Freeman Earns 300th Career Victory as Valpo Defeats IPFW
Saturday, February 28, 2004
Valparaiso University head coach Keith Freeman earned his 300th career victory on Saturday afternoon as Kathryn Knoester (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) scored a career high 21 points and the Crusaders defeated IPFW 80-65 on Senior Day at the Athletics-Recreation Center.

Freeman improves his career mark to 300-164 in his 16-year coaching career, the last ten with Valpo.

The Crusaders jumped out to a quick 11-1 lead four minutes into the game. After IPFW closed the gap to three, 16-13, Valpo went on a 22-4 run late in the half to build a 38-19 advantage at intermission.

Valpo came out of the locker room on fire, scoring 25 of the first 29 second half points, building a 63-23 lead with 12:47 remaining. From that point, IPFW whittled away at the lead, as Courtney Nicely scored 20 points in the second half, including six three-pointers to help the Mastodons close the gap.

Knoester also registered a career high six steals in the game, and was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Jenna Stangler (St. Michael, Minn./St. Michael-Albertville H.S.) added 14 points, while Mayella Kuikhoven (Almelo, Netherlands/St. Canisius H.S.) tallied ten points.

Nicley also grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds for IPFW (8-20), while Amy Gearlds added 12 points.

Valpo forced 17 Mastodons turnovers and held IPFW to 31.4% shooting from the floor. Both teams shot well from the free throw line, with Valpo making 22-of-24 (91.7%), while the Mastodons connected on 14-of-16 (87.5%).

The Crusaders (16-11, 10-5 Mid-Con) will close out the regular season on Monday evening, hosting Chicago State in a pivotal Mid-Continent Conference contest. Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m.