Valparaiso (5-15, 0-9 Horizon)
at UIC (3-17, 0-9 Horizon)
Game No. 21 – Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017 – 1 p.m. CT
UIC Pavilion (8,000) – Chicago, Ill.
Next Up in Crusader Basketball: The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team will return to the site of its most recent regular season Horizon League triumph in hopes to repeat last season’s success at the UIC Pavilion. After five consecutive days without a game, both teams enter the showdown hungry for their first league victory of the season.
Last Time Out: The Crusaders mounted a 16-6 lead after one quarter on Sunday night against Wright State, but the Raiders stormed back to outscore Valpo 17-4 in the second quarter of an eventual 65-52 victory. Haylee Thompson led Valpo in scoring for the first time since Dec. 7, 2015 (Cardinal Stritch) by scoring 15 points, one shy of a career high. Valpo made 20 turnovers to Wright State’s six, allowing the Raiders to outscore the Crusaders in points off turnovers 22-3. The Raiders prevailed despite shooting just 29.9 percent.
Following the Crusaders: Saturday’s game and every game for the remainder of the season will be available on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app. In addition, Saturday’s affair can be heard on 95.1 FM Valparaiso, WVUR with Jordan Morandini, Renee’ Turpa and David Horak. Links to live video, audio and stats 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: A series that dates all the way back to 1980 has been played evenly over the years, as UIC enters Saturday with a narrow 23-22 edge all-time against Valpo. The Crusaders have played the Flames more than any other team. The Flames had a five-game winning streak in head-to-head matchups extinguished in last year’s regular season finale, when Valpo went to the Windy City and came away with an 80-74 victory. Four Crusaders finished that game in double figures, including Franklin (16) and Thompson (14). The Flames beat the Crusaders at the ARC 54-50 last season.
The Justin Rees File
- In his third season as an assistant coach at Valpo and his 18th in women’s college basketball.
- Has coached the last five games 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.
- Dani Franklin enters Saturday in 13th on Valpo’s all-time scoring list, needing 35 points to advance another spot. Suzie Hammel (2000-2004) sits in 12th place with 1,077 points, while Lynda Kukla (1988-1992) is 11th all-time at 1,081.
- After Sunday’s game, the Crusaders have held Wright State to 65 points or fewer in back-to-back meetings after allowing them to score 65 points or more in each of the previous seven matchups. The only Horizon League team to hold the Raiders to a lower point total this year was Green Bay on Dec. 31.
- The six points allowed in the first quarter was the fewest Valpo allowed in a quarter since Dec. 3, 2016, when Eastern Illinois mustered up just five points in the first 10 minutes against the Crusaders. It was the fewest points allowed in a quarter in a league game since women’s basketball went to quarters before the 2015-16 season.
- Hannah Schaub enters Saturday’s game needing four assists to reach 200 for her career.
- Haylee Thompson is 14 points away from 400.
- The Crusaders secured 34 defensive rebounds on Sunday against Wright State, their highest total since the league opener on Dec. 29 against Detroit Mercy.
- Valpo had at least five made 3s in each of its first seven league games, but has knocked down just three triples in each of its last two contests.
- Sunday snapped a streak of five straight games with a double-digit offensive rebounding total.
- Except the Jan. 14 game against Youngstown State when Meredith Hamlet posted 29 points and 10 rebounds, Dani Franklin has led Valpo in scoring, rebounding or both in every game this season.
- In its 45th season, Valpo is 517-621 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 2012-13.
- 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 Flames
- Picked to finish 10th in the Horizon League preseason poll.
- Coming off a 58-37 loss to Northern Kentucky in which the Flames shot just 29.8 percent. It was UIC’s lowest shooting percentage and scoring output this season.
- The Flames have dropped 10 consecutive games entering Saturday. Their last win was on Dec. 19, a 70-63 victory over Howard.
- UIC has dropped 16 straight games against Horizon League opponents dating back to Feb. 11, 2016, a 65-51 win over Detroit Mercy.
- Lost Ruvanna Campbell, who led the league with 22 double-doubles, to graduation after last season.
- Lost 90 percent of their scoring and rebounding from last year’s team.
- Led in scoring by Brittany Byrd at 13.6 points per game and rebounding by Byrd and Gabryelle Johnson, both of whom pull down 5.8 board per contest.
- Terri Bender is back after missing most of last season with a torn ACL. She scored the 1000th point of her UIC career on Jan. 20 against Wright State.
- Bender is on the brink of becoming the fourth player in UIC history to reach 1,000 points, 400 assists, 400 rebounds and 250 steals. She needs three steals to complete that milestone.
