Valparaiso (10-20, 4-14 Horizon)
vs. Green Bay (24-5, 15-3 Horizon)
Game No. 30 – Friday, March 3 – 1:30 p.m. CT
Joe Louis Arena (20,066) – Detroit, Mich.
Next Up in Crusader Basketball: The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team faces the ultimate challenge on Saturday morning at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. A date with the top-seeded Green Bay Phoenix, who just nailed down their 19th consecutive Horizon League regular season championship, awaits in a league tournament quarterfinal.
Last Time Out: The Crusaders kept their season alive by virtue of a 79-62 win over Youngstown State on Friday afternoon. The Crusaders shot 49.3 percent and outrebounded the Penguins 52-26 in the victory. Valpo received double-figure scoring outputs from four players – Dani Franklin (19), Meredith Hamlet (16), Amber Lindfors (12) and Caitlin Morrison (11). Franklin and Lindfors both reached double-doubles, while Morrison set a career watermark in scoring and matched a career best in rebounding with eight.
Following the Crusaders: Saturday’s game will be broadcast on ESPN3 with Andy Masur (play-by-play) and Kelley Deyo (color commentary). The hometown call can be heard on 95.1 FM Valparaiso, with David Horak (play-by-play) and Renee’ Turpa (color commentary). Links to live audio, video 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 Phoenix have dominated the all-time series between the two teams, winning 23 straight meetings dating back to February 2008. The Crusaders dropped the most recent meeting 56-35 on Jan. 17 at the Kress Center in Green Bay. The Crusaders limited the Phoenix to what was at the time their second-lowest scoring output of the season. At that point, the only team to hold the Phoenix below 56 was Wisconsin, which beat Green Bay 54-53. The first meeting of the year occurred in Valpo on Jan. 5, with Green Bay capturing a 75-36 win. Mehryn Kraker racked up 22 points in the first meeting, but the Crusaders found a way to hold her to seven in the second showdown. This marks the fourth time the Crusaders and Phoenix have met in the Horizon League Tournament, with the Phoenix prevailing in the first three meetings.
Tournament Update: The winner of the game between the Crusaders and Phoneix will advance to play the winner of fourth-seeded Oakland and fifth-seeded Milwaukee on Monday at noon CT. The Grizzlies and Panthers face off on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. CT. Saturday’s other women’s matchup pits 10th-seeded UIC against second-seeded Wright State. That game tips off at 1 p.m. CT.
- With a victory, the Crusaders can win two Horizon League Tournament games in the same season for the first time ever. The last time Valpo won multiple conference tournament games in the same year was the NCAA Tournament team in 2003-04.
- Green Bay has won at least one conference tournament game in every season since becoming a Division-I program in 1987.
- Valpo scored 31 points in the third quarter on Friday against Youngstown State, the most points ever in a single quarter for the Crusaders. Women’s basketball went to quarters before the 2015-16 season.
- The Crusaders posted 79 points in the win over the Penguins, their most against a Division-I opponent since last year’s 94-91 overtime win over Detroit Mercy in the first round of the Horizon League Tournament.
- Valpo defeated four teams in the second meeting of the year after dropping the first matchup. This is the first time since joining the Horizon League that the Crusaders have avenged earlier defeats to four teams in one season.
- Valpo had the biggest jump from the first half of league play to the second of any Horizon League squad. In first matchups against Horizon League opponents, Valpo went 0-9, before going 4-5 in second meetings. The plus-four win turnaround was the best in the Horizon League. No other team was better than plus-two. Green Bay had the worst comparison, as they had a three win drop-off from the first round to second round of league play.
- The Crusaders have just two seniors on their roster and are expected to retain 92.1 percent of their scoring for the 2017-2018 season, second in the Horizon League behind only Wright State (96.8 percent).
- The Crusaders have now captured Horizon League Tournament wins in five of the last six seasons.
- Valpo went 4-4 over its final eight games of the regular season, its best eight-game finish to a season of the Tracey Dorow era.
- Dani Franklin was named to the all-league second-team earlier this week, becoming the first Valpo player to make the Horizon League first or second team since Tabitha Gerardot in 2012-13.
- Amber Lindfors became the first Crusader since 2011-12 to make the all-defensive team. The Crusaders had an all-league honoree and an all-defensive team member in the same season for the first time since joining the Horizon League.
- Franklin enters Saturday third on Valpo’s all-time single-season scoring list at 545 points. Debbie Bolen holds the top two spots with 550 in 1992-93 and 638 in 1991-92.
- Franklin enters Saturday with 1,222 career points, seventh in program history. Stephanie Greer is in sixth at 1,224.
- If her average holds, Franklin’s 18.2 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 194 field goals this season, fourth in program history. She needs five on Saturday against Green Bay to match Sarrah Stricklett’s 1997-98 season for third.
- Franklin is currently shooting 85.8 percent at the free throw line. If she stays above 85.1, her mark will rank second in program history. Agnieszka Kulaga set Valpo’s free-throw percentage record in 2008-09 at 88.6.
- Hannah Schaub has 129 assists this season, eighth in program history. She’s one away from matching Katie Boone’s 2001-02 season for seventh.
- The Crusaders had twice as many wins in February (four) than they had in December and January combined (two).
- Lindfors has 70 blocked shots this season, third in program history for blocks in a single year. She had 71 last year, second in program history.
- In its 45th season, Valpo is 522-626 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 three second team all-league players (Agnieszka Kulaga, 2007-08; Tabitha Gerardot, 2012-13; Dani Franklin 2016-17).
- 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), two all-defensive team member (Laura Richards, 2011-12; Amber Lindfors, 2016-17), one Freshman of the Year (Franklin, 2014-15) and one Sixth Player of the Year (Franklin, 2014-15).
Inside the Phoenix
- The preseason favorites to win the Horizon League for the ninth straight year.
- Have won 19 consecutive regular season titles.
- Went 28-5 last year including a 16-2 conference mark while securing the program’s 17th straight 20-win season and 39th consecutive winning season, the second-longest active streak in the nation.
- Kraker, the 2016 Horizon League Tournament MVP and 2017 Horizon League Player of the Year, is tied with Ashanti Abshaw for third in the league in scoring at 18.0 ppg.
- The Phoenix also boast four other Horizon League postseason accolades – Jen Wellnitz was named to the all-defensive team, Jessica Lindstrom earned a place on the all-defensive team and second-team and Caitlyn Hibner notched a spot on the all-freshman team.
- The Phoenix lead the league in scoring defense (50.3 ppg), scoring margin (+19.0), field goal percentage (46.1), field goal percentage defense (35.2), 3-point field goal percentage (34.8), rebounding defense (28.8) and rebounding margin (+8.8,.
- Lost three of their top seven players with Tesha Buck, Kali Lukan and Mariah Monke all departing. Lukan graduated, while Monke had one season of eligibility remaining but chose to forgo her final season and begin her career in education. Buck elected to transfer to New Mexico to play for former Wright State head coach Mike Bradbury and is sitting out this season due to transfer rules.
- Every player on the roster is from the state of Wisconsin.
Green Bay Head Coach Kevin Borseth
- Received a contract extension through 2020-21 during the offseason.
- In his fifth season of his second stint at Green Bay. Previously guided the Phoenix from 1998-2007, leading Green Bay to the NCAA Tournament seven times in nine years.
- Spent five seasons as the head coach at Michigan between his two stints at Green Bay.
- Has been the Horizon League Coach of the Year in eight of his 13 seasons in charge of the Phoenix.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 65 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 2.4 blocks per game… Reached 300 points for her Valpo career on Feb. 18 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: First Valpo player in the last 23 years to score 500 points in a single season… 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 the tournament second in the league in scoring at 18.1 points per game and second in 3-point percentage at 42.6… 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.
- 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 five times in the last eight games after doing so once in her first 19 games of the season.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.