Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Wins at Colorado State to Advance to Tournament Championship
Lauren Kenney and Valpo tipped off the tournament with a win over the hosts. (Dan Byers)
Lauren Kenney and Valpo tipped off the tournament with a win over the hosts. (Dan Byers)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Box Score

                Valparaiso handed the host Rams of Colorado State just their second opening round defeat in the 15-year history of the Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational on Friday evening with a 64-53 victory in Fort Collins, Colo.

                With the victory, the Crusaders advance to Saturday’s championship game at 6 p.m. CST against Florida State.

                “Colorado State has a reputation of having an outstanding tradition over the years,” head coach Keith Freeman said.  For us to go out there, play at altitude, and get a win is impressive.”

                Both teams started very slowly from the floor.  An Aimee Litka (South Bend, Ind./Saint Joseph’s H.S.) three-pointer at the 15:58 mark gave Valpo a 5-2 advantage.  Those would be the last points scored by either team for more than six minutes until Launa Hochstetler (Berlin, Ohio/Hiland H.S.) hit two free throws to increase the lead to 7-2 at the 9:46 mark.

                Colorado State went more than eight minutes without scoring and made just two of its first 20 shots from the floor.  Valpo increased its lead to eight, 14-6, at the 6:17 mark following a lay-in by Katie Emig (Farmington Hills, Mich./Farmington Hills H.S.), but the Rams fought back with a 12-2 run to take an 18-16 lead with 1:15 to play.

                The Crusaders scored the final five points of the first half, capped with a Litka triple, to take a 21-18 advantage into the locker room.

                Valpo held the Rams to just 23.3% (7-of-30) shooting in the first, including 0-of-9 from three-point range.

                “I thought the first half we defended very well,” Freeman commented.  “We took away the ways that they like to score.”

                Valpo came out quickly in the second half, scoring nine of the first 12 points following a Lauren Kenney (Connersville, Ind./Connersville H.S.) lay-in.  Back-to-back fastbreak lay-ups by Litka and Agnieszka Kulaga (Tarnow, Poland/I Liceum Ogolnokstalcace H.S.) pushed the Crusader lead to double digits for the first time, 34-23, with 14:56 to play.

                Valpo pushed the lead out to 15, 41-26 at the 11:49 mark and the advantage swelled to 19, 61-42, with 3:54 to play, before a late 11-1 run by the Rams cut into the Crusader advantage, setting up the game’s final margin at 11.

                “The second half we were able to keep enough pressure on the ball defensively and we got baskets in transition,” added Freeman.

                Kulaga led the Crusaders with 20 points, 16 of which came in the second half, on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor on the day.  Litka added 14 points while Kenney had nine more to go along with 10 rebounds, her first double-figure rebounding game as a Crusader.

                Valpo shot 37.5% for the game and was able to outrebound the Rams 42-39.  Valpo also held a 30-20 advantage scoring in the paint, and was able to get the Colorado State posts into foul trouble.  The Crusaders committed 16 turnovers in the game, but just four in the final 20 minutes.

                Juanise Cornell led Colorado State (1-3) with 11 points while Bonnie Barbee added eight.  Amaka Uzomah had 10 rebounds off of the bench for the Rams.  The Valpo defense held the Rams to just 29.8% shooting for the game, including 3-of-20 (15%) from three-point range.

                Valpo (2-1) will advance to the championship game against the Seminoles, an 80-45 victor over Murray State in the first game of the day.  The game will be carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpoathletics.com.  The Crusaders will be looking for their first in-season tournament title since winning the Lady Redman Classic hosted by Carthage during the 1985-1986 season.

 

Game Notes: Valpo improves to 2-1 for just the second time under Coach Freeman (2005-2006 was the other), and just the second time since 1991-1992 … the Crusaders will look to improve to 3-1 for the first time since 1974-1975 … Litka scored in double figures for the 30th time in the last 33 games … Valpo has outrebounded its first three opponents this season after only winning the battle of the boards four times in all of 2007-2008 … Launa Hochstetler had a game-high five assists and moved past Jeanette Gray (1999-2003) for 11th all-time with 241 career helpers … Kulaga had two assists to tie Sheila Kalas (1982-1985) for 19th all-time with 197 assists … this was Valpo’s first win against Colorado State in the second meeting between the two schools … the Rams won the first meeting by 23 in the 1998 Preseason WNIT … this was Valpo’s first win ever against a team from the Mountain West Conference … Colorado State entered the game 23-5 all-time in the tournament.

 
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
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
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
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
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25 UIC
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
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
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