Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Continues Homestand Against Belmont; Crusaders Fresh Off Final Exams & Double-Overtime Win

Thursday, December 19, 2002

VALPO (3-4) vs. BELMONT (3-5)

WHEN: Friday, December 20 - 7:05 p.m. CST

WHERE: ARC, Valparaiso, Indiana

TV: (tape-delay) - Channel 43 in Valparaiso - Dick Harlan and Paul Curtis announcing. Airs Dec. 21 at 12:30 p.m. and Dec. 23 at 12:30 p.m.

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

THE COACHES: Valparaiso is guided by Scott Drew, who is 3-4 in his 1st season. Belmont is led by Rick Byrd, who has a career mark of 424-241 in his 22nd season.

SERIES RECORD: Valpo leads 7-1
LAST MEETING: 2001-02 - Belmont won 74-72

LAST GAME: Valpo defeated Samford 87-79 in double overtime on Saturday in Valparaiso. Belmont lost to Purdue 78-61 on Wednesday in West Lafayette, Ind.

NEXT UP: Valpo hosts Central Michigan on Monday at 7:05 p.m.

On Friday, Valpo entertains Belmont in the second of a three-game homestand. The Crusaders (3-4) are coming off final exams and a thrilling 87-79 double-overtime victory over Samford last Saturday. Stalin Ortizís length-of-the-court drive and layup with less than a second left in the first overtime, sent the game into double overtime. Raitis Grafs scored a season-high 28 points, which included making 11 of 12 free throws.

Belmont (3-5), like Samford, is a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference. Last season, the Bruins defeated Valpo 74-72. Grafs scored 13 points in that contest, while Kikas Gomes and Ortiz had 10 each. Valpo leads the all-time series 7-1.

GRAFS NAMED MID-CON PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior Raitis Grafs was selected as the Mid-Continent Conference Player of the Week. The 6'11" center scored a season-high 28 points to lead Valpo to the 87-79 double-overtime win over Samford last Saturday. He drained 11 of 12 free throws and made 8 of 15 shots from the field against the Bulldogs. On Wednesday, Grafs led the Crusaders with 15 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots in a road loss to Wisconsin-Milwaukee. For the week, Grafs averaged 21.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks, while shooting .591 (13-22) from the floor and an outstanding .889 (16-18) at the free throw line.

LAPORTE HOMECOMING: LaPorte's Greg Tonagel will be facing some old teammates when the Crusaders host Belmont tonight. Steve Drabyn and Nick Otis, also LaPorte High graduates, are both major contributors for the Bruins.

OWNING OVERTIME: Valpoís double-overtime win over Samford Saturday was the programís 7th straight overtime victory. Over its last 15 overtime games, Valpo has won 14. The last time Valpo was involved in a game of two-or-more overtimes was in 1995, a triple-overtime win over Western Illinois to capture the Mid-Con Tournament title.

HOT AT THE STRIPE: Over the last two games, the Crusaders are shooting 81.1 percent from the free throw line, making 52 of 64 charity tosses. Raitis Grafs made 88.9 percent (16 of 18) during that span, while Ali Berdiel (8 for 8) and Seth Colclasure (8 for 8) were perfect at the stripe.


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
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
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