Oakland (13-11, 7-6 Horizon)
at Valparaiso (7-18, 2-12 Horizon)
Game No. 26 – Thursday, Feb. 16, 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 try to make it back-to-back wins for the first time since Nov. 25 and consecutive Horizon League victories for the first time since Jan. 23, 2016 as they welcome Oakland to the Athletics-Recreation Center on Thursday evening. Valpo’s defense has been its strength in recent games, but it faces a tall test in the league’s No. 1 scoring offense on Thursday.
Last Time Out: The Crusaders allowed the fourth-fewest points in program history in Saturday’s 41-32 victory over Northern Kentucky. Amber Lindfors filled the stat sheet with seven points, four blocks and a career-high 17 rebounds. The Crusaders shot just 25 percent, but they held the Norse to 21.3 percent shooting. Saturday marked the fewest points allowed against a Division I opponent since 2010. In the process, Valpo also snapped a 10-game road losing streak.
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 on 95.1 FM Valparaiso, WVUR. David Horak will have the assignment of providing play-by-play, with Liam Bodlak 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: Valpo and Oakland lock horns on Thursday evening with the Crusaders trailing the all-time series 18-11. The Crusaders defeated the Grizzlies last season at the Athletics-Recreation Center, picking up an 81-66 victory. The first time the two teams met resulted in a 104-63 Oakland victory, Valpo’s second-most lopsided loss of the year behind only Notre Dame. The Grizzlies outscored the Crusaders on points off turnovers 42-9. That game was the most points allowed by Valpo in a conference game since March 5, 1993, a 117-106 loss to Youngstown State during Valpo’s first season in the Mid-Continent Conference.
- Dani Franklin has 459 points this season, ranking sixth in program history. She needs 12 points to pass Debbie Bolen’s 1990-91 season for fifth and 23 to pass Tabitha Gerardot’s 2012-13 season for fourth.
- Franklin ranks 10th in program history in career scoring with 1,136 points.
- Amber Lindfors has 13 blocked shots over the last three games, recording four or more in each of those contests, her first such stretch in her collegiate career.
- The Crusaders have grabbed 40 or more rebounds in six straight games. Last season, Valpo didn’t have 40 or more rebounds in any of its final eight regular season games.
- Valpo has held the opposing team below its season scoring average in three of the last four games.
- The Crusaders have had good success in limiting the opposing team’s top scorer well below her average this season.
- Kasey Uetrecht, Northern Kentucky: 11.7 ppg, six points on Feb. 11 vs. Valpo; five points on Jan. 20 at Valpo.
- Ashanti Abshaw, Cleveland State: 18.4 ppg, 11 points at Valpo on Feb. 4.
- Mehryn Kraker, Green Bay: 18.8 ppg, seven points vs. Valpo on Jan. 17.
- Rosanna Reynolds, Detroit Mercy: 16.4 ppg, seven points vs. Valpo on Dec. 29.
- Saturday’s win over Northern Kentucky marked the first time Valpo has gotten a regular-season road win against the same Horizon League opponent back-to-back years since winning at Cleveland State in each of Valpo’s first two seasons in the Horizon, 2007-08 and 2008-09.
- Saturday was the fewest points scored in a win in program history. Previously a 47-43 win over George Williams on Jan. 29, 1979 was the fewest points scored in a victory.
- In its 45th season, Valpo is 519-624 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 Grizzlies
- Picked to finish fifth in the Horizon League preseason poll.
- Every starter is a junior or senior, while sophomore star Taylor Jones comes off the bench.
- Lost Olivia Nash and Elena Popkey to graduation, but welcomed DePaul transfer Shakeya Graves and St. Bonaventure transfer Hannah Little.
- Feature the top offense in the league at 75.1 points per game. Also lead the Horizon in rebounding at 40.8 per game and steals with 11.20 per game.
- Led in scoring by Taylor Jones, who posts 13.8 points per game off the bench.
- Top rebounder is Hannah Little, who leads the league with 12 boards per contest.
- Upset No. 21/24 Green Bay 74-71 on Feb. 2 in Rochester.
- Hold a 1-5 record against the top three teams in the league, but a 6-1 mark against everyone else.
- Coming off a 71-61 loss to Detroit Mercy on Saturday. Jones was held to two points on 1-of-9 shooting in the defeat.
Oakland Head Coach Jeff Tungate
- In his fourth season in charge of the Oakland program.
- Previously served as the associate head coach of the Oakland men’s team (2007-13) and a men’s basketball assistant at Oakland (2004-05).
- Was the men’s associate head coach at Fort Wayne from 2005-2007.
- First head coaching job was with the men’s program at Lincoln Memorial from 1999-2004.
- Started his coaching career as a women’s assistant at Oakland Community College during the 1998-99 season.
- Received the Oakland Athletics Coach of the Year award in 2014.
- 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: Scored five points on 1-of-9 shooting on Saturday against Northern Kentucky.
- 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: Scored seven points, her highest total in the last four games, on Saturday against Northern Kentucky. Scored 15 points in the two meetings with Northern Kentucky.
- 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: 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: Did not play on Saturday at Northern Kentucky.
- 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 57 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 … Leads the Horizon League with 2.38 blocks per game, which ranks 26th in the nation.
- Last Time Out: Pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds while also scoring seven points and blocking four shots on Saturday against Northern Kentucky.
- 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 games left in the regular season… 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 Thursday tied for second in the league in scoring at 18.4 points per game and first in 3-point percentage at 43.1, ranking 19th in the nation… 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: Narrowly missed her third straight double-double, finishing with 11 points and nine rebounds on Saturday against Northern Kentucky.
- 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 three games for the first time in her collegiate career from Feb. 2-9.
- Last Time Out: Scored three points on Saturday at Northern Kentucky.
- 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: Had three offensive rebounds on Saturday at Northern Kentucky, matching a career high.
- Last Time Out: Pulled down five total boards and did not score on Saturday against Northern Kentucky.
- 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…. Snapped a streak of 21 straight made free throws at Northern Kentucky on Saturday, her first miss at the stripe since Dec. 29.
- Last Time Out: Bounced back after being held scoreless on Thursday at Wright State with eight points on Saturday at Northern Kentucky.
- 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 nine minutes and did not score on Saturday against Northern Kentucky.
- 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: Played two minutes and did not score on Saturday at Northern Kentucky.
- 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.