Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
CRUSADERS HEAD TO WESTERN ILLINOIS FOR FIRST PLACE SHOWDOWN WITH WESTERWINDS

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

VALPARAISO (12-8, 5-2 Mid-Con) at WESTERN ILLINOIS (14-6, 6-1 Mid-Con)

WHEN: Saturday, February 8, 2003, 4 p.m. CST.

WHERE: Western Hall (5,139), Macomb, Ill.

RADIO: WVUR (95.1-FM), Valparaiso. Steve Rhodes will provide the play-by-play, with Phil Morris adding the color commentary.

TV: None.

THE COACHES: Valparaiso is led by Keith Freeman, who is in his 15th season of coaching, and 9th with the Crusaders. He is 278-148 overall and 149-101 with Valpo. Western Illinois is led by Leslie Crane, who is 71-60 in her 5th season overall and with the Westerwinds.

SERIES RECORD: Valparaiso leads the overall series with Western Illinois 14-9. The Westerwinds won the last meeting between the two schools.

LAST MEETING: Western Illinois defeated the Crusaders 50-43 on January 11 at the ARC. The Westerwinds jumped out to an eight point halftime lead as Valpo shot just 19% in the opening stanza and never relinquished the lead. Suzie Hammel led all scorers with 15 points for Valpo, while Becky Tyo led Western Illinois with 14 points.

The Valparaiso Crusaders begin the second half of their conference schedule on Saturday at 4 p.m. traveling to Western Illinois for a battle with the first place Westerwinds. Valpo, a game back in the Mid-Con standings, look to forge a tie at the top with a victory.

HAMMEL EARNS MID-CON HONORS: Suzie Hammel was named the Mid-Con Player of the Week after averaging 20.5 points per game against UMKC and Oral Roberts. In the win over the Kangaroos, the junior guard scored 22 points, including 10-of-12 from the free throw line, grabbed four rebounds, and added four assists and three steals. Against ORU, Hammel tallied 19 points in 19 minutes on 6-of-9 shooting from three-point range.

LOOKING FOR 150: Head coach Keith Freeman shoots for his 150th victory at the helm of the Brown and Gold against Western Illinois. Freeman, in his 9th season with the Crusaders, began his career during the 1994-1995 season and has averaged over 17 wins per year over his first eight at Valpo.

PLAYING DEFENSE: After finishing in the top 15 in the nation in scoring defense last season, Valpo has returned to the national rankings this week. The Crusaders are currently allowing just 56.9 points per game, which puts the Brown and Gold in a tie for 24th with Ohio State in scoring defense.

VALPO TO BECOME ROAD WARRIORS: The Crusaders game against Western Illinois begins a stretch of five games out of their next seven contests in which Valpo will play on the road, prior to the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament. Valpo has just two home games remaining on the schedule.

BOONE CONTINUES TO IMPRESS: Sophomore guard Katie Boone has continued to improve directing the Valpo attack. After missing the first five games of the season with an injury, Boone has broken into the top-ten in the Mid-Con in assists (5th), steals (5th), and assist-to-turnover ratio (2nd).

SUCCESS AT WESTERN HALL: Valpo has won four of their last six contests in Macomb, dating back to the 1996-1997 season, including last year's 72-66 triumph.

WESTERN ILLINOIS NOTES: Western Illinois enters the game tied for the nation's ninth longest home court win streak (through 2/4) after its 78-55 victory over UMKC on Monday evening. The Westerwinds have won seven of their last eight games overall.

Becky Tyo leads the Western Illinois offense scoring 14.4 points per game, ranking third in the Mid-Con in that category. The senior is also fifth in the conference at the free throw line, shooting 78.2%.

Tiffany Cornelius is the only other Westerwind averaging in double-figures, scoring 12.1 points per night. She is second in the conference in field goal percentage, making 59.1% of her shots.

As a team, Western Illinois ranks 23rd in the nation in field goal percentage, shooting 45.8% from the floor on the season. The Westerwinds also rank 27th in rebounding margin at +6.3. They lead the Mid-Continent Conference in both categories.

Following the game with Valpo, the Westerwinds will play four of their final six on the road beginning with Chicago State next Saturday afternoon.

DOWN THE ROAD: Valparaiso will continue its current three-game road trip next Saturday evening when the Crusaders travel to Cedar City, Utah to face Southern Utah. Tip-off is slated for 6:15 p.m. CST. The Brown and Gold will then complete the road trip on Monday, February 17 with a 7 p.m. contest at Chicago State. Valpo's next home game is set for February 22 when Valpo entertains IUPUI in a 2:05 p.m. tilt. The game is the second game of a doubleheader with the men's team.
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 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
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 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
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
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
W 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
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
M 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
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay