursday against Green Bay. Did pick up the first block of her Valpo career.
- 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-point mark for her career in that game.
- Awards and Honors: Named a team captain this season.
- Fast Fact: Had her first career multiple assist game on Thursday against Green Bay. Previously had a single assist in seven games, but hadn’t dished out two in one contest before Thursday.
- Last Time Out: Scored three points in 13 minutes of action on Thursday against Green Bay.
- 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 30 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… Leads the league with 2.5 blocks per game.
- Last Time Out: Had three points, four rebounds and two blocks on Thursday against Green Bay.
- 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: Needs nine points to pass Aimee Litka (2005-2009) for 17th on Valpo’s all-time scoring list… Her first rebound on Saturday will be her 100th of the season… Leads the Horizon League in scoring at 18.5 points per game, narrowly ahead of Cleveland State’s Ashanti Abshaw (18.4) and Green Bay’s Mehryn Kraker (18.3)… Also leads the league in 3-point field goal percentage at 46.3.
- Last Time Out: Had a game-high nine rebounds on Thursday, but saw her streak of 10 consecutive games in double figures snapped as she was held to five points.
- 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 12 of Valpo’s 14 games this season, including nine straight.
- Last Time Out: Knocked down a 3-pointer and dished out an assist in Thursday’s loss to Green Bay.
- 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, then followed with her second career trey on Thursday against Green Bay.
- Last Time Out: Notched a career-high three steals while matching a career-best with two blocks on Thursday against Green Bay.
- 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: Only played five minutes and did not score or attempt a shot on Thursday against Green Bay.
- 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: Pulled down three rebounds for the second straight game on Thursday against Green Bay. Played six minutes and did not score.
- 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: Went 4-for-4 at the free-throw line but 0-of-6 from the floor on Thursday against Green Bay.
- 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.