VALPO HOSTS PURDUE IN A REMATCH FROM THE 2003 NCAA TOURNAMENT
Tuesday, December 02, 2003
#10/7 PURDUE (4-1, 0-0 Big Ten) at VALPARAISO (2-3, 0-0 Mid-Con)

WHEN: Wednesday, December 3, 2003.

WHERE: Athletic-Recreation Center (5,000), Valparaiso, Ind.

RADIO: WVUR (95.1-FM), Valparaiso, Ind. Steve Rhodes will handle the play-by-play, while Andy Viano will provide color commentary.

TV: Comcast Cablevision Ch. 43-tape delay. Dick Harlan will handle the play-by-play, while Paul Curtis will provide color commentary. The game will air on Sat., Dec. 5 at 2 p.m.

THE COACHES: Valparaiso is led by Keith Freeman, who is in his 16th season of coaching, and 10th with the Crusaders. He is 286-156 overall, and 157-109 at Valpo. Purdue is led by Kristy Curry, who is 111-28 in her 4th season overall and with the Boilermakers.

SERIES RECORD: Purdue leads all-time 9-0, with the series beginning during the 1970-1971 season.

LAST MEETING: Purdue defeated Valpo 66-51 on March 22, 2003 in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament in West Lafayette, Ind. Erika Valek scored 23 points to lead the Boilermakers, while Jenna Stangler scored 12 points and Jeanette Gray added 11 for the Crusaders. Valpo led for the first 10 minutes of the game, but a 26-4 Purdue run to end the first half lifted the Boilermakers to the win.

The Valparaiso Crusaders entertain #10/7-ranked Purdue on Wednesday evening in a rematch of the Crusaders First Round NCAA Tournament game from 2003. The Boilermakers won that contest on their own home floor, but for this game, the site shifts to Valpo.

MAKING IT TOUGH TO SCORE: Valparaiso held Central Michigan to just four second half field goals on Sunday afternoon. Two of the four buckets came as the shot clock was winding down. The Crusaders also forced 13 turnovers in the second half of the game.

BACK ON TOP: Valparaiso's defense has returned to form. After finishing in the top-25 in the nation the past two seasons in scoring defense, the Crusaders have found themselves atop the Mid-Continent Conference again this season. Valpo has allowed just 60.0 pointer per game thus far this season.

ROUGH SCHEDULE: Purdue marks the Crusader's fourth opponent in the first six games on this season's schedule that is ranked in the top-25 or receiving votes when the Crusaders played them.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A HALF MAKES: After trailing by nine points at intermission, Valpo stormed back to defeat Central Michigan by 20 points. The Brown and Gold held the Chippewas to just 15 points in the second half, while scoring 44 themselves.

HAMMEL COMES ALIVE: Suzie Hammel has caught fire from long-range the past two games. Hammel has hit four three-pointers in each game, and has scored 17 and 16 points in each game.

KNOCKING THEM DOWN INSIDE: Freshman Tamra Braun has made an impact inside for Valpo in the early going. The 6'4" center has shot 58.8% from the field and has blocked five shots, while playing 17.8 minutes per night.

PURDUE NOTES: Purdue enters tonight's game ranked 10th/7th in the country and is riding a three-game winning streak. The Boilermakers won the Golden Knights Classic over the weekend, downing Wake Forest 76-57 in the championship on Saturday night. Purdue defeated tournament host UCF 87-52 in the opening round.

Shereka Wright leads Purdue in scoring, averaging 17.0 points per contest. The senior forward has scored in double-figures in all five games thus far this season.

Freshman Katie Gearlds is pouring in 11.6 points per contest, while Erika Valek has added 11.0 points per game in the early going.

The Boilermakers are playing the third of five straight games away from Mackey Arena tonight. Purdue will head to Houston for a game on Sunday afternoon.