Women's Basketball Invitational - Championship
Sun., Mar. 25
at Minnesota (18-17)
Radio: 1330 AM KWLO
The University of Northern Iowa women's basketball team (19-14, 9-9 MVC) will meet the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers at 2 p.m. on Sun., Mar. 25, with the championship of the third annual Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI) on the line.
PANTHER QUICK SHOTS...
- The Panthers are making their third straight appearance in a postseason tournament after securing the school's first two NCAA Tournament bids in 2010 and 2011.
- UNI has won 63 games since the start of the 2009-10 season, marking the most wins in school history over a span of three seasons.
- UNI is the only school taking part in the 2012 WBI that qualified for the NCAA Tournament in the 2010-11 season. The Panthers earned the Missouri Valley Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with MVC Tournament titles in each of the past two seasons.
- Seniors Rachel Madrigal and K.K. Armstrong are each expected to play in their 128th career game when the Panthers take on Minnesota, breaking Lizzie Boeck's UNI career record of 127 games (2007-11).
- UNI's three seniors - Katelin Oney, Rachel Madrigal and K.K. Armstrong - own 29 spots in the Top-20 of the school's career records leaderboards. Oney, Madrigal and Armstrong have played in a combined 362 games for UNI.
- UNI has never defeated Minnesota. The Panthers are 0-7 all-time against the Golden Gophers, including an 0-3 record at Minnesota. The schools last met on Nov. 13, 2007, when Minnesota won 68-57 in Cedar Falls in Tanya Warren's second game as UNI head coach.
- The Panthers have three straight seasons with 17 or more wins for the second time in school history. UNI also won at least 17 games in the 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons.
- True road teams in the 2012 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament, WNIT and WBI hold a record of 26-64. UNI and Syracuse (WNIT) are the only two women's teams in the nation to win three postseason games on the road.
- Three of the five road wins in the 2012 WBI belong to UNI. The Panthers' three victories are over schools that combined for 61 wins this season.
- Senior K.K. Armstrong recorded the second triple-double in UNI history on Mar. 17 in the WBI Quarterfinals at Sam Houston State. Armstrong racked up 30 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Only 10 players in the nation have posted a triple-double this season.
- The UNI women are the lone squad from the state of Iowa remaining in Division I postseason play. All eight men's and women's programs in the state (UNI, Iowa State, Drake and Iowa) qualified for postseason play.
- The Panthers are coming off back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament. UNI earned the program's first-ever bid by winning the 2010 MVC Tournament. In 2011, the Panthers secured the regular-season championship with a 17-1 mark and again won the MVC Tournament title.
Minnesota (18-17, 6-10 Big Ten) defeated Charleston Southern, Bradley and Manhattan to advance to the championship game of the WBI. The Golden Gophers are 14-4 at home this season, including a 9-1 mark at home against non-conference opponents.
Rachel Banham leads the Gophers in scoring with an average of 15.9 points per game. Kiara Buford (13.7 ppg) is the only other Gopher averaging double digits in scoring this season. Minnesota is shooting 41.1 percent from the field as a team.
Head coach Pam Borton is in her 10th season at Minnesota, owning a record of 194-125 (.606).
UNI has never defeated Minnesota. The Panthers are 0-7 all-time against the Golden Gophers, including an 0-3 record at Minnesota. The schools last met on Nov. 13, 2007, when Minnesota won 68-57 in Cedar Falls in Tanya Warren's second game as UNI head coach.
UNI Postseason History:
3/16/2001 at DePaul L(OT), 73-76 WNIT
3/20/2003 at Baylor L, 56-58 WNIT
3/16/2006 at Kansas L, 49-59 WNIT
3/21/2010 Nebraska L, 44-83 NCAA
3/20/2011 Michigan St. L, 66-69 NCAA
3/15/2012 at SFA W, 83-67 WBI First Round
3/17/2012 at Sam Houston St. W, 78-69 WBI Quarterfinal
3/21/2012 at Seattle W, 68-64 WBI Semifinal
IN WILLIAMS ARENA
The Panthers have not played Minnesota in Minnesota since Nov. 10, 2006 -- the season opener for the 2006-07 season -- but that was not their most recent visit to Williams Arena. UNI took on top-seeded Nebraska at Williams Arena in its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance on Mar. 21, 2010, falling 83-44.
