Youngstown State (7-14, 3-7 Horizon)
at Valparaiso (5-16, 0-10 Horizon)
Game No. 22 – Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017 – 7 p.m. CT
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) – Valparaiso, Ind.
Next Up in Crusader Basketball: The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team will take a crack at its first Horizon League win on Thursday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Youngstown State comes to town for what figures to be a competitive showdown between two teams that have been hit hard by injuries this season.
Last Time Out: The Crusaders are attempting to bounce back from a 74-60 loss to UIC on Saturday in Chicago. The Flames gained a 23-10 lead after one quarter and never looked back. UIC received career performances from Taylor Toney, who poured in 25 points, and freshman Tyra Carlsten-Handberg, who scored 18 on her way to the Horizon League Freshman of the Week Award. Toney had an incredible shooting night, knocking down 11 of her 12 field-goal attempts. Valpo received double-figure scoring outputs from Dani Franklin (20), Amber Lindfors (15) and Hannah Schaub (12).
Following the Crusaders: Thursday’s game and every game for the remainder of the season will be available on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app. In addition, audio can be heard via UStream with the listen live link available on ValpoAthletics.com. Jordan Morandini will handle play-by-play, with Jake Wulbert and Ben Ariano adding color commentary. 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: Youngstown State leads the all-time series between the two squads 25-15. The recent history between the two foes heavily favors the Penguins, who have won eight of the last nine and 11 of the last 13. The two teams split last year’s regular season showdowns, with both squads prevailing at home. The Crusaders succumbed to the Penguins 76-70 in the first meeting of the year on Jan. 14 at the Beeghly Center. The contest featured an outstanding performance from Alison Smolinski, who scored 17 of her team-high 19 after halftime to propel the Penguins.
- Dani Franklin enters Thursday in 13th on Valpo’s all-time scoring list, needing 15 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.
- The Crusaders’ 15 made free throws on Saturday against UIC marked their highest total since Dec. 29 against Detroit Mercy.
- Valpo racked up 27 offensive rebounds on Saturday against the Flames, its highest total in five seasons under Tracey Dorow.
- Amber Lindfors has 42 blocks this season, ranking eighth in a single season in program history. She needs three more to pass Marlous Nieuwveen (2001-02) for seventh and five to pass Tamra Braun’s 2005-06 season for sixth.
- The Crusaders are 5-3 when holding opponents to fewer than 70 points, but 0-13 when permitting 70 points or more.
- Valpo is 2-2 in its first game of February in the first four seasons under Dorow.
- In its 45th season, Valpo is 517-622 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 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, Sarah Cash and Kelsea Newman all sidelined for the season. Cash (14.1 ppg) and Arbanas (11.3 ppg) were Youngstown State’s top two scorers last season.
- 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.
- Freshman Mary Dunn, who leads the Penguins with 11.9 points per game, did not play on Saturday at Milwaukee due to an ankle injury suffered last week against Green Bay. In addition, starter Jenna Hirsch (7.5 ppg) was limited to 16 minutes against Milwaukee with a back issue.
- Last in the league in scoring defense (73.8 ppg), field goal percentage defense (43.3), rebounding (34.5 rpg) and blocked shots (1.9 bpg).
- Strength is 3-point shooting, as they lead the league with 8.2 made 3s per game.
- This game will feature three of the top 3-point shooters in the league. Franklin leads the league in 3-point field goal percentage at 43.6, while Youngstown State freshman Morgan Brunner ranks third at 39.6. The Penguins also have Smolinski, who ranks fifth at 38.9 percent and is tied for the league lead with 2.6 made 3-pointers per game.
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 made 52 consecutive starts…Only a sophomore, reached the 500-point plateau for her collegiate career on Jan. 14 at Youngstown State.
- Last Time Out: Scored five points while registering seven rebounds and six assists on Saturday at UIC.
- 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: After 14 straight games with no more than two made field goals, matched a career high by knocking down five shots on Saturday at UIC.
- Last Time Out: Accumulated 12 points on Saturday against the Flames, her first time in double figures this season. She finished three points shy of her career high, which came last season against both Detroit Mercy and Northern Colorado.
- 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 seven straight games for the first time in her career… After going seven straight games without a made 3, has knocked down triples in back-to-back showings.
- Last Time Out: Scored three points and grabbed three boards on Saturday at UIC.
- 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 eight regular season games remaining, has 42 blocked shots this season, eighth most in a single season in Valpo history. Needs two more to pass Marlous Nieuwveen (2001-02) for seventh and four to pass Tamra Braun’s 2005-06 season for sixth… Leads the Horizon and is tied for 40th in the nation with 2.1 blocks per game.
- Last Time Out: Scored 14 of her 15 points in the first half of Saturday’s game at UIC. Finished with an efficient 7-of-11 shooting performance to go along with eight rebounds. Marked her sixth time in double figures this 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: With eight regular season games remaining, has already set a new single-season career high for made 3-pointers (44), free throws (70), points (386) and rebounds (159)… 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 Jan. 22 against Wright State... The last time she fouled out before that game was Feb. 13 of last season at Detroit Mercy… Enters Thursday as the league leader in scoring (18.4 ppg) and 3-point percentage (43.6)… Is tied for 19th in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage… Scored the 1,000th point of her Valpo career on Jan. 17 at Green Bay, becoming the 14th player in program history to join the 1,000-point club.
- Last Time Out: Finished in double figures for the 19th time in 21 games with 20 points on Saturday at UIC, including a 10-of-10 performance at the charity stripe. She has now scored 20 points or more in seven different games, behind only Green Bay’s Mehryn Kraker and Ashanti Abshaw in the Horizon League. Both of those players have eight games with 20 points or more.
- 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 and scored two points on Saturday at UIC.
- 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 Jan. 22 against Wright State, her most recent appearance.
- Last Time Out: Did not play on Saturday at UIC.
- 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: Seeking her first game with multiple made field goals since Dec. 31 at Oakland.
- Last Time Out: Had three points on 1-of-5 shooting on Saturday at UIC.
- 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: 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 10 games.
- Last Time Out: Played 16 minutes and did not score on Saturday at UIC.
- 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.
- 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 10 minutes and did not score on Saturday at UIC.
- 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: Has made a 3-pointer in two of her last three appearances… Hasn’t played since Jan. 5 against Green Bay.
- Last Time Out: Did not play on Saturday at UIC.
- 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.