Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Down Western Illinois to Advance to Mid-Con Title Game

Monday, March 10, 2003

Jenna Stangler's (St. Michael, Minn./St. Michael-Albertville H.S.) eight-foot jumper with 30.6 seconds left put Valparaiso in front and Lauren Bechtold (Hebron, Ind./Hebron H.S.) iced the game with two free throws with 8.0 seconds left as the Crusaders defeated Western Illinois 49-45 on Monday afternoon to advance to the championship game of the Conoco Mid-Continent Conference Tournament in Kansas City, Mo. The game will be televised by Fox Sports Chicago, Fox Sports Detroit and Fox Sports Midwest at 5 p.m. (CST).

Stangler's jumper came after the Westerwinds rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit to tie the game, and eventually take the lead late in the second half.

With Valpo trailing 7-6 early, the Brown and Gold went on a 12-2 run, capped off with a pair of Katie Boone (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove H.S.) free throws to build an 18-9 lead at the 7:50 mark. The lead remained between eight and ten until Stangler's lay-in at the buzzer gave the Crusaders a 27-16 lead at intermission.

Valpo held Western Illinois to just 20.8% (5-of-24) shooting in the first half, and the 16 points allowed were second fewest allowed in a tournament game in Mid-Con history.

The Westerwinds climbed back into the game with a quick 6-0 outburst to start the second half. Two lay-ups by Zane Teilane and a Tiffany Cornelius jumper keyed the comeback.

After Valpo pushed the lead back to nine, Western went on a 13-3 run, allowing the Crusaders just one field goal over a 9:12 span. The Westerwinds took the lead, 37-36, at the 8:04 mark as Cornelius connected again.

The regular season champion's lead grew to two, 40-38, on another Cornelius lay-in before Kathryn Knoester (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) drained three from the left baseline to put Valpo back in front. The trey marked the 118th straight game the Crusaders have knocked down a triple try.

Jessica Cook put the Westerwinds back in front at the 4:07 mark, scoring in the lane. Boone hit a pair of free throws on the next possession to put the Brown and Gold back in front. Teilane split a pair of free throws to tie the game at 43 at the 2:42 mark.

Stangler got a fastbreak lay-in with 1:24 left, but Teilane answered on the next possession, setting up the final minute.

After Stangler knocked down the jumper to go up 47-45, Teilane grabbed a Western miss and got fouled. She missed both free throws, Jeanette Gray (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.) grabbed the board and Bechtold got fouled to seal the victory.

Stangler led all scorers with 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting for Valpo (17-12). Boone added 12 points, making 10-of-12 from the line and grabbed seven rebounds. Gray pulled down ten boards.

Cornelius and Teilane led Western Illinois (21-8) with 14 points each and Teilane grabbed eight rebounds.

The Crusaders shot just 33.3% from the floor for the game, while Western Illinois shot 34.8%. Valpo made 20-of-24 free throws (83.3%), compared with the Westerwinds 13-of-21 (59.1%).

Valparaiso advances to the Mid-Con championship game for the third time in four years, facing Oakland for the Mid-Con title and the NCAA automatic bid in a rematch of last year's championship tilt. The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Net Chicago with tip-off slated for 5 p.m. CST. The Crusaders have never won the conference tournament. Oakland was a 60-52 victor over Chicago State in Monday's other semifinal.
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
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
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
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
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 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
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 Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25 UIC
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
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
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
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana