Valparaiso (4-15, 1-6 Horizon)
Game #20: Thursday, January 27, 2011, 7:05 p.m. CST
vs. Milwaukee (6-12, 3-4 Horizon)
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) - Valparaiso, Ind.
Upcoming in Crusader Basketball: Valparaiso begins its longest homestand of the 2010-2011 season on Thursday evening as the Crusaders host Milwaukee at the ARC. Valpo is looking to carry over the momentum from last Saturday’s road victory at Loyola (Chicago) while trying to pick up its first win at home this season.
On the Air: Thursday’s game will be broadcast live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) as well as online at www.valpoathletics.com. Keaton Gillogly and Nick Garling will be calling all of the action live from the Athletics-Recreation Center. In addition, the game can be seen live online through the Horizon League Network. Live stats will be available through www.valpoathletics.com for the game as well.
Head Coach Keith Freeman: In his 17th season on the Valparaiso bench, Keith Freeman has a 273-217 (.557) record at the helm of the Brown and Gold. In his 23rd season overall, Freeman has a 402-264 (.604) career mark. He is Valpo’s all-time winningest coach and has amassed more than half of the victories in the program’s history.
Series Notes: Valparaiso and Milwaukee are meeting for the 16th time in a series that dates back to Feb. 4, 1983. The Panthers lead the overall series between the two schools 10-5 but the Crusaders have won three of the last five contests. Last year the two schools split their regular season meetings, each defending its own home floor. Milwaukee then won the rubber match at Valpo on March 8 in the first round of the Horizon League Tournament, downing the Crusaders 71-57. Milwaukee holds a 4-3 advantage all-time in meetings held in Valparaiso.
Wrapping Up Loyola (Chicago): Valpo got balanced scoring as four players tallied double figures and the Crusader defense made the stops when they were needed as the Brown and Gold registered its first Horizon League win of the season on Saturday, defeating the Ramblers 65-58 in Chicago. Tabitha Gerardot led Valpo with 14 points and nine rebounds while Betsy Adams, Laura Richards, and Ashley Timmerman each added 11 points. The Crusaders limited the turnovers as well, committing just 12 miscues. Monica Albano led Loyola with 20 points in the loss.
Scouting Milwaukee: The Panthers had their three-game winning streak snapped on Saturday afternoon, suffering an 87-39 defeat at Green Bay. Lindsay Laur leads Milwaukee, and ranks third in the Horizon League, averaging 16.9 points per game while ranking fifth in the league on the glass pulling down 9.1 rebounds per night. Angela Rodriguez adds 11.8 points per night. As a team, Milwaukee leads the Horizon League shooting 79.8% from the free throw line, led by Laur’s league-leading 90.4% from the stripe.
A Balanced Attack: Valparaiso placed four players in double figures in the win against Loyola (Chicago) on Saturday afternoon, the first time this year that more than three Crusaders had scored 10 or more points in a game. Led by Tabitha Gerardot’s 14 points and 11 more from Betsy Adams, Laura Richards, and Ashley Timmerman, seven different Crusaders scored at least five points in the game.
Getting the Defensive Stops: After Valparaiso took an 11-10 lead on Saturday at Loyola, the Crusaders never fell behind the rest of the contest. Several times the Ramblers fought back, even after Valpo built a 10-point lead. Every one of the seven times in which Loyola pulled within one, the Crusaders had an answer, allowing Valpo to hang on for the win.
Unexpected Production: Laura Richards, who entered the Loyola (Chicago) game having scored just two points total in the last five contests, matched her career high with 11 points against the Ramblers. The sophomore made three-of-four from the floor, including both three-pointers she attempted, to match her previous best set last year against Youngstown State on Feb. 13, 2010.
More Added Scoring: Maegan Callaway also made the most of her minutes Saturday against the Ramblers. Playing a season high 17 minutes, the freshman matched her career best with seven points while grabbing three rebounds for the Crusaders. Included in her effort was a big three-point play down low late in the first half to all the Brown and Gold to take an advantage into the locker room.
