Detroit Mercy (14-11, 10-4 Horizon)
at Valparaiso (7-19, 2-13 Horizon)
Game No. 27 – Saturday, Feb. 18, 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 try to get back on track on Saturday afternoon as it welcomes Detroit Mercy to the Athletics-Recreation Center. Both squads are attempting to bounce back after the Titans suffered a surprising 63-62 loss to UIC on Thursday night in Chicago.
Last Time Out: The Crusaders made 13 first-quarter turnovers on Thursday night in an eventual 98-60 loss to Oakland. The tone was established early when the Grizzlies led 29-13 after one quarter and had scored 20 of their 29 points off turnovers. Freshman Grace Hales was the only Crusader in double figures with 11 points, while fellow rookie Maya Meredith chipped in seven points and four assists, both career watermarks.
Following the Crusaders: Saturday’s game and every game for the remainder of the season can be seen on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app. In addition, a live radio broadcast will be available on 95.1 FM Valparaiso, WVUR. Links to live video, audio and stats will be 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: The two teams faced off on Dec. 29 for this season’s Horizon League opener, a game that saw Detroit Mercy outscore Valpo 30-6 in the third quarter and win the game 85-60. The Crusaders limited Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year Rosanna Reynolds to seven points and no made field goals, her first game without a made field goal since her freshman season. However, Brianne Cohen paced the Titans with 22 points, while Anja Marinkovic poured in 16 off the bench. The Crusaders were plagued by 19 turnovers. That win allowed the Titans to boost their edge in the all-time series to 16-10. Valpo knocked off Detroit Mercy 94-91 in last year’s Horizon League quarterfinals.
Motor City Madness Bracket Watch: With only three regular season games remaining, the picture for next month’s Horizon League Tournament in Detroit is becoming clearer. The Crusaders are now locked into a first-round game on Friday, March 3 as they will finish somewhere between seventh and 10th. The No. 7 seed will play the No. 10 seed, while the No. 8 and 9 seeds square off. The Crusaders are tied with UIC for ninth with one meeting between the two teams remaining. The Crusaders are two games in back of eighth-place Northern Kentucky and three behind seventh-place Youngstown State.
- Dani Franklin has 467 points this season, ranking sixth in program history. She needs four points to pass Debbie Bolen’s 1990-91 season for fifth and 15 to pass Tabitha Gerardot’s 2012-13 season for fourth.
- Franklin ranks 10th in program history in career scoring with 1,144 points.
- Amber Lindfors has 18 blocked shots over the last four games, recording four or more in each of those contests, her first such stretch in her collegiate career.
- Lindfors didn’t have 12 or more rebounds in any of her first 20 games against Division I teams this season, and has now done so in three consecutive contests.
- The Crusaders have grabbed 40 or more rebounds in seven straight games. Last season, Valpo didn’t have 40 or more rebounds in any of its final eight regular season games.
- The 25 turnovers on Thursday was Valpo’s highest total since Jan. 5 against Green Bay. The Crusaders had limited the turnovers to below 20 in five straight games before Thursday.
- Valpo had just three steals on Thursday, its lowest total in Horizon League play and second-lowest total overall this season. The Crusaders notched just one steal against Bradley on Dec. 19.
- Valpo assistant coach John Motherwell coached at Detroit Mercy during the 2013-14 season.
- In its 45th season, Valpo is 519-625 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 Titans
- Picked to finish second in the Horizon League behind only Green Bay this year after being projected seventh before the 2015-16 campaign.
- Led in scoring by Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year Rosanna Reynolds, who averages 16.6 points per game, sixth in the league.
- Top rebounder is Haleigh Ristovski, who pulls down 7.5 boards per game.
- Ristovski is one rebound shy of fifth in Detroit Mercy history with 797 for her career. She needs three rebounds to become the first player in school history with 800 points, 800 rebounds and 300 assists.
- Reynolds will shatter Detroit Mercy’s all-time record for games started if she starts on Saturday, which is expected to be her 123rd career start. Reynolds has started every game in her career.
- Returned all eight letter winners from last season and added five newcomers.
- Suffered an unlikely 63-62 loss at UIC on Thursday night. That was UIC’s second Horizon League win and first since defeating the Crusaders. The game was a thriller as Detroit Mercy trailed by as many as 11 in the fourth quarter and came back to take the lead with 20 seconds remaining. UIC’s Terri Bender was fouled with 3.2 seconds left and made a pair of free throws to put the Flames up 63-62. Brianne Cohen had a chance for the win in the final seconds, but her layup attempt was too strong and her follow-up try was off the mark as well as time expired.
- Snapped a four-game winning streak with Thursday’s defeat.
- Looking to avoid losing back-to-back games for the fifth time this season.
Detroit Mercy Head Coach Bernard Scott
- In his second season in charge of the program after leading the team to a 15-15 mark and fourth-place finish a year ago.
- Led the Titans to an 11-7 league record despite playing most of the season with just eight players.
- Led his team to its first 10-win league season since 2011-12. The team set school records in 3-pointers made and free-throw percentage.
- Was an assistant coach for Cleveland State for five years before taking the top spot at Detroit Mercy.
- Also spent two years at Youngstown State after stints as an assistant at Arizona, Dayton and Toledo.
- Earned his degree in physical education and recreation from Toledo in 2001.
- 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 seven points on 1-of-7 shooting while grabbing seven rebounds on Thursday against Oakland.
- 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 13 minutes and did not score on Thursday against Oakland.
- 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… Has 50 career assists this season after having four in her career before this year.
- Last Time Out: Did not play on Thursday against Oakland.
- 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 2.5 blocks per game… Needs five more points to have 300 for her career.
- Last Time Out: Pulled down 12 rebounds and notched five blocks on Thursday against Oakland.
- 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 Saturday fourth in the league in scoring at 18.0 points per game and first in 3-point percentage at 42.4… 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… Has gotten to the free-throw line more this year than she did in her first two collegiate seasons combined.
- Last Time Out: Snapped a string of 11 straight double-figuring scoring outputs on Thursday against Oakland by finishing with eight points.
- 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 three times in the last five games after doing so once in her first 19 games of the season.
- Last Time Out: Scored seven points on 3-of-5 shooting on Feb. 16 against Oakland.
- Career Highlight: Set a career high with eight points including two made 3s on Dec. 4, 2016 against Notre Dame.
- Season Highlight: Scored eight points at Wright State on Feb. 9, matching a career high.
- Fast Fact: Led Valpo in scoring for the first time this year on Jan. 22 against Wright State.
- Last Time Out: Returned to the court after missing five straight games with concussion-like symptoms on Thursday against Oakland. Scored six points in 10 minutes.
- 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 Feb. 12 at Northern Kentucky, matching a career high.
- Last Time Out: Scored five points in 19 minutes on Thursday against Oakland.
- 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: Led her team in scoring for the first time in her Valpo career on Thursday against Oakland. Was the only Crusader in double figures, posting 11 points in the defeat. Scored seven of the team’s 13 second-quarter points.
- 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 seven points on Thursday against Oakland, a new career high. Shattered her previous best of four, which she had reached on Jan. 14 against Youngstown State and Jan. 22 against Wright State. Also dished out a career-high four assists in 26 minutes, by far the most playing time she’s received in a game. Before Thursday, Meredith hadn’t played more than 15 minutes in a contest.
- 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 11 minutes on Thursday against Oakland, her second-highest total of the season behind 14 on Jan. 5 against Green Bay. Knocked down her first basket since the Jan. 5 game against the Phoenix.
- 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.