With a start on Sunday at Minnesota, seniors K.K. Armstrong and Rachel Madrigal and junior Amber Kirschbaum can become the only Panthers to ever start more than 33 games in a season.
GET TO THE LINE
K.K. Armstrong broke the UNI school record for career free throw attempts at Seattle on Mar. 21. Armstrong got to the charity stripe nine times against the Redhawks to get to 502 career free throw attempts. The previous record of 501 was held by UNI Hall of Famer Allison Starr (1996-2000).
LONG DISTANCE ATTACK
With 742 three-point attempts in 33 games (an average of 22.5 per game), the 2011-12 Panthers have shot more three-pointers than any team in school history. UNI has set a new team record for three-point attempts in each of the last three seasons.
A DOZEN DOES IT
UNI needs to make 12 three-pointers Sunday to match the single-season team record of 239 set by the 2010-11 squad. The Panthers' 227 threes this season rank No. 2 on the school's all-time list.
With a 22-point performance at Seattle on Mar. 21, senior Katelin Oney surpassed the 900-point mark for her career. Oney has 911 points in 108 career games to rank No. 24 on the UNI all-time scoring list.
EIGHT ENTERED, ONE REMAINS
The 2011-12 season marked the first time in history that all eight Division I men's and women's teams from the state of Iowa (UNI, Iowa State, Drake and Iowa) qualified for postseason tournament play. The UNI women are the last team standing after recording their first three postseason wins in program history in the WBI.
MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT
The 2011-12 season has become the longest season in UNI women's basketball history, as measured both by the calendar and by the number of games. The Panthers opened the year on Nov. 11 against Colorado State and their Mar. 25 contest at Minnesota will be the latest that UNI has ever played.
UNI's game at Minnesota will be its 34th of the season, setting a new school record for the most games played in one season.
THE BEST YET
UNI head coach Tanya Warren's 87 wins are the most ever by a UNI head coach in her first 160 games.
HITTING THE GLASS
UNI sophomore forward Jess McDowell grabbed seven rebounds in her first six minutes on the floor in the WBI semifinals at Seattle on Mar. 21. McDowell finished the game with a career-high nine rebounds, and she is averaging 6.7 rebounds per game in the WBI.
TWICE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE
Senior K.K. Armstrong recorded the second triple-double in UNI history on Mar. 17 in the WBI Quarterfinals at Sam Houston State. Armstrong racked up 30 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Only 10 players in the nation have posted a triple-double this season.
The only other triple-double by a Panther came on Jan. 31, 1986, when Kris Huffman posted 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists vs. Eastern Illinois. Armstrong's triple-double is only the 11th ever by a Missouri Valley Conference player.
Armstrong's triple-double at Sam Houston State on Mar. 17 broke UNI postseason single-game records for points, rebounds and assists.
UNI's 19 wins this season are the second-most wins in the Tanya Warren era (2007-present).
COACH WARREN'S POSTSEASON TRADITION
With a 2012 berth in the WBI, UNI head coach Tanya Warren joins Tony DiCecco as just the second coach in school history to land three postseason appearances in her tenure. Warren is the only coach to rack up three postseason appearances in her first five seasons at UNI.
UNI scored 98 points combined over its two second halves at Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State in the first two rounds of the WBI. The Panthers put up 52 points in the final 20 minutes at Stephen F. Austin on March 15, and then scored 46 second-half points at Sam Houston State on March 17. Between the two games, UNI shot 34-for-65 (52.3 percent) in the final 20 minutes.
Trailing by one point at halftime at Stephen F. Austin on March 15, UNI exploded for 52 second-half points -- its most points in a half since scoring 53 in the first half against Evansville on Jan. 9, 2010. The Panthers shot 30-of-59 (50.8 percent) for the game - their highest field goal percentage since a win over Chicago State on Nov. 14 of this season. UNI surpassed 80 points for only the fourth time this season, and the Panthers racked up 22 assists to tie their second-highest output of the year.
MADRIGAL BREAKS MARK
UNI senior Rachel Madrigal scored 23 points in the Panthers' first-round WBI victory over Stephen F. Austin, breaking the previous school postseason record of 21 points held by Amy Swisher and Jacqui Kalin. Madrigal connected on 9-of-13 field goal attempts and also recorded seven rebounds and six assists.
ARMSTRONG SