Northern Kentucky (5-13, 1-5 Horizon)
at Valparaiso (5-13, 0-7 Horizon)
Game No. 19 – Friday, Jan. 20, 2017 – 7 p.m. CT
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) – Valparaiso, Ind.
Next Up in Crusader Basketball: Homer Drew Court will be a welcome sight for the Valparaiso University women’s basketball team on Friday night. After starting the Horizon League season with five of their first seven games on the road, the Crusaders are more than ready for a return to the Athletics-Recreation Center. Valpo hopes a return to the win column will coincide with the homecoming as it welcomes in Northern Kentucky.
Last Time Out: Dani Franklin reached a significant career milestone on Tuesday night at the Kress Center in Green Bay, Wis. when she scored her 1000th career point in a 56-35 loss to Green Bay. The Crusaders held the Phoenix, who entered the game ranked No. 25 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, to 56 points, their second-lowest point total of the season and their lowest in league play. Green Bay’s Mehryn Kraker, who entered Tuesday as the league’s leading scorer, was held to just seven points, her first time below double figures this season.
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, the hometown call can be heard on 95.1 FM Valparaiso with Jordan Morandini (play-by-play) and Alex Adrian (color commentary) describing the action. 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: The history between the two teams is a brief one, as they met for the first time last season, Northern Kentucky’s first year in the Horizon League. The two squads hooked up three times during the 2015-16 campaign, including a 76-53 tournament quarterfinal loss that ended Valpo’s season on March 11 in Green Bay. The Norse also prevailed in their first trip to the ARC 68-50 on Feb. 6. Northern Kentucky opened the third quarter on a 16-0 run and outscored the Crusaders in the third 27-7. The first ever meeting with Northern Kentucky was one Valpo fans won’t soon forget, as the Crusaders squeaked out a 61-60 win at BB&T Arena behind 29 points from Meredith Hamlet.
The Justin Rees File
- In his third season as an assistant coach at Valpo and his 18th in women’s college basketball.
- Will coach Friday’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.
- Franklin banked in a jumper with 1:06 remaining on Tuesday in Green Bay to hit the 1,000 point mark. She became the 14th player in program history to get to 1,000 and the first since Tabitha Gerardot on Jan. 31, 2013. Gerardot reached 1,000 points in her 81st career game and 79th career start, while Franklin hit the mark in her 77th game and 21st
- Franklin needs 10 points on Friday to pass Carrie Forsman (1992-1996) for 13th in career scoring. Forsman, who finished her Crusader career with 1,015 points, is now the Director of Facilities for Northwestern Athletics.
- Tuesday was the second-best defensive performance in 41 all-time meetings with Green Bay. The Crusaders held the Phoenix to 56 points, bettered only by the game on March 1, 2014, when Valpo lost 53-49.
- If Valpo wins on Friday, Northern Kentucky would be the opponent for Valpo’s first Horizon League win for the second straight year.
- While playing on the road has been a struggle (1-9), Valpo is 4-4 in home games this season.
- In its 45th season, Valpo is 517-619 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 Norse
- Picked to finish sixth of 10 in the Horizon League preseason poll.
- Came close to upstaging Green Bay in last year’s Horizon League semifinal, falling 80-78 in overtime.
- In their first season eligible for the NCAA Tournament after completing the transition process from Division-II to Division-I.
- Coming off a 57-49 loss to Detroit Mercy on Monday night. Redshirt freshman guard Taryn Taugher returned to the starting lineup and led the way with a career-high 14 points. Northern Kentucky committed 22 turnovers to Detroit Mercy’s nine.
- Worst scoring offense in the league at just 55.1 points per game. However, Valpo has the worst scoring defense in the league, allowing 74.3 points per game.
- Rank 10th in the Horizon in both field goal percentage (37.1) and field goal percentage defense (43.8) along with assists (11 per game), defensive rebounding (23.1 per game) and steals (5.5 per game).
- This is a matchup of the two most turnover-prone teams in the league. Northern Kentucky’s turnover margin is minus-4.2, while Valpo’s stands at minus-5.5.
- Led in scoring by Kasey Uetrecht, who scores 11.1 points per game to rank 18th in the league.
- Led in rebounding by Rebecca Lyttle (7.4 rpg), who is tied with Franklin for sixth in the Horizon.
- Northern Kentucky senior Sarah Kinch is from Medina, Ohio, the same hometown as Valpo freshman Marlee Profitt.
- Lyttle is from Miramar, Fla., the same hometown as Valpo football player Joey Diaz-Martinez.
- The game will mark a return to the Hoosier State for Laura Thomas, a native of New Castle, Ind.
Northern Kentucky Head Coach Camryn Whitaker
- In her first season in charge of the Norse.
- Replaced Dawn Plitzuweit, who left to take over at South Dakota.
- Grew up 45 minutes from Northern Kentucky’s campus.
- Leads a coaching staff that is the youngest in the Horizon League and the fifth-youngest in NCAA Division-I with an average age of 29.5.
- Has been part of four straight coaching staffs that have made NCAA Tournament appearances, including trips to the Elite Eight and Sweet Sixteen the last two seasons.
- Spent last season at Kentucky and the previous three years at Dayton. This is her first head coaching position.
- Played five years at Western Kentucky before starting her coaching career in 2006 at Austin Peay. Also spent two seasons at Missouri State.
- Fast Facts: Has started all 48 games since joining the program… Has scored seven points or more in each of her last eight games.... Only a sophomore, reached the 500-point plateau for her collegiate career on Jan. 14 at Youngstown State… Has multiple steals in five straight games and has swiped a career-high three steals in each of the last three games.
- Last Time Out: Finished with seven points on 2-of-10 shooting on Jan. 17 at Green Bay.
- Season Highlight: Turned in her first career double-double on Jan. 14 at Youngstown State, matching a career high with 29 points while shattering personal bests in rebounds (10) and made field goals (12).
- 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: After an 0-for-12 3-point shooting slump spanning nine games, has busted out with triples in each of her last two contests.
- Last Time Out: Scored three points on 1-of-8 shooting on Tuesday at 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: Has three rebounds or more in four straight games for the first time in her collegiate career… Six of her seven rebounds in her last two games have come on the offensive boards.
- Last Time Out: DNP (illness) on Tuesday at Green Bay.
- Season Highlights: Reached double figures for the first time in her Valpo career on Dec. 4 at No. 1 Notre Dame by scoring 10 points… Matched a career-high 10 points on Jan. 12 against Cleveland State. Established a new personal watermark in made field goals with five.
- 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 Facts: Recorded three blocks on Dec. 29 against Detroit Mercy, becoming the third player in Valpo history with 100 career block… Leads the league in blocked shots per game at 2.24, ranking 30th
- Last Time Out: Had three points and two rebounds on Tuesday at Green Bay. In part due to early foul trouble, played just 19 minutes, her second-lowest total of the season.
- 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 10 points on Friday to pass Carrie Forsman (1992-1996) for 13th in career scoring… Leads the league and ranks 18th in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage at 44.8… Third in the league in scoring with 18.2 points per game… Joins Milwaukee’s Steph Kostowicz as the only players in the top six in the Horizon League in both scoring and rebounding…. Did not attempt a free throw on Thursday at Green Bay, just her second time this season without a trip to the line… Will set a career-high for 3-pointers in a single season with her next make from long range. Needs 13 more rebounds for single-season career watermark.
- Last Time Out: Finished in double figures for the 16th time in 18 games on Tuesday at Green Bay, scoring 15 points and collecting six rebounds in 35 minutes. Her second-to-last basket of the game allowed her to reach the 1,000-point milestone for her Valpo career.
- 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: Entered last week’s road trip with eight total rebounds in 13 games this season and pulled down seven boards over the two games in Ohio.
- Last Time Out: Played nine minutes but did not score on Tuesday against 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 Jan. 5 against Green Bay.
- Last Time Out: Did not scratch the score sheet in 25 minutes but did grab three steals, marking the second time in her career she’s swiped three steals or more, with both coming this season 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: Started for the first time since Dec. 31 on Tuesday at Green Bay.
- Last Time Out: Had three points on 1-of-8 shooting with five of her shot attempts coming from beyond the arc on Tuesday at 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: Notched her first-career made basket against a Division-I opponent on Jan. 14 at Youngstown State. Did so in style, finishing an important layup despite being fouled.
- Last Time Out: Played five minutes on Tuesday and Green Bay 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… Has passed 100 points for her freshman season…. 15-for-15 at the free-throw line over her last seven games.
- Last Time Out: Had four points and two rebounds on Tuesday at Green Bay with all four points coming at the charity stripe.
- 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.