Hoosiers Host Valparaiso in First Regular Season Home Game Wednesday Night
Nov. 14, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana women's basketball team will open the regular season home slate with Valparaiso on Wednesday, Nov. 15, on Branch McCracken Court in Assembly Hall. Tip off against the Crusaders is set for 7:05 p.m.
The Hoosiers (2-0) upset No. 15/16 Kentucky, 54-51, in the championship game of the Women's Sports Foundation Classic on the Wildcats home court in Lexington, Ky., on Nov. 12. Indiana overcame a 13-point deficit in the first half for the three-point victory. Freshman Jamie Braun scored the Hoosiers' last seven points and ended with a career- and game-high 18 points, to earn Most Valuable Player honors for the tournament.
With the win over the Wildcats, the Hoosiers defeated a ranked opponent for the first time since upsetting then-No. 20/21 Minnesota on March 3, 2006, during the Big Ten Tournament. The last time that IU had defeated a top-15 foe was Feb. 19, 2006, when it toppled then-No. 10/10 Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind., in overtime.
The Hoosiers trip to the championship game of the Classic was a result of Indiana's 75-53 tournament opening win over Wake Forest. The victory marked head coach Felisha Legette-Jack's first victory at the helm of the Indiana program. IU battled back from an 11-point deficit in the first half to take a 33-23 lead at halftime. The Hoosiers prevented a Demon Deacon comeback early in the second half and built up a 24-point lead en route to the 75-53 win.
The last time Indiana started off the season, 2-0, was in 2003-04, when the Hoosiers opened that season with wins over Cornell (75-41, 11/22/03) and North Texas (79-60, 11/23/03). The pair of impressive season-opening wins has the Hoosiers receiving votes in both the ESPN/USA Today Coaches and Associated Press polls. Indiana picked up 19 votes in the AP poll and six in the coaches' poll.
The Crusaders enter tonight's game 0-1 after suffering a 64-45 loss at Northwestern on Nov. 10. Betsy Rietema was 4-of-9 from the floor for a team-high 13 points, while Tamra Braun added eight rebounds in the effort. Head coach Keith Freeman, the all-time winningest coach in Mid-Continent Conference history, enters his 19th season overall and 13th season with the Crusaders with an overall record of 338-189 and a mark of 209-142 at Valparaiso.
Indiana leads the all-time series, 5-1. The Crusaders won the last meeting, 64-60, in Valparaiso, Ind., on Dec. 7, 1999. The Hoosiers won the first five meetings, including four in Bloomington.
The Hoosiers battle with the Crusaders may be heard live on WHCC-FM 105.1 as Mike Hensinger and Steve Vilardo call the action live from Assembly Hall.
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