Valparaiso (5-11, 0-5 Horizon)
at Youngstown State (5-10, 1-3 Horizon)
Game No. 17 – Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017 – 3:30 p.m. CT
Beeghly Center (6,500) – Youngstown, Ohio
Next Up in Crusader Basketball: The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team will attempt to notch its first Horizon League win of the season on Saturday afternoon at the Beeghly Center in Youngstown, Ohio. The Crusaders face off with a Penguin team that has been hit hard by injuries this season.
Last Time Out: Valpo put together a stellar defensive effort on Thursday night at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio, but struggled to make shots in a 71-60 loss to Youngstown State. The Crusaders went 5-of-21 (23.8 percent) from beyond the 3-point arc, and the shooting woes extended to the foul line, where Valpo went 3-of-14 (21.4 percent). Dani Franklin posted her second straight double-double 24 points and 10 rebounds.
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, the hometown call can be found via UStream with David Horak (play-by-play) and Brandon Vickrey (color commentary). The radio broadcast will be joined in progress on WVUR, 95.1 FM Valparaiso at the completion of the Valpo men’s game at Cleveland State. Links to live video, audio and stats for Saturday’s game are available on ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach Tracey Dorow: Tracey Dorow 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: Youngstown State holds a 24-15 advantage in the all-time series, including an 87-66 win on Feb. 26 of last season in the most recent meeting between the two teams. Valpo did pull out a 65-60 win over the Penguins in last season’s first meeting, which came on Jan. 23 at the ARC. The recent history between the two squads has heavily favored the Penguins, who have won seven of the last eight and 10 of the last 12.
The Justin Rees File
- In his third season as an assistant coach at Valpo and his 18th in women’s college basketball.
- Will coach Saturday’s game in place of head coach Tracey Dorow, who is recovering from neck surgery.
- Also serves as Valpo’s recruiting coordinator.
- Has developed three All-Americans and 32 all-conference award winners.
- Specializes in instructing forwards and has helped 13 post players earn individual success.
- Served as the head coach at Missouri Valley College during the 2013-2014 campaign, an assistant at William Jewell in 2012-2013, the head coach at Lake Superior State in 2011-12, spent four years as an assistant at Maine and spent five seasons as an assistant under Dorow at Ferris State.
- Valpo is 0-10 when allowing opponents to score 70 points or more, but 5-1 when holding opponents to 69 points or fewer. In addition, the Crusaders are 1-9 when they score 69 points or fewer.
- Dani Franklin passed Agnieszka Kulaga (2005-2009) for 16th in Valpo history on Thursday night. She needs two points to pass Cheryl Wilbrandt (1989-93) for 15th and is 16 away from passing Shari Toelke (1990-1994) for 14th.
- Franklin, who enters Saturday tied with Cleveland State’s Ashanti Abshaw for the league lead in scoring at 18.8 points per game, is 23 points away from 1,000 for her career.
- Franklin is also 13 points away from passing her season total from all of last year (312).
- Grace Hales needs six more points to hit 100 for the season.
- Meredith Hamlet is 26 points away from 500 for her career.
- Thursday’s free-throw struggles marked a rarity for the Crusaders, who have thrived at the stripe during Tracey Dorow’s coaching tenure. The 21.4 percent performance at the free-throw line snapped a streak of 83 straight games above 50 percent at the line, dating back to Feb. 3, 2014 against Green Bay (4-of-9). It marked the lowest free-throw percentage in five years under Dorow, previously 25 percent (2-of-8) on Dec. 1, 2012 against Saint Louis.
- The Crusaders have shot 70 percent or better at the line in every year under Dorow and stand at 76 percent for the season despite Thursday’s performance.
- A bright spot on Thursday was offensive rebounding, as Valpo pulled down a season-high 19. The last time Valpo had that many offensive rebounds was Feb. 28, 2015, when they also racked up 19 caroms against Detroit Mercy.
- In its 45th season, Valpo is 517-617 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 Penguins
- Have qualified for postseason tournaments in back-to-back years for the first time in school history.
- Reached the semifinals of the WBI last year with wins over Stony Brook and UMBC.
- In 2015, advanced to the women’s NIT for the second time in program history.
- Picked to finish fourth in the Horizon League Preseason Poll.
- Season has been derailed by injuries with Nikki Arbanas, Alison Smolinski, Sarah Cash and Kelsea Newman all sidelined. Cash (14.1 ppg) and Arbanas (11.3 ppg) were Youngstown State’s top two scorers last season. Including the graduation loss of Janae Jackson, Youngstown State is without five of its top six scorers from a year ago.
- Cash was a member of the all-league preseason first team. Cash was a walk-on as a freshman before developing into a second-team all-league player last season. She became the first player in school history to lead the team in points, rebounds, steals and blocks in the same season.
- Rank ninth in the league in rebounding margin at minus-4.6.
- Lead the league in assists with 16.7 per game.
- Led in scoring by Mary Dunn, who ranks 11th in the league at 13.3 points per game. Dunn is also the team’s top rebounder with 4.5 boards per contest.
- Only common opponent with the Crusaders is Cleveland State. The Vikings beat the Crusaders 71-60 and the Penguins 71-68.
- Just 1-3 in league play but have a three-point loss to Cleveland State and an overtime loss to Northern Kentucky.
- First league win came on Thursday, 70-54 over UIC. Morgan Brunner led the way with 20 points and four Penguins finished in double figures.
Youngstown State Head Coach John Barnes
- In his fourth year in charge of the Penguins.
- Has led his team to 21 wins each of the last two seasons.
- Came to Youngstown State after spending the previous season as the associate head coach at Green Bay.
- Led Division-II Michigan Tech to 156 wins and five appearances in the NCAA Tournament during his tenure with the Huskies from 2003-10.
- After leaving Michigan Tech, served as an assistant coach at Wisconsin and Michigan.
- Coached against Tracey Dorow when both were in the GLIAC.
- He and his twin brother are the youngest of 12 children.
- Graduated from Michigan Tech in 1995 with a degree in scientific and technical communication.
- Fast Facts: Has started all 46 games since joining the program… Has scored eight points or more in each of her last six games.
- Last Time Out: Notched eight points and seven boards while swiping a career-high three steals on Thursday against Cleveland State.
- 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: Made a game-winning layup at the buzzer to beat Chicago State on Nov. 16… 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.
- 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: Finished with two points, four rebounds and five assists on Thursday against Cleveland State. Notched a basket and an assist in the first minute of the game alone.
- 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: After back-to-back games without an assist, helped on three Valpo made shots on Jan. 7 against Milwaukee.
- Last Time Out: Matched a career-high 10 points on Thursday against Cleveland State. Established a new personal watermark in made field goals with five.
- 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 to lead 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… Picked up her first career block on Jan. 5 against Green Bay.
- Awards and Honors: Named a team captain this season.
- Fast Fact: Had her first career multiple assist game on Jan. 5 against Green Bay. Previously had a single assist in seven games, but hadn’t dished out two in one contest before that one.
- Last Time Out: Did not play on Thursday at Cleveland State.
- 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: Recorded three blocks on Dec. 29 against Detroit Mercy, becoming the third player in Valpo history with 100 career blocks… Leads the league with 2.3 blocks per game, which ranks in the top 25 nationally.
- Last Time Out: Scored four points and corralled five caroms on Thursday at Cleveland State.
- 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: With her performance on Thursday against Cleveland State, passed Agnieszka Kulaga (2005-2009) to move into 16th on Valpo’s all-time scoring list… Leads the Horizon League in 3-point field goal percentage at 45.6 percent and is tied with Ashanti Abshaw for the league lead in scoring at 18.8 points per game… Need one more point to match Cheryl Wilbrandt (1989-93) for 15th on Valpo’s all-time scoring list... Needs 22 more points to become the 14th member of Valpo’s 1,000 point club… Has already passed her rebound total from last season with 120 this year
- Last Time Out: Made it back-to-back double-doubles with 24 points and 10 rebounds on Thursday at Cleveland State. She has four double-doubles this year after posting one (Nov. 20, 2014) in her first two seasons at Valpo.
- 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 14 of Valpo’s 16 games this season, including 11 straight.
- Last Time Out: Matched a career-high with three rebounds and had five points, her highest total in the last eight games, on Thursday at Cleveland State.
- 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: Had five points and four rebounds while equaling a career best with two blocks on Thursday at Cleveland State.
- 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: Played three minutes and did not score on Thursday at Cleveland State.
- 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… Has matched a season high with three rebounds three times in the last five games she’s played.
- Last Time Out: Played and did not score on Thursday at Cleveland State.
- 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… Enters Saturday needing six more points to reach 100 for her career.
- Last Time Out: Scored two points on 1-of-5 shooting on Thursday at Cleveland State.
- 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…. 11-for-11 at the free-throw line in the last four games.