Valparaiso (7-20, 4-11 Horizon)
Game #28: Thursday, February 24, 2011, 7 p.m. CST
at #17/13 Green Bay (25-1, 14-0 Horizon)
Kress Center (4,018) - Green Bay, Wis.
Upcoming in Crusader Basketball: Valparaiso heads to the state of Wisconsin for its final road trip of the 2010-2011 regular season this weekend. The Crusaders begin the excursion with a Thursday night stop at #17/13 Green Bay, looking to hand the nationally-ranked Phoenix their first Horizon League defeat.
On the Air: Thursday’s game will be broadcast live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) as well as online at www.valpoathletics.com. Chris Kleinhans-Schulz and Renee’ Turpa will be calling all of the action live from the Kress 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 276-222 (.554) record at the helm of the Brown and Gold. In his 23rd season overall, Freeman has a 405-269 (.601) 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 Green Bay are meeting for the 26th time in a series that dates back to Dec. 9, 1986. The Phoenix lead the overall series with the Crusaders 21-4 and have won six straight meetings after posting a 69-50 win over Valpo at the Athletics-Recreation Center on Jan. 29. The Phoenix are 10-2 against the Crusaders in Green Bay, and have won seven straight in Wisconsin, with Valpo’s last win up north coming on March 8, 1991 in the North Star Conference Tournament. Valpo’s last win in the series came at the ARC, a 90-88 overtime thriller, on Jan. 19, 2008.
Wrapping Up UIC: Valparaiso held the lead heading into the final five minutes on Saturday morning, but UIC finished the game on a 16-7 run to defeat the Crusaders 69-64 at the ARC. Tabitha Gerardot led the Crusaders with 16 points and eight rebounds while Ashley Timmerman added 12 points. Valpo shot 41.3% from the floor, however, 17 Valpo turnovers turned into 21 Flame points as UIC snapped the Crusaders’ three-game home court win streak. Briana Hinkle led UIC with 19 points.
Scouting Green Bay: The Phoenix have won 16 straight games and remain unbeaten in Horizon League action following a 77-59 win at Milwaukee last Saturday afternoon. Celeste Hoewisch, Julie Wojta, and Kayla Tetschlag pace Green Bay averaging 13.7, 13.5, and 13.4 points per game respectively. Tetschlag pulls down 7.5 rebounds per game while Wojta grabs 7.2 boards per night. As a team the Phoenix shoot 44.8% from the floor and 79.1% from the free throw line. Green Bay allows just 51.5 points per game and the Phoenix rank in the top-eight nationally in eight different statistical categories.
Earlier This Season vs. Green Bay: A 19-2 run that spanned both halves proved to be the difference on Jan. 29 as the Phoenix defeated the Crusaders 69-50. Rashida Ray paced Valpo with 16 points as the only Valpo player in double figures while the Crusaders committed 18 turnovers and shot just 34% from the floor. Celeste Hoewisch led Green Bay with 17 points as four Phoenix finished the game in double figures.
Standings Jumbled Heading Into Final Two Weeks: Valparaiso heads into the final two weeks of the regular season looking to move up at least one position in the Horizon League standings. The Crusaders currently stand ninth, but are just one game back in the win column from seventh place. The seventh and eighth place teams earn the right to host first round games. If Valpo stays ninth, the Brown and Gold would have to travel for its opening game of the tournament.
Valpo Vs. Ranked Foes: Valparaiso is meeting a ranked opponent for the 29th time in school history, having recorded just one win. The Crusaders lone victory against a ranked foe came at the ARC on Dec. 10, 2008, a 71-60 win over #21/23 Purdue. This will be Valpo’s third game this season against as a ranked opponent as Valpo fell to #17/16 Notre Dame back on Dec. 20 and #22/16 Green Bay 69-50 on Jan. 29. Both previous games this season were at home.
Block Party: Valparaiso had blocked just 36 shots during the first 26 games of the season before matching a season-high with four rejections against UIC on Saturday. Skyler Gick and Stefanie Lang both had their first multi-block games of their career and the Crusaders had more than one player with two blocks in a game for the first time all season.
From Beyond the Arc: As a team Valparaiso has already made 191 three-point field goals on the season, the seventh highest single season total in program history. The Crusaders are one make shy of the 2003-2004 team for sixth place and three triples behind the 2001-2002 squad for a spot in the top-five. With seven more long range bombs, Valpo will match the 2008-2009 team for fourth place with 198 for the season. The Brown and Gold’s 576 attempts on the year already rank fourth most all-time, and with 12 more tries this year’s Crusader squad will move into third place on the single season charts.
Gick Dishing Out Helpers: Over the last six games, sophomore Skyler Gick has averaged 5.2 assists per game. She has recorded six assists three times, including Saturday against UIC and matched a career high with seven helpers last Thursday against Loyola (Chicago). Before the past six games, Gick had had just one total assist in the previous five Crusader contests.
Getting to the Glass in the League: After being outrebounded by 5.5 boards per game during non-conference play, Valparaiso has done a much better job cleaning the glass since Horizon League action started. The Crusaders are +0.3 in rebound margin during league contests and have outrebounded four of its last six opponents. Over the whole season, Valpo is now just -2.3 in rebounding margin.
Double Trouble: Tabitha Gerardot may only be a freshman, but she has made an immediate impact on the Crusader roster. The rookie has registered nine double-doubles this season, including four in Horizon League play. Gerardot is averaging 10.8 points per game, second on the team, while pulling down a team-leading 7.6 rebounds per night. Her nine double-doubles are tied for fourth most in the conference this year.
Adams Moves Into Eighth All-Time: Betsy Adams has moved into eighth place in school history for three-pointers made. She now has 144 career triples, passing Heidi Diefenthaler (1992-1996). Next up on the list in seventh place is Megan Newcomer (1996-2000) with 145, just one ahead of Adams. Jamie Gutowski (2002-2006) is just seven threes ahead of Adams in sixth place with 151 for her career.
Moving Up the Single Season Charts: Betsy Adams has already made 66 three-pointers this season, moving into a tie for eighth place on the school’s single season charts, sharing the spot with Aimee Litka in 2008-2009. Adams is just two triples shy of Lynda Kukla (1989-1990), Suzie Hammel (2003-2004), and Aimee Litka (2007-2008) for fifth as the trio all had 68 threes in a season. The junior guard has made at least one trey in 25 of the 27 contests this season, being shutout against just Cincinnati and Notre Dame, when she attempted just one shot in each game.
From Deep: Betsy Adams and Ashley Timmerman rank as two of the top eighth Horizon League outside shooters this season. Timmerman, a 38.1% shooter from three-point range, is fifth in the conference while Adams connects at 36.7% from beyond the arc, eighth best in the league. Adams ranks third in the conference making 2.4 triples per night while Timmerman is 10th connecting on 1.7 per game.
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 her last 35 straight free throws dating back to the Coastal Carolina game on Dec. 4. Three times this season she has been a perfect 6-for-6 from the line in a game, including each of the last two games at Cleveland State and at Youngstown State. For the season Adams is connecting on 91.1% (51-of-57) from the free throw line.
This and That: Valpo looks to snap a seven-game losing skid to ranked opponents ... Rashida Ray tied her career high with five rebounds against UIC on Saturday ... Tabitha Gerardot has scored in double figures in five straight games ... Gerardot’s string of five straight double figure rebounding games came to an end against UIC when she had eight ... five different Crusaders have led Valpo in scoring this season.