First Place Crusaders Host Oakland Monday Night
Oakland (5-10, 1-1 Mid-Con) at Valpo (9-7, 3-0 Mid-Con)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.
Coming Up in Crusader Hoops: After a thrilling overtime victory on Saturday afternoon extended their winning streak to five games, the first place Valparaiso Crusaders host Oakland on Monday evening in another key Mid-Continent Conference contest. This is Valpo's final home game before taking to the road for a four-game trip beginning on Saturday afternoon.
On the Air: Monday's game against Oakland will be carried live by WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics. The student-run radio station plans on carrying all Crusader women's basketball games this season live both over the air and online. Mike Haase and Adam Tein will call all the action live from the ARC. A videocast of the game is also available through www.valpo.edu/athletics with the audio coming as a simulcast of the radio broadcast.
Series Notes: Valparaiso and Oakland are meeting for the 21st time in a series that dates back to January 7, 1999. The Golden Grizzlies hold a slim 11-9 lead all-time, and are the only current Mid-Con school to having a winning record against the Brown and Gold. Last year, Valpo notched a 69-55 victory in Rochester, Mich. before Oakland rebounded for a 68-67 win at the ARC. The Crusaders are 3-5 against the Golden Grizzlies and the ARC, dropping the last three meetings on their own home floor.
Wrapping Up IUPUI: Valparaiso used a 10-2 run to start overtime on Saturday to catapult the Crusaders to a 78-72 victory over IUPUI at the ARC. Betsy Rietema scored a season-high 23 points while grabbing 12 boards for a double-double. Tamra Braun added 18 points and Carrie Myers scored 16 more for Valpo in the victory. The Crusaders shot 47.5% from the floor but surrendered 18 offensive rebounds to IUPUI and committed 19 turnovers to allow the Jaguars to keep the game close. Valpo led by three, 27-24, at the break and the game was tied at 64 following regulation.
Scouting Oakland: The Golden Grizzlies snapped a six-game losing skid on Saturday afternoon defeating Western Illinois 60-51 in Macomb, Ill. Jessica Pike and Nicole Piggott pace the Oakland offensive attack, averaging 13.5 and 13.3 points per game respectively. Pike is shooting 49.4% from the field and 81.8% from the line. Bonnie Baker leads the team on the glass with 5.8 rebounds per game. As a team, the Golden Grizzlies are shooting 42.4% from the field and 71.9% from the line while committing just 16.4 turnovers per night.
Crusaders Lone Unbeaten Left in the Mid-Con: The Mid-Con season may only be three games in (two for some teams), but Valparaiso is the only team remaining without a conference loss thus far. With a win against the Golden Grizzlies, the Crusaders would start 4-0 in league play for the second straight year.
Home Win a Rare Thing in League Play This Year: Valpo's home win against IUPUI on Saturday is one of just three by teams on their own floor through the first 10 games of the Mid-Con season.
Free Throws are Big Down the Stretch: Launa Hochstetler may only have 19 attempts on the season, but none were bigger than her seven tries on Saturday against IUPUI. The sophomore point guard made 6-of-7 on the day, including 5-of-6 in the final 1:11 of overtime helping Valpo to the win. On the season, she is shooting 84.2% from the charity stripe.
Streaking: Valparaiso's five-game winning streak matches the longest for a Crusader team since the 2001-2002 team set the school record with 10 consecutive wins. The Crusaders have won five in a row three other times since the school mark was set.
Myers Continues to Drain Three-Pointers: Carrie Myers had made at least one three-point field goal in all 16 games thus far this season. In fact, the senior guard has made two or more in 13 games, highlighted by five triples against both Bradley and Indiana State. Myers leads the Mid-Con with 2.9 threes made per game.
Braun Now Third All-Time in Rebounding After Reaching 700 Boards: Tamra Braun has moved into third place on the Crusaders' career rebounding charts with 734 boards during her four-year career. The senior center is 32 boards behind Jeanette Gray (1999-2003) for second place all-time. Sarrah Stricklett (1996-2000) holds the school mark with 772 rebounds, 38 more than Braun's current total.
Braun Sets Valpo's Career Block Record: Tamra Braun rejected three Centenary shots on January 8, moving past Michelle Mader (1988-1992) to become the school's blocked shot leader. She currently has 168 career blocks, while Mader finished her career with 166. Braun has 25 blocks on the year thus far, and ranks among Valpo's single season leaders in each of her first three seasons with the Brown and Gold.
Home Sweet Home: Valparaiso continues to have success at home in recent years. The Brown and Gold has a 180-100 (.643) record all-time at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Since the 2001-2002 season, Valpo has posted a 58-15 (.795) mark at the ARC.
Valpo Leads the Mid-Con From Downtown: The Crusaders' 39.6% shooting clip from beyond the arc is currently best in the Mid-Continent Conference. In addition, the Brown and Gold's 6.8 triples per game also lead the league.
