Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Looks To Rebound At Fiesta Bowl Classic; Crusaders Make Return Trip To Tucson

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Fiesta Bowl Classic
Dec. 28, 30, 2003
Tucson, AZ

VALPO (2-5) vs. LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE (3-3)

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 28 - 2:45 p.m. CST (1:45 p.m. MST)

WHERE: McKale Center, Tucson, Arizona

TV: - none

RADIO: WEFM (95.9, Michigan City), WVUR-FM (95.1, Valparaiso) - Todd Ickow and Ed Schillinger announcing.

THE COACHES: Valparaiso is guided by Homer Drew, who has a career record of 507-311 in his 27th season and a record at Valpo of 238-189 in his 15th season. Louisiana-Lafayette is led by Jessie Evans, who has a career mark of 115-75 in his 7th season and a record at UL-Lafayette of 115-75 in his 7th season.

SERIES RECORD: 0-0
LAST MEETING: First Meeting

LAST GAME: Valpo lost to Loyola (Ill.) 76-69 on Dec. 13 in Valparaiso. UL-Lafayette lost to Xavier (Ohio) 78-74 on Dec. 20 in Cincinnati.

NEXT UP: Valpo will play the winner/loser of the Liberty/Arizona game on Tues., Dec. 30. The consolation game will be at 6 p.m. CST (5 p.m. MST) followed by the championship game at 8:30 p.m. CST (7:30 p.m. MST).

After final exams and a 15-day break from game competition, Valpo (2-5) will head west to play in the University of Arizona's Fiesta Bowl Classic Dec. 28, 30. The Crusaders oppose Louisiana-Lafayette (3-3) in the first game Sunday at 2:45 p.m. CST (1:45 MST). Liberty will tip off against Arizona at 5 p.m. CST (4 MST). The winners face off in Tuesday's championship game at 8:30 p.m. CST (7:30 MST). The consolation game precedes the title game at 6 p.m. CST (5 MST). Valpo is making a return trip to Tucson as the Crusaders lost a heartbreaker to Arizona 74-70 in the 2001 Fiesta Bowl Classic Championship Game.

Valpo will attempt to snap a two-game losing streak Sunday against the Ragin' Cajuns, who have won consecutive Sun Belt Conference West Division Championships. UL-Lafayette had won two straight before falling to Xavier (Ohio) 78-74 Dec. 20 in Cincinnati.

GOMES RED-HOT OVER LAST THREE: Kikas Gomes, who earned Mid-Continent Conference Player of the Week honors for the week ending Dec. 14, has produced superb numbers recently. A senior from Luanda, Angola, Gomes recorded three straight double-doubles, averaging 18.0 points, 11.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks in the last three games. In a 59-53 win over Indiana State Dec. 8, Gomes scored a career-high 19 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked two shots. He scored 12 straight points in the second half to help Valpo take control of the contest. In an 86-82 loss to Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Gomes tallied 19 points, 10 rebounds and a career and Mid-Con season-high five blocks. He finished the week with 16 points, 13 boards and two blocks in a 76-69 loss to Loyola (Ill.). Overall, Gomes has a league-best four double-doubles. For the three-game stretch, he shot 53 percent (19-36) from the floor, including 7-for-15 from 3-point range.

GOMES TOPS MID-CON IN BLOCKED SHOTS; RANKS 2nd IN REBOUNDING: Kikas Gomes leads the Mid-Con in blocked shots (2.0, 14 total) through Dec. 22. The 6'8" senior also stands 2nd in the league in rebounding (9.4 pg.).

BERDIEL LEADS MID-CON IN ASSISTS: Junior Ali Berdiel leads the Mid-Con in assists through Dec. 22. The 6'6" guard averages 6.43 apg. (45 in 7 games). Berdiel dished out a career-high 10 assists against Marquette and distributed nine versus Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

VALPO'S SCHEDULE LACED WITH NCAA TOURNAMENT TEAMS: Valpo has already played three 2003 NCAA Tournament teams - Marquette, Cincinnati, Wisconsin-Milwaukee - and will play Duke and IUPUI, which also played in the Big Dance a year ago. If the Crusaders advance to the Fiesta Bowl Classic Championship, they could face another NCAA team - Arizona.


W Golf IPFW Spring Invitational Fort Wayne, Ind. (Chestnut Hills G.C.)
Apr 7 9th/12 (642)
Softball Northern Illinois 6 VU Softball Field
Apr 8 Valpo 8
Baseball Valpo 5 Evanston, Ill.
Apr 8 Northwestern 12
Softball Northern Illinois 3 8 inn.
Apr 8 Valpo 4
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 11:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
W Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 5:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26 Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo