Valparaiso (8-19, 3-13 Horizon)
at Milwaukee (18-8, 10-5 Horizon)
Game No. 28 – Monday, Feb. 20, 2017 – 7 p.m. CT
Klotsche Center (3,500) – Milwaukee, Wis.
Next Up in Crusader Basketball: The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team has little time to bask in the glory of Saturday’s win, as the Crusaders face a quick turnaround with a Monday tilt in Milwaukee. Both squads roll into Monday’s matchup coming off upset triumphs, as Milwaukee took down Green Bay 72-60 on Friday night. The schedule does Valpo no favors as the Panthers haven’t played since Friday and stayed home during that stretch, while the Crusaders played on Saturday and had to travel to Milwaukee on Sunday.
Last Time Out: It was an unforgettable ending on Saturday afternoon at the Athletics-Recreation Center, as Valpo escaped with a 57-55 win over Detroit Mercy. The Titans tied the game with seven seconds remaining on a jumper by Rosanna Reynolds that made it 55-55. Thinking the Crusaders still led the game, the Titans fouled Georgi Donchetz in the back court with three seconds left, setting up made free throws that accounted for the difference in the game. Valpo knocked off Detroit Mercy after losing to the Titans by 25 points in this year’s Horizon League opener.
Following the Crusaders: Monday’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 with Jordan Morandini (play-by-play) and Brandon Vickrey (color commentary) handling the hometown call. 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 Panthers lead the all-time series 21-9 after an 85-74 win on Jan. 7 at the Athletics-Recreation Center. The Crusaders owned a 44-36 edge at halftime of that first meeting. The Panthers went off for 14 made 3-pointers including four from Alexis Lindstrom. Steph Kostowicz scored 29 points to pace the Panthers, while Dani Franklin led Valpo in scoring with 17. The Panthers have won four straight meetings between the two teams.
Tournament Scenarios: With only two regular season games remaining, the picture for the 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. If the Crusaders (3-13) win on Monday and UIC (2-14) loses at Green Bay, the Crusaders would be guaranteed to finish at least ninth regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s regular season finale against the Flames. If Valpo wins both its remaining games and Northern Kentucky loses out (games against Oakland, Milwaukee and Green Bay), the Crusaders would finish in at least eighth. If Valpo wins both its games and Youngstown State loses both (Oakland and Detroit Mercy), the Crusaders and Penguins would both finish with five wins and Valpo would likely take seventh on the tiebreaker based on the quality wins over Milwaukee and Detroit Mercy. Meanwhile, Wright State holds a two-game lead over Green Bay for the top spot. The Phoenix must beat the Raiders on Friday night and get help from either Detroit Mercy or Milwaukee in order to win their 19th straight regular season title.
- The Crusaders have three wins in February, their highest February total of the Tracey Dorow era.
- The 27-point turnaround from the first meeting with Detroit Mercy to the second one is significant, but it’s not close to Valpo’s biggest turnaround in recent years. In 2013-14, the Crusaders lost at Oakland by 33 in the first meeting then beat them by 14 later in the season, a 47-point swing.
- Valpo has defeated three teams in the second meeting of the year after dropping the first matchup. This is the first time since 2011-12 the Crusaders have achieved that feat. If Valpo beats either Milwaukee or UIC, it will the first time since joining the Horizon League that the Crusaders have avenged earlier defeats to four teams in one season.
- The Crusaders have topped Detroit Mercy at least once in all five of Tracey Dorow’s seasons in charge of the program. The Titans are the only Horizon League team that has lost to the Crusaders at least once in each of the last five years.
- Dani Franklin has 483 points this season, the fourth-most in a single year in program history. She needs 35 more points to move into a tie for third with Michelle Russell’s 1993-1994 season. She needs 17 points to become the first Valpo player in 23 years to score 500 points in a season.
- Franklin ranks 10th in program history in career scoring with 1,160 points. She’s 35 points away from Aimee Forsman (1988-92), who sits in ninth.
- If the season ended today, Franklin’s 17.9 points per game would be the fifth-highest single-season scoring average in program history and the highest in the last 23 years.
- Franklin has made 171 field goals this season, tied for sixth in a single-season in program history.
- Hannah Schaub is six assists away from cracking the Top 10 in program history for assists in a single season.
- The Crusaders have more wins in February (three) than they had in December and January combined (two).
