Grand Canyon (1-4, 0-0 WAC)
at Valparaiso (1-1, 0-0 MVC)
Game No. 3 – Saturday, Nov. 25 – 2 p.m. CT
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) – Valparaiso, Ind.
Next Up in Crusader Basketball: The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team will return home for a holiday-weekend showdown with Grand Canyon on Saturday afternoon at the Athletics-Recreation Center. The Crusaders will look to attain their fourth straight home win dating back to last season.
Last Time Out: Three Crusaders reached career highs in various statistical categories and Meredith Hamlet scored a team-high 14 points, but playing without three key players down the stretch – one of whom left with an injury and two others who fouled out – proved to be too much to overcome in a 77-68 loss to Miami (Ohio). Grace Hales hit a career-high four 3-pointers, Caitlin Morrison collected a career-high 10 rebounds and Marlee Profitt enjoyed career bests in points (nine) and rebounds (six). Freshman point guard Nicole Koneiczny dished out six assists to pace the team in that area.
Following the Crusaders: Saturday’s game will air on The Valley on ESPN3 with Dave Huseman (play-by-play) and Renee’ Turpa (color commentary) describing the action. The contest can also be heard on 95.1 FM WVUR with Ben Ariano (play-by-play) and Payton Ball (color commentary) providing the radio call. Links to live video, audio and stats are available on ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach Tracey Dorow: Tracey Dorow was named head coach of the Valparaiso women's basketball program in April of 2012. The 2017-18 season is her sixth in charge of Valpo's program. Dorow has led the Crusaders to a Horizon League tournament victory in four of her first five seasons at the helm. During the 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, Valpo boasted three all-freshman team members, a Freshman of the Year, a Sixth Player of the Year, an all-league second-team honoree and an all-defensive team member. The Crusaders have enjoyed a significant uptick in all-league recognition under Dorow's watch, as they had three total league honors in the five seasons before that three-year span. Dorow arrived at Valpo after spending 14 seasons as the head coach at Ferris State University, guiding the Bulldogs to four NCAA Division II Tournament appearances, two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division championships, and four 20-win seasons.
Series Notes: This marks the first ever meeting between the two teams. Grand Canyon is the first of four first-time opponents on Valpo’s schedule this season, joining Longwood, Southern Illinois and Missouri State.
Valpo in The Valley: Valparaiso University is competing in its first season as a member institution in the Missouri Valley Conference after a 10-year run in the Horizon League. The Valley is celebrating 25 years of women’s athletics in the conference over the course of the 2017-18 academic and athletic year. Valpo head coach Tracey Dorow played at Illinois State during the first season of women’s athletics in The Valley and is back for Year 25 and her first season as a head coach in the conference.
- A victory on Saturday would give the Crusaders a four-game home winning streak dating back to last season. They beat Detroit Mercy (57-55) and UIC (72-63) in the final two ARC games last year before topping IU Kokomo (81-47) in this year’s home opener. That would mark Valpo’s first four-game home winning streak since 2007-08.
- Valpo can start 2-0 at home for the second straight year with a victory.
- The Crusaders made eight of their 12 3-point attempts on Tuesday at Miami (Ohio), shooting 66.7 percent from beyond the arc. That marked the sixth-best 3-point percentage in a single game (minimum 10 attempts) in program history. It was Valpo’s highest 3-point percentage in a single game since shooting a program-record 75 percent (9-of-12) from 3-point range on Dec. 19, 2012.
- After scoring 12 points or more in two of her 31 games a year ago, sophomore Grace Hales has done so in each of her first two games this season. She has enjoyed back-to-back double figure scoring outputs for the second time in her career after doing so against Bradley (10) and Detroit Mercy (13) last season.
- Hamlet posted her 25th career double-figure scoring output with a team-high 14, the 12th time in her career she’s led the Crusaders in scoring.
- Franklin was held out of double figures on Tuesday against Miami (Ohio), mostly due to foul trouble as she fouled out early in the fourth quarter. Last season she reached double figures in scoring in 28 of Valpo’s 31 games.
- Morrison hauled in five of her career-high 10 rebounds in Tuesday’s first quarter. She shattered her previous career high of eight, which she reached twice last season.
Milestone/Record Book Watch
- Dani Franklin enters this game with 1,271 career points, sixth in program history. She needs three points to pass Amber Schober (1998-2002) and become the first Crusader to crack the top five on Valpo’s all-time scoring list in the last decade.
- Franklin holds a career scoring average of 13.8 points per game, which ranks second in program history. The program record is 18.4 points per game, set by Debbie Bolen (1989-93).
- Franklin ranks sixth in Valpo history with 474 career made field goals. She needs 18 more field goals to crack the top five.
- Franklin ranks ninth in program history in 3-point field goals made with 141, needing five more to pass Megan Newcomer (1996-2000) for eighth and six to pass Betsy Adams (2008-2012) for seventh.
- Franklin owns a career 3-point field goal percentage of .395, which currently sits third all-time.
- Franklin is 17th in program history in rebounding with 507. She’s 16 boards away from passing Gina Lange (2009-13) for 16th.
Inside the Antelopes
- Return just six players from last year’s roster.
- Under the direction of first-year head coach Nicole Powell, who spent 11 years in the WNBA and has served as an assistant at Gonzaga and Oregon.
- Picked to finish fifth in the Western Athletic Conference.
- Senior Brie Mobley earned Preseason First Team All-WAC.
- Went 15-12 and 7-7 in conference play last season.
- Both the Crusaders and Lopes played a team called the RedHawks in their last game.
- Hung with No. 11 Duke, falling 74-61 on Nov. 12.
- Coming off their only victory of the season, 67-53 on Wednesday over NAIA foe Benedictine.
- Mobley leads the team in scoring at 21.7 points per game while also pacing the squad in rebounds at 8.0 per game. August Touchard is also averaging double figures with 11.4 ppg.
A Look Back at 2016-17
- 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.
- The Crusaders have now captured 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, becoming the first Valpo player to make the Horizon League first or second team since Tabitha Gerardot in 2012-13.
- The Crusaders had an all-league representative and an all-defensive team member in the same season for the first time since joining the Horizon League.
- Franklin finished the season with 559 points, which ranks second in program history for points in a single year. Debbie Bolen’s 1991-92 season (638) is the program record.
- Franklin finished the season at 18.0 points per game, ranking fifth in program history for single-season scoring average. She also shot 85.8 percent at the free-throw line, the second-best single-season free throw percentage in program history.
- Hannah Schaub completed the season with 134 assists, ranking seventh in program history for assists in a single season.
- The Crusaders had twice as many wins in February (four) than they had in December and January combined (two).
Inside the 2016-17 Roster
- Valpo has nine players on the roster listed at 6-foot or taller. This is the most players listed at 6-foot or taller on the roster in program history. Previously, the most was eight in 1990-91 and 1995-96.
- Valpo has had five freshmen on the roster each of the last two seasons. Prior to 2016-17, the Crusaders hadn’t featured five true freshmen since 2010-11. This year’s team has 10 freshmen, redshirt freshmen and sophomores, the most since the 2003-04 season.
- In addition to five true freshmen, two redshirt freshmen and three sophomores, the Crusaders feature three juniors and two seniors.
- This year’s version of the Crusaders includes four Indiana natives. This marks the most Hoosiers on the team since the 2013-2014 season.
- Three others are from Illinois, three from Ohio, two from Minnesota, one from Michigan, one from Iowa and one from Wisconsin. Seven states are represented on the Valpo roster.
- Freshman Ella Ellenson (Rice Lake, Wis.) is the first Valpo player from Wisconsin since Sarah Ott (Chippewa Falls, Wis.) in 2007-08.
- Posted a team-high 14 points, the 25th double-figure scoring game of her Valpo career, on Nov. 21 at Miami (Ohio).
- Started in Valpo’s season opener for the fourth consecutive year.
- Reached the 500-point plateau for her collegiate career as only a sophomore on Jan. 14, 2016 at Youngstown State.
- Posted her first career double-double on Jan. 14, 2016 at Youngstown State, matching a career high with 29 points while shattering personal bests in rebounds (10) and made field goals (12). That game marked the 23rd time in program history a player has made 12 field goals or more in a single game.
- Dished out a career-best seven assists on Jan. 22, 2017 at Wright State.
- Began her collegiate career with a streak of 52 consecutive starts without missing a game, which was snapped on Feb. 2, 2017 against Youngstown State.
- 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.
- Made a game-winning layup at the buzzer to beat Chicago State on Nov. 16, 2016.
- Made 69 3-pointers as a freshman, 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.
- Was Valpo’s leading returning scorer in 2016-17 after scoring 10.6 points per game in 2015-16. During her sophomore campaign, averaged 9.0 ppg.
- Named to Horizon League all-freshman team in 2015-16.
- Reached double figures in scoring 16 times as a freshman and nine times during her sophomore season.
- Third Hamlet to play under Dorow as sisters Elizabeth (2013-14) and Annemarie (2014-15 & 2015-16) both concluded their careers with the Crusaders.
- Started in Valpo’s season opener for the fourth consecutive year.
- Left early in the game against Miami (Ohio) with an injury and did not return.
- Led the team in assists in 18 games during her sophomore season. Her 134 assists in 2016-17 ranked seventh in program history and were the most by any Crusader in the last 17 years.
- Enters her junior season already 17th in program history in career assists with 235. Needs four assists to pass Jeanette Gray (1999-2003) for 16th on the career list and 12 to surpass her former teammate Lexi Miller (2012-2016) for 15th.
- Finished the 2016-17 season ranked eighth in the Horizon League in assists/turnover ratio (1.5) and 11th in assists per game (3.3).
- Scored a season-high 12 points on Jan. 31, 2017 at UIC, her only time in double figures during her sophomore season. Matched a career-high by knocking down five shots in that game.
- 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.
- Had a breakout junior season in 2016-17, playing in 28 games and making eight starts for the Crusaders. Finished the season with over 50 assists after having four total assists in her first two collegiate seasons.
- Garnered the team’s Fountain Award in both 2015-16 and 2016-17. That honor is given annually to the player who most raises the team’s energy level.
- Shared the team’s Most Improved Player with Dani Franklin in 2016-17.
- Had a career-high seven assists in the season opener on Nov. 12, 2016 at Stetson.
- Reached double-figure scoring for the first time in her collegiate career with 10 at Notre Dame on Dec. 4, 2016, her first of four double-figure games.
- Made the first start of her collegiate career on Dec. 19, 2016 against Bradley and scored seven points in 20 minutes.
- Led the team in rebounding for the first time in her Valpo career with a career-high eight on Dec. 29, 2016 at Detroit Mercy. Also surpassed the 100-point mark for her career in that game.
- 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.
- Enjoyed the most productive game of her Valpo career with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting on Feb. 2, 2017 against Youngstown State. Also grabbed four rebounds and handed out four assists. Had a career-high three 3-pointers in the victory.
- Started her senior season with a game-high 26 points against IU Kokomo. This marked the 16th time in Franklin’s Crusader career that she scored 20 points or more. She knocked down nine field goals in the win, including four 3s.
- As a junior, led the team in scoring (18.0 ppg), rebounding (7.8 ppg), 3-point percentage (.430), free-throw percentage (.858) and steals (35).
- Became the first Valpo player in the last 23 years to score 500 points in a single season in 2016-17. Finished the season with 559 total points, the second most in program history.
- Scored the 1,000th point of her Valpo career on Jan. 17, 2017 at Green Bay, becoming the 14th player in program history to join the 1,000-point club.
- Enters her senior season with 1,236 career points, which already ranks sixth in program history.
- Her 2016-17 free-throw percentage was the second-best single-season free throw percentage in program history.
- Had as many double-doubles in a five-game stretch from Jan. 12-20, 2017 as she did in the first 73 games of her collegiate career.
- Got to the free-throw line more as a junior than she did in her first two collegiate seasons combined. Went 10-for-10 at the free-throw line on Jan. 28 at UIC, becoming the 10th player in program history to go perfect at the foul stripe with at least 10 attempts in a game.
- 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.
- Only two players in program history had 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.
- Scored 33 points on Dec. 3, 2016 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.
- 2014-15 Horizon League Freshman of the Year, 2014-15 Horizon League Sixth Player of the Year, 2016-17 All-Horizon League Second Team, team’s Sixth Player of the Year in 2014-15 and 2015-16, team’s MVP and co- Most Improved Player in 2016-17.
- Shot 43.3 percent from 3-point range as a freshman in 2014-2015, the fourth best single-season mark in program history. Now owns two of the Top 5 single-season 3-point field goal percentage marks.
- As a junior, increased her scoring average from the previous year by nearly eight points, boosted her 3-point percentage by nearly 12 percent and over doubled her number of total rebounds and made free throws from the previous season.
- Made 199 field goals as a junior, tied for third in program history.
- Finished in double-figure scoring in 28 of the team’s 31 games last season, leading the squad in scoring on 23 occasions.
- Knocked down the only shot she attempted at Miami on Nov. 21.
- Set what was at the time a career high with eight points including two made 3s on Dec. 4, 2016 against Notre Dame.
- Notched a career-high 15 points and led the team in scoring in the final game of the 2016-17 season, a Horizon League Tournament matchup with Green Bay. She went 4-for-4 from 3-point range in that contest.
- Squeezed a career-high 10 rebounds on Nov. 21 at Miami, five of which came in the first quarter.
- Established career watermarks in assists (four) and steals (three) in Valpo’s season opener against IU Kokomo.
- 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, 2016.
- Matched her season high in rebounds and established her season high in scoring in the first round of the Horizon League Tournament, posting 11 points and eight boards to help the Crusaders to a victory over Youngstown State.
- Named the team’s Rookie of the Year in 2016-17.
- Father Scott Morrison is a former Valparaiso men’s basketball player.
- Drained a career-high four 3-pointers to finish with 12 points on Nov. 21 at Miami (Ohio).
- Made a career-high five field goals while scoring 12 points – one shy of a career best – in the season-opening win over IU Kokomo. Hales reached double figures for the sixth time in her career.
- 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.
- Had a streak of 21 straight made free throws that spanned three different months during her freshman year. Finished the season second on the team in free-throw percentage at 81.4.
- Scored nine points at Stetson on Nov. 12, 2016, marking the third straight year a Valpo freshman has scored nine points or more on opening night.
- Opened conference play in style with a career-high 13 points on Dec. 29, 2016 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, 2017 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.
- Father Ross played football and basketball at Indiana University.
- Played 13 minutes in Valpo’s season opener against IU Kokomo, scoring four points.
- Notched her first-career made basket against a Division-I opponent on Jan. 14, 2017 at Youngstown State. Did so in style, finishing an important layup despite being fouled.
- Scored seven points on Feb. 16, 2017 against Oakland, a new career high. Shattered her previous best of four. Also dished out a career-high four assists in 26 minutes, the most playing time she received in a game during her freshman season.
- Played in the first five games of the 2016-17 season before suffering a season-ending knee injury on Nov. 25 vs. Liberty.
- Had her best performance of the year in her return to her hometown area on Nov. 19 at Illinois State, turning in nine points and seven rebounds.
- Received the team’s Hardest Worker Award.
- Set career highs in points (nine) and rebounds (six) on Nov. 21 at Miami (Ohio), knocking down all three of her attempts from the floor while going 3-of-4 at the line.
- Scored the first field goal of her collegiate career in Valpo’s season opener against IU Kokomo, a memorable coast-to-coast layup. Also hauled in a career-high five rebounds in that contest.
- Played in two games during her first season on campus before missing the bulk of the season due to an injury.
- Rattled off 17.6 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.2 steals and 1.5 blocks in her final prep campaign with the Highland (Ohio) Hornets.
- Contributed six points and six rebounds in the first game of her collegiate career, the season opener against IU Kokomo.
- Was a four-year starter and two-year captain at Rice Lake High School, where she was named to the WBCA All-State Game and Border Battle All-Star Game.
- Brother Wally played basketball in the NBL of Canada in 2016-17 and made the all-rookie team.
- Brother Ellwood is finishing up student teaching at Valley City State University, N.D., where he was the captain of the basketball team and a track athlete.
- Brother Henry is a Detroit Pistons forward and former Marquette standout.
- Helped Herscher High School finish with a 25-2 record in her senior season.
- Played for Example Sports AAU under the direction of coach Barry Bradford, the father of Valpo men’s basketball player Micah Bradford.
- Named MVP of an Example Sports AAU alumni game against college players who had gone through the program.
- Participated in her conference’s all-star game as a senior in high school.
- Dished out six assists in the first road game of her career on Nov. 21 at Miami.
- Had six points in her collegiate debut on Nov. 16 against IU Kokomo.
- Named a 2016-17 Indiana All-Star, earning a place on the 13-player roster.
- Led South Bend St. Joseph to the 2016-17 Indiana Class 3A state title, averaging 14.4 points per game and 3.1 assists per game during her senior season.
- Helped the Indians finish her senior campaign with a 26-2 record.
- Started her prep career at LaPorte, approximately 20 miles from Valpo, before transferring to South Bend St. Joseph before her junior season.
- Became the first Crusader since 2008 with a double-double in a season opener by scoring 13 points and grabbing 13 boards in her collegiate debut on Nov. 16 against IU Kokomo.
- Won over 20 regional and national titles over a five-year span while playing for the SMAC Ballers AAU program.
- Finished fourth on her school’s all-time scoring list with 931 points, while finishing as the program’s all-time leader in both rebounds (767) and blocks (181).
- Made her collegiate debut on Nov. 16 against IU Kokomo, playing eight minutes.
- Averaged 14 points, 4.5 assists, 3 steals and 3.5 rebounds per game during her senior year at Chippewa.
- Helped her team compile a 104-13 record during her four years of high school basketball, including a 55-1 mark in league play.
- Helped her team win league titles in all four seasons.