Myers Among Top Outside Shooters in the Country: Senior guard Carrie Myers currently ranks 14th in all of NCAA Division I in three-point field goals per game. Her 2.8 makes per contest lead the Mid-Continent Conference as well. In addition, her 43.3% accuracy beyond the arc ranks 21st best in the country through January 11.
Among the Nation's Best: Valpo ranks among the top-25 in the country in three statistical categories as a team. The Crusaders are 23rd in three-point field goals per game, making 6.7 per night. In addition, Valpo's 40.1% shooting from beyond the arc ranks 8th in NCAA Division I through January 11. Finally, Valpo is committing just 14.6 fouls per game, 20th fewest among all schools.
Crusaders Against the Mid-Con: As the Brown and Gold plays in its final season of Mid-Con competition, Valpo has posted a 146-80 (.646) record all-time in conference play. The 146 victories are a conference record, and Valpo is assured of leaving the league with the most wins ever in the Mid-Con. The Crusaders have won a pair of conference regular season crowns while finishing runner-up four times.
Triple Double for Rietema: Betsy Rietema turned in a rare triple-double for the Crusaders in the loss to Indiana State. The senior forward scored 14 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished out a career-best 10 assists. In addition, she committed just one turnover on the day.
Bombs Away from Three: Valpo's assault from three-point range against Bradley was nearly one for the record books. The 14 made triples tie for the third most by any Crusader team in a game all-time. The school record is 17, set against Central Michigan on December 8, 2004. Valpo made 15 threes last year against UMKC. The 14 triples are tied for third most among any team in the country this season.
Rietema Player of the Week: Betsy Rietema was named the Mid-Con's Player of the Week on December 5 after averaging 15.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 2.7 steals for Valpo during a five-day stretch. She had 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds against Bradley and added 12 points and eight boards at Loyola (Chicago). She posted a triple-double, 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, against Indiana State.
Rietema Becomes 11th Member of Valpo's 1,000 Point Club: Betsy Rietema became the 11th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark in her career with her jumper at the 9:32 mark of the first half against Saint Francis (Ind.).
Rietema Moves Into 9th in School History in Scoring: Betsy Rietema has moved into ninth place all-time in school history in scoring. The senior forward has tallied 1,079 points, passing Suzie Hammel's (2000-2004) total of 1,077 points. Rietema is two points shy of Lynda Kukla (1988-1992) for eighth place all-time.
Braun Among Top-15 in Scoring Also: Senior Tamra Braun has also moved into the top-15 on Valpo's career scoring list. The Valpo center currently has scored 968 points over her career passing Sarah Schmoyer (1992-1996) for 14th place all-time. She now needs 10 more points to match Cheryl Wilbrandt (1989-1993) for 13th place all-time.
Rietema Finds the Rebounding Charts: Betsy Rietema has moved into 15th place on Valparaiso's career rebounding list. The senior forward has brought down 487 rebounds to date. With eight more boards she will match Denise Dunbar (1982-1986) for 14th spot all-time in a Crusader uniform.
Braun Among Mid-Con Best in Blocks: Tamra Braun's 168 career blocks are sixth best in Mid-Continent Conference history. Kim Wood (UW-Green Bay, 1992-1994) is fifth with 191 blocks.
Dishing the Rock: Betsy Rietema has also cracked the top-20 all-time at Valparaiso in assists. The senior has moved into 17th place with her 199 career helpers, passing Sheila Kalas' (1982-1985) mark of 199. She needs three more assists to equal Amy Cole's (1987-1991) and Heidi Diefenthaler's (1992-1996) total of 202 and move into the top-15 all-time.
Myers Deadly from Long Range: Carrie Myers enters play in third place on the career three-point list with 176 triples. Myers trails Suzie Hammel (2000-2004) by 60 threes for second all-time.
Rietema Likes Freebies: Betsy Rietema's 293 career free throws are third most in school history. She is more than 200 behind second place Sarrah Stricklett's (1996-2000) total of 494.
Braun and Rietema Rank 9th and 10th in Scoring from the Floor: Tamra Braun's 391 career field goals rank ninth in Valparaiso history. She is now 25 baskets behind Carrie Forsman (1992-1996). Betsy Rietema has also broke the top-10 with her 382 field goals, nine behind Braun.
Freeman Winningest Coach in Mid-Con History: Head coach Keith Freeman's 218 victories are not only most in Valpo history, but also rank tops in Mid-Continent Conference history for career wins.
Freeman Adds Five Hoosiers for 2007-2008: Keith Freeman has signed five Indiana prep players to National Letters of Intent for the 2007-2008 season. Joining the Crusader roster next year are forward LaTice Jones (Gary, Ind./Roosevelt H.S.), guard Rashida Ray (Fort Wayne, Ind./Harding H.S.), guard Stephanie Thomas (Avon, Ind./Avon H.S.), Jasmine Ussery (Newburg, Ind./Castle H.S.), and Ashley Varner (South Bend, Ind./Washington H.S.).