Valparaiso (6-18, 1-12 Horizon)
at Northern Kentucky (8-16, 4-8 Horizon)
Game No. 25 – Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017 – Noon CT
BB&T Arena (9,400) – Highland Heights, Ky.
Next Up in Crusader Basketball: The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team will continue this week’s swing trip on Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders clash with the Northern Kentucky Norse. Valpo will attempt to bounce back from Thursday’s loss to first-place Wright State and avenge a 15-point defeat from the first meeting of the year between the two teams.
Last Time Out: The Crusaders fell 63-48 despite holding the Raiders below 30 percent shooting for the second straight meeting. Wright State racked up 23 offensive rebounds and forced 17 turnovers, outscoring the Crusaders on points off turnovers 17-2. Two Crusaders pulled down personal bests in rebounding, as Dani Franklin matched a career high with 16 boards, while Amber Lindfors set a season high and matched a career high with 12 caroms, five of which came on the offensive glass. Franklin also poured in 19 despite being held to two first-half points, notching her seventh double-double of the year and her second straight.
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 on 95.1 FM Valparaiso, WVUR with Brandon Vickrey (play-by-play) and Ben Ariano (color commentary) providing the hometown call. Links to live video, audio and stats can be found 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: Valpo is set to play its second game at BB&T Arena. The last time the Crusaders visited Highland Heights was Northern Kentucky’s first-ever Horizon League game and was the first all-time meeting between the two teams when they squared off on Dec. 30, 2015. In what turned out to be one of Valpo’s most memorable games of the season, the Crusaders escaped with a 61-60 win as a buzzer-beating layup attempt by Rebecca Lyttle was missed. Meredith Hamlet went off for 29 points on 10-of-11 shooting in that game. Northern Kentucky has captured three straight meetings since then, including a first-round Horizon League Tournament triumph a year ago. The two teams faced off at the ARC on Jan. 20 of this season and the Norse came out on top 70-55. Mikayla Terry led Northern Kentucky with 21 points, but it was Dani Franklin who led all scorers with 29. The Crusaders went just 3-of-15 from beyond the arc with Franklin accounting for all three made triples.
- Dani Franklin now has 448 points this season, the eighth-highest single-season total in Valpo history. She passed Lyn Swanson (1985-86) and Agnieszka Kulaga (2007-08) to move from 10th to eighth with her performance on Thursday.
- Franklin needs nine points to move into seventh, 11 points to move into sixth and 22 to move into fifth for total points in a single season.
- Amber Lindfors turned away four shots on Thursday and now has 53 blocks this season. She is the first player in Valpo history with two 50-block seasons. Her 2016-2017 season currently ranks fourth in Valpo history, while her 71 blocks a year ago was good enough for second all-time.
- With Meredith Hamlet coming off the bench on Thursday night, Lindfors is now the only player on Valpo’s roster who has started every game she’s played in a Valpo uniform.
- The Crusaders have strung together five straight games with over 40 rebounds for the first time this season. The last time they had four straight games with over 40 boards was the final five games of the 2014-15 season.
- This is a battle of the two most turnover-prone teams in the league with Valpo at minus-5 and Northern Kentucky at minus-4.7.
- In its 45th season, Valpo is 518-624 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 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.
- Led in scoring by Kasey Uetrecht, who scores 12.0 points per game. Team’s top rebounder is Rebecca Lyttle at 8.2 boards per game, fifth in the league.
- Rank third in the league in scoring defense, behind only Green Bay and Wright State. Surrender just 61 points per game.
- Have the worst offense in the league, mustering up only 56.4 points per game.
- Lead the league in 3-point field goal percentage defense with opponents shooting 26.5 percent from long range.
- Coming off a 66-49 win over UIC on Saturday. Northern Kentucky was led by Uetrecht’s 20 points, her fourth 20-point outpouring this season. The Norse shot 48.8 percent overall and 40 percent from beyond the arc.
- 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.
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: Snapped a streak of 52 consecutive starts on Feb. 2 against Youngstown State…Only a sophomore, reached the 500-point plateau for her collegiate career on Jan. 14 at Youngstown State.
- Last Time Out: Came off the bench for the first time in her collegiate career, scoring nine points on 4-of-9 shooting on Thursday at Wright State. The game marked her return after missing back-to-back contests with a concussion. The nine points was her highest total since going off for 29 on Jan. 14.
- 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: Played 33 minutes and did not score on Saturday at Wright State.
- 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: Snapped a streak of nine straight games with at least three rebounds on Thursday at Wright State... After making four 3-pointers in her first 18 games of the season, knocked down five triples in a three-game span from Jan. 22 to Feb. 2.
- Last Time Out: Played 13 minutes and did not score on Thursday at Wright State. It was just the third time this season Donchetz has been held scoreless.
- Career Highlight: Enjoyed the most productive game of her Valpo career with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting on Feb. 2 against Youngstown State. Also grabbed four rebounds and handed out four assists. Had a career-high three 3-pointers in the victory.
- 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… Has 53 blocked shots this season, fourth most in a single season in Valpo history. Became the first player in Valpo history with two 50-block seasons on Feb. 9 against Wright State… Has nine total blocks in the last two games, the second time this year and first since Dec. 19 that she’s notched four or more in back-to-back games… Leads the Horizon League with 2.3 blocks per game.
- Last Time Out: Blocked four shots, scored six points and matched a career-high with 12 rebounds on Thursday at Wright State. Five of her 12 boards came on the offensive glass. Has double-figure rebounds in two of her last three games.
- Career Highlight: Turned in a double-double of 22 points and 11 rebounds on Feb. 2 against Youngstown to shatter her previous career high in scoring, which was 17 earlier this season against Grace. Also established a new personal best in made field goals by going 9-of-15 and equaled a season-high in rebounds.
- Season 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 second in the league in scoring at 18.7 points per game and first in 3-point percentage at 43.8… Has scored 20 points or more in eight games… Hadn’t swiped four steals in any of the first 80 games of her Valpo career, then notched four steals in back-to-back contests on Feb. 2 against Youngstown State and Feb. 4 against Cleveland State.
- Last Time Out: Has back-to-back double-doubles for the third time this season after notching her seventh double-double with 19 points and 16 rebounds on Feb. 9 at Wright State. Matched a career high with 16 rebounds, equaling her total from Nov. 30, 2016 against Evansville.
- 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.
- 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.
- Fast Fact: Has scored seven points or more in two of her last three games for the first time in her collegiate career.
- Last Time Out: Dished out a career-high three assists while matching career highs in scoring (eight) and made 3s (two) on Thursday at Wright State. Accounted for two of her team’s four made 3s in the game.
- Career Highlight: Set a career high with eight points including two made 3s on Dec. 4, 2016 against Notre Dame.
- Season Highlight: Scored seven points on Feb. 2 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 a six-game span.
- 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: Hasn’t played since Jan. 22 against Wright State. .
- Season Highlight: Matched a career high with 16 points against IU Kokomo on 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 grabbed five or more rebounds in three straight games.
- Last Time Out: Scored six points on 3-of-11 shooting on Saturday at Wright 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…. 21-for-21 at the free-throw line over her last 12 games.
- Last Time Out: Played 19 minutes and did not score, going 0-of-5 from the field, on Thursday at Wright 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… Has scored in three of the last four games.
- Last Time Out: Played two minutes and did not attempt a shot on Thursday at Wright 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 Feb. 2 against Youngstown State.
- Last Time Out: Did not play on Thursday at Wright 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.