- Melita Emanuel-Carr is the lone returning starter for UIC.
- Feature six newcomers including three JUCO transfers.
- Leads the league in offensive rebounding with 15.7 per game.
- Last in the league in 3-point field goals per game (4.3), 3-point field goal percentage (25.4), field goal percentage (37.2), scoring margin (minus-12.8) and free throw percentage (53.2).
UIC Head Coach Regina Miller
- Has 20 years of head coaching experience and is in her sixth season at UIC.
- Received a contract extension through 2017-18 on Jan. 20, 2015.
- Spent 10 years as the head coach at UNLV and six at Western Illinois.
- Served as an assistant at Old Dominion (1987-92) and Arizona (1986-87).
- Played at Old Dominion, helping lead the Lady Monarchs to the NCAA Final Four.
- Fast Facts: Has made 51 consecutive starts…Only a sophomore, reached the 500-point plateau for her collegiate career on Jan. 14 at Youngstown State… Looking to snap out of a 3-point slump after going 0-for-8 in the last two games.
- Last Time Out: Snapped a streak of nine straight games with seven points or more on Sunday against Wright State, when she was held to two points on 1-of-8 shooting. Hamlet did establish a career high with seven assists despite being held to her lowest scoring total in league play.
- Season Highlight: Posted 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: Seeking her first game with more than two made field goals since Nov. 30 against Evansville… Fouled out for the second time this year on Sunday against Wright State.
- Last Time Out: Snapped a streak of five straight games scoring on Sunday when she didn’t score in 30 minutes against Wright State. Did haul in five rebounds, her highest total since Nov. 30 against Evansville. Also dished out seven assists, her highest total since Dec. 11 at Indiana.
- Season Highlight: Handed 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 six straight games for the first time in her career.
- Last Time Out: Scored seven points and grabbed five caroms on Jan. 22 against Wright State. The rebound total was her highest since she grabbed a career-high eight at Detroit Mercy on Jan. 29.
- 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 blocks… With nine regular season games remaining, has 41 blocked shots this season, eighth most in a single season in Valpo history. Needs three more to pass Marlous Nieuwveen (2001-02) for seventh and five to pass Tamra Braun’s 2005-06 season for sixth… Leads the Horizon and ranks 26th in the nation with 2.67 blocks per game.
- Last Time Out: Scored two points and notched one block in 21 minutes on Sunday against Wright 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 nine regular season games remaining, has already set a new single-season career high for made 3-pointers (42), free throws (60), points (366) and rebounds (151)… Had as many double-doubles in a five-game stretch from Jan. 12-20 as she did in the first 73 games of her collegiate career… Fouled out for the first time this season on Sunday against Wright State... The last time she fouled out before Sunday was Feb. 13 of last season at Detroit Mercy… Enters Saturday as the league leader in scoring (18.3 ppg) and 3-point percentage (43.8)… Ranks sixth in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage.
- Last Time Out: Finished in double figures for the 18th time in 20 games with 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting despite being limited to a season-low 18 minutes due to foul trouble. Before Sunday, Franklin had played at least 24 minutes in every game this year and at least 28 minutes in each league game.
- 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 the Ohio 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 seven minutes, her lowest total in the last five games, on Sunday against Wright State. Scored two points, her first basket in the last four games, while grabbing one rebound.
- Career Highlight: Set a career high with eight points including two made 3s on Dec. 4, 2016 against Notre Dame.
- Fast Fact: Led Valpo in scoring for the first time this year on Sunday against Wright State.
- Last Time Out: Thompson had her second double-digit performance of the season when she posted 15 points on Sunday against the Raiders. She went 7-of-13 shooting and was one shy of career highs in both scoring and rebounding (6).
- Season Highlight: Matched a career high with 16 points against IU Kokomo Nov. 21. Went 6-of-8 from the floor in the game.
- Career Highlight: Poured in a career-best 16 points on Dec. 7, 2015, an effort that was needed for Valpo to earn a 63-62 win over Cardinal Stritch. Thompson scored 14 of her game-high 16 points after halftime.
- 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: Has fouled out in each of the last two games after not fouling out in the first 16 games she played for Valpo…. Attempting to snap out of a shooting slump, is 1-for-21 in her last four games.
- Last Time Out: Had three points, all at the free throw line, in 23 minutes against Wright State on Sunday.
- 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: Matched a career high with four points in Sunday’s loss to Wright State. Knocked down the first triple of her collegiate career, breaking an 0-for-12 slump in the process.
- 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…. 17-for-17 at the free-throw line over her last nine games.
- Last Time Out: Played 18 minutes against Wright State and turned in seven points, her highest scoring output in the last five games.
- 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.