Lange Converts From the Line: After starting the season just 9-for-20 from the free throw line, Gina Lange has improved drastically from the stripe. The sophomore made 13 consecutive free throws beginning on Jan. 6 until she miss her final attempt on Saturday against Loyola (Chicago), going 5-of-6 in the game. For the season Lange is now shooting 64.7% from the charity stripe.
Better on the Boards: After outrebounding opponents in just two of the first 10 games this season, the Crusaders have done better since Christmas break on the glass. Valpo has outrebounded four of their last eight opponents, and was even with another dating back to the Eastern Illinois contest. In Horizon League play Valpo is just -0.1 in rebounding margin compared with -3.5 overall.
Dialing Long Distance: Valparaiso has made nine or more three-pointers in each of the last three games. The Crusaders are averaging 7.2 triples per contest this season, second most in the Horizon League and 36th best nationally. Valpo is shooting 33.3% from long range as a team, tops in the conference.
60 Points is the Magic Number on Defense: In all four of Valpo’s victories, the Brown and Gold has held the opposition in the 50s in the scoring column. However, when the opponent has hit 60 points, the Crusaders have not been able to produce a win on the year.
From Deep: Betsy Adams and Ashley Timmerman rank as two of the top four Horizon League outside shooters this season. Adams, a 39.5% shooter from three-point range, is second in the conference while Timmerman connects at 38.8% from beyond the arc, fourth best in the league. Adams is also second in the conference making 2.5 triples per game.
A Lengthy Homestand: Valpo begins a season-long four-game homestand on Thursday hosting Milwaukee. The Crusaders have seven of their final 11 games at home, including six of their next eight overall as Horizon League play nears the midway mark of the season. Valpo hosts nationally-ranked Green Bay on Saturday to wrap up the first half of conference action before entertaining Wright State and Detroit next weekend.
Adams Moves Into the Top-10: Betsy Adams has moved into 10th place in school history for three-pointers made. She now has 125 career triples, passing Amy Cole (1987-1991) to move onto the top-10 list. Next up on the list in ninth place is Kathryn Knoester (2000-2004) with 132, seven ahead of Adams. Betsy Adams has already made 47 threes this season after making 64 last year to rank 10th on the single season charts. The junior guard has made at least one trey in 17 of the 19 contests this season, being shutout against just Cincinnati and Notre Dame, when she attempted just one shot in each game.
Gerardot Has Five Double-Doubles: Tabitha Gerardot has already tallied five double-doubles in her freshman season as a Crusader. Gerardot already has double-doubles against Cincinnati, Evansville, Coastal Carolina, Chicago State, and Eastern Illinois this year, and is second on the team in scoring at 9.8 points per game, while leading the Crusaders with 6.8 rebounds per contest.
Accepting Charity: After making just four of her first seven free throws this season, Betsy Adams has found her stroke at the charity stripe. The junior guard has made 27 of her last 29 attempts beginning with the Lamar game on Nov. 20, including her last 15 straight. For the season Adams is connecting on 86.1% from the free throw line.
Freeman Earns Win #400: Head coach Keith Freeman needed five extra minutes on Dec. 4, but they were well worth it as the Crusaders’ come-from-behind win over Coastal Carolina, 59-52, gave him his 400th career victory coaching women’s basketball. In his 23rd season on the sidelines, he entered the 2010-2011 season tied for 43rd among all active Division I coaches for career victories. He has guided the Crusaders to more than 50% of the program’s victories all-time at Valpo and holds every one of Valpo’s coaching records.
This and That: Despite making just one three-pointer and finishing with 11 points at Loyola (Chicago), Betsy Adams had a career high six assists against the Ramblers ... Betsy Adams and Laura Richards are the only Crusaders to start every game ... Valpo has used four different lineups in the last six games ... Ashley Timmerman has tallied double figures in back-to-back games for the third time this season.