Cleveland State (11-11, 6-5 Horizon)
at Valparaiso (6-16, 1-10 Horizon)
Game No. 23 – Saturday, Feb. 4, 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 attempt to make it back-to-back wins on Saturday afternoon. The Crusaders round out a home-heavy stretch by welcoming the Cleveland State Vikings, who currently sit in the middle of the pack in the Horizon League standings.
Last Time Out: Valpo snapped a 12-game losing streak, notched its first win since Dec. 10 and scratched into the Horizon League win column on Thursday night. The Crusaders dominated the second quarter 18-8 and held a double-figure advantage for the entire second half of an eventual 77-60 victory over Youngstown State. Amber Lindfors led Valpo with 22 points and 11 rebounds. The game marked the return of head coach Tracey Dorow, who had missed the previous six contests while recovering from neck surgery. Amber Lindfors and Georgi Donchetz both reached career highs in scoring.
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, audio can be heard via UStream with the listen live link available on ValpoAthletics.com. David Horak will handle play-by-play, with Alex Adrian and Renee’ Turpa 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: Cleveland State owns a 16-15 edge in the all-time series and has won seven of the last eight matchups. The Crusaders’ lone victory during that span came last year at the ARC 66-59. The Vikings took over the lead in the all-time series with a 71-60 win in the first meeting of the year between the two squads on Jan. 12 at the Wolstein Center. The Crusaders struggled at the free-throw line (3-of-14) and were outscored 23-3 at the stripe. Dani Franklin poured in 24 points while Khayla Livingston led the Vikings with 20 on 7-of-14 shooting. The Crusaders held Ashanti Abshaw to an inefficient 17 points on 5-of-15 shooting.
- Dani Franklin enters Saturday in 12th on Valpo’s all-time scoring list, needing two points to advance another spot. Franklin has 1,080 career points, while Lynda Kukla (1988-1992) is 11th all-time at 1,081. Kukla, now Lynda Pinnow, was inducted in to the Valpo Hall of Fame in 2010. She led the nation in 3-point shooting in 1991-1992. Pinnow went on to coach prep basketball after her Crusader career.
- If Franklin scores 17 points on Saturday, she’ll pass Tamra Braun (2003-2007) and move into Valpo’s Top 10 in career scoring. In addition, 18 points would put Franklin in Valpo’s single-season Top 10 as she enters Saturday with 403 on the year.
- Valpo’s 77 points on Thursday was its second-highest point total of the season, eclipsed only by the 102 against IU Kokomo on Nov. 21.
- The 17-point win over the Penguins was Valpo’s largest margin of victory in a Horizon League game since Jan. 23, 2014, an 85-44 win over Detroit Mercy.
- The Crusaders have hauled in an eye-popping 46 offensive rebounds over the last two games. They have double-figure offensive rebound totals in eight of their last nine.
- The Crusaders have had 19 or more offensive rebounds three times in a seven-game span. Before this stretch, they hadn’t had 19 or more offensive boards in any of their previous 49 games.
- Valpo shot 42.9 percent on Thursday, its highest mark in the last 12 games. The Crusaders are 5-1 when they shoot 41 percent or better, but 1-15 when they shoot below 41 percent.
- The Crusaders had double-figure steals for the third time this season and first since Dec. 3 against Eastern Illinois with 11 in Thursday’s win over Youngstown State.
- Amber Lindfors is coming off her fourth career double-double and first against a Division-I opponent. She has scored double figures in back-to-back games for the first time in her collegiate career.
- In its 45th season, Valpo is 518-622 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 Vikings
- Picked to finish tied for seventh in the Horizon League preseason poll.
- Feature reigning Horizon League Freshman of the Year Ashanti Abshaw, who is tied with Dani Franklin for second in the league in scoring at 18.3 points per game. Both are looking up at Mehryn Kraker, who is narrowly ahead at 18.4 points per game.
- Abshaw is also the team’s leading rebounder and ranks ninth in the league with 6.8 boards per contest.
- Khayla Livingston is seventh in the league in scoring at 14.8 points per game.
- Not a strong rebounding team, as they rank eighth in the league in rebounding margin (minus-3.9).
- Seventh in the league in both scoring offense (64.7 ppg) and scoring defense (68.9).
- Coming off a 63-59 win over UIC that snapped a three-game skid. Two of their four league wins have come against the Flames and one against the Crusaders. The other was a 12-point victory over Oakland on Jan. 20.
- Livingston had 24 points and Abshaw posted 22 in the win on Thursday.
- Shadae Bosley has 1.5 blocked shots per game, ranking second in the league behind Lindfors (2.1).
Cleveland State Head Coach Kate Peterson Abiad
- In her 14th season in charge of the program.
- Became the winningest coach in program history during the 2011-2012 season.
- Has been part of five NCAA Tournament teams and three WNIT teams in her 25 seasons as a collegiate coach.
- Served as an assistant for a combined 12 years at Indiana, Eastern Illinois and Wisconsin before becoming the sixth head coach in Cleveland State history on April 25, 2003.
- Was a four-year starter and the 1991 Team MVP at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
- Husband Phil Abiad has been an assistant coach for the Cleveland State volleyball team for the last 16 seasons.
- Fast Facts: Snapped a streak of 52 consecutive starts on Thursday against Youngstown State…Only a sophomore, reached the 500-point plateau for her collegiate career on Jan. 14 at Youngstown State.
- Last Time Out: DNP on Thursday vs. Youngstown State.
- 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 Jan. 31 at UIC.
- Last Time Out: Chipped in five points, seven rebounds and five assists in Thursday’s win over Youngstown State. The seven rebounds marked a season high.
- Season Highlight: Scored a season-high 12 points on Jan. 31 at UIC, her first time in double figures this season.
- 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 eight straight games for the first time in her career… After making four 3-pointers in her first 18 games of the season, has knocked down five triples over her last three games, including a career-high three on Thursday against Youngstown State.
- Last Time Out: Enjoyed the most productive game of her Valpo career with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting on Thursday against the Penguins.
- 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… Eclipsed her career high on Thursday against the Penguins.
- 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 44 blocked shots this season, seventh most in a single season in Valpo history. Passed Marlous Nieuwveen (2001-02) for seventh on Thursday night. Needs two more blocks to pass Tamra Braun’s 2005-06 season for sixth, three more to pass Deb Lahti’s 1983-1984 season for fifth… Leads the Horizon League with 2.1 blocks per game.
- Last Time Out: Turned in a double-double of 22 points and 11 rebounds on Thursday night to shatter her previous career high in scoring, which was 17 earlier this season against Grace.
- 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: Had already set a new single-season career high for made 3-pointers, free throws, points and rebounds with nine regular season games remaining… 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… 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… Enters Saturday tied for second in the league in scoring at 18.3 points per game and first in 3-point percentage at 44.7… Has scored 20 points or more in seven games.
- Last Time Out: Finished in double figures for the 20th time in 22 games on Thursday against Youngstown State, posting 17 points while grabbing eight rebounds.
- 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: Scored seven points on Thursday against Youngstown State, her highest total since Dec. 4 at Notre Dame. Played 18 minutes, her most since Dec. 31 at Oakland. Knocked down a 3-pointer, her first in the last six games.
- 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 Thursday against Youngstown State.
- 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: Enjoyed her first game with multiple made field goals since Dec. 31 on Thursday.
- Last Time Out: Contributed four points, five rebounds and two steals in Thursday’s win over Youngstown 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: 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…. 19-for-19 at the free-throw line over her last 11 games.
- Last Time Out: Scored five points on 1-of-3 shooting in 20 minutes on Thursday against Youngstown 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.
- 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: Scored two points on 1-of-6 shooting in 10 minutes on Thursday against Youngstown 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: Made her first appearance since Jan. 5 on Thursday against Youngstown State.
- Last Time Out: Played three minutes and did not attempt a shot against the Penguins on Thursday.
- 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.