Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Moves Into Mid-Con Semis with Win over UMKC

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Tamra Braun (Savage, Minn./Prior Lake H.S.) posted her 7th double-double of the season, including a career-high 16 rebounds, as Valparaiso defeated UMKC 69-48 on Sunday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament to avenge a loss to the Kangaroos in last year's first round.

With the win, Valpo (16-12), the tournament's fourth seed, advances to the Mid-Con Semifinals on Monday afternoon against regular season champion and top-seeded Western Illinois beginning at noon.

With Valpo holding an early 9-7 lead, the Crusader defense helped to spur on the offense. The Brown and Gold held the Kangaroos without a field goal for more than seven minutes while increasing the lead to 15-7. UMKC closed the gap with back-to-back three-pointers from Leigh Mead, the second making it a three-point game, 17-14, at the 7:54 mark.

Valpo pushed the lead back to eight at the 3:00 mark as Betsy Rietema (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) scored twice in a row. The junior forward had 14 points and six boards in the first half for the Crusaders. A three-pointer by Jamie Gutowski (Crown Point, Ind./Andrean H.S.) with 58 seconds left increased the lead to 11 before Valpo took a 31-22 lead into the locker room.

Braun grabbed eight first half rebounds, as Valpo outboarded the Kangaroos 19-12 in the first half, including 11 on the offensive end. The Crusaders turned the ball over just three times in the opening 20 minutes while forcing eight mistakes from UMKC.

Stephanie Brown scored the first six points out of intermission for the Kangaroos as UMKC closed to within 33-28. Two free throws by Brown made it 38-36 with 10:04 to play before Braun answered with a traditional three-point play. The lead extended to seven on back-to-back baskets by Lauren Bechtold (Hebron, Ind./Hebron H.S.) the second on a steal and score. Rietema then scored on a putback and within two minutes the lead was back to nine, 47-38.

A putback and free throw by Braun to complete yet another three-point play pushed the lead to 14, 56-42 with just over five minutes to play. Gutowski drained a three on the next possession to make it a 16-point advantage and Valpo was onto the semifinals.

Braun finished the game with 18 points and 16 rebounds while blocking four shots and Rietema added a game-high 22 points while grabbing eight boards. Gutowski also scored 13 points for the Brown and Gold.

Brown paced UMKC (10-18) with 13 points and 12 rebounds while Brittny Picconi added nine points.

Valpo finished the game with a 42-34 edge in rebounding, grabbing 18 offensive boards. The Crusaders shot 37.1% for the game, including nearly 43% in the second half, while committing just seven turnovers for the game. The Crusaders held the Kangaroos to just 32.6% shooting and forced 16 turnovers.

The Crusaders have now won seven of their last eight games in the Mid-Con Tournament and nine of their last 11.
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. #21/21 Notre Dame
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
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
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
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
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
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Green Bay
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Valpo