- Valpo is 3-0 in games in which Amber Lindfors achieves a double-double this season.
- Lindfors has 64 blocked shots and needs three more to move into a tie for third in program history for blocked shots in a single season.
- Valpo assistant coach John Motherwell spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Milwaukee from 2005-10. The Panthers shared the Horizon League regular season title and won the Horizon League Championship in 2005-06, earning a spot in the NCAA Tournament. He was the position coach for two-time Horizon League Player of the Year Traci Edwards.
- Valpo sophomore Amber Lindfors’ sister Courtney started her collegiate career at Milwaukee, where she spent her first two seasons. She led the Horizon League in blocked shots with 1.75 per game as a sophomore for the Panthers.
- Motherwell recruited Courtney Lindfors to Milwaukee.
- In its 45th season, Valpo is 520-625 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 Panthers
- Picked to finish third in the Horizon League preseason poll after placing second last season.
- Won 19 games and notched a berth in the WNIT a year ago.
- Lead the league in free-throw percentage at 77.7 and 3-point field goal percentage at 35.2. Tied with Youngstown State for the worst field goal percentage defense in the league at 43.4 and last in 3-point field goal percentage defense at 35.6.
- Second in the Horizon League behind only Green Bay in rebounding margin at +7.2. No Horizon League school outside the state of Wisconsin is above +2.5.
- Led in scoring by junior Steph Kostowicz, who is sixth in the league in scoring at 15.6 points per game. She’s also the team’s top rebounder, tied with Franklin for sixth in the league with eight boards per contest.
- Kostowicz was named first-team all-Horizon League a year ago and preseason first-team all-league this year.
- Coming off a convincing 72-60 win over perennial Horizon League powerhouse Green Bay on Friday. All five Milwaukee starters finished in double figures. Kostowicz became the 21st player in program history to reach 1,000 career points in that game.
Milwaukee Head Coach Kyle Rechlicz
- In her fifth season at the helm.
- Earned the Horizon League Coach of the Year award last season, becoming the second coach in program history to do so.
- Guided her team to a second-place finish last year despite being picked to finish ninth.
- Served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Wisconsin during the 2011-12 season.
- Then Kyle Black, Rechlicz was a key member of a successful Wisconsin team from 1998-2002.
- Served as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at Dayton from 2007-11.
- Was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Cleveland State from 2003-2007.
- 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: Contributed nine points on 2-of-7 shooting on Saturday against Detroit Mercy.
- 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 12 minutes and did not score on Saturday against Detroit Mercy.
- 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 over 50 assists this season after having four in her career before this year.
- Last Time Out: Returned to the court on Saturday against Detroit Mercy after missing two games with concussion-like symptoms. Scored two points in the game, and they came at the most critical time as she hit two free throws with three seconds to go to give Valpo a 57-55 lead.
- 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 64 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… Reached 300 points for her Valpo career on Saturday against Detroit Mercy.
- Last Time Out: Achieved her third double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 boards on Saturday against Detroit Mercy.
- 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 Monday fourth in the league in scoring at 17.9 points per game and third in 3-point percentage at 41.6… 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: Led the way for the Crusaders with 16 points on 5-of-18 shooting in a win over Detroit Mercy on Saturday.
- 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 four times in the last six games after doing so once in her first 19 games of the season.
- Last Time Out: Matched a career high with eight points on 3-of-3 shooting on Saturday against Detroit Mercy.
- 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: Chipped in two points in 13 minutes on Saturday against Detroit Mercy.
- 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 23 minutes on Saturday against Detroit Mercy. Also pulled down five rebounds in the game.
- 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: Hauled in three rebounds and did not score in 15 minutes on Saturday against Detroit Mercy.
- Season Highlights: 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… Opened conference play in style with a career-high 13 points on Dec. 29 at Detroit Mercy, her second consecutive game in double figures…. Led her team in scoring for the first time in her Valpo career on Feb. 16 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.
- 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: Continued to perform well by registering five points and dishing out four assists on Saturday against Detroit Mercy. The four helpers matched a career high set in the previous game. She hadn’t reached five points in a game in any of her first 22 games, and has now done so in back-to-back contests.
- Season Highlight: Scored seven points on Feb. 16 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 that game, Meredith hadn’t played more than 15 minutes in a contest.
- 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 Saturday against Detroit Mercy.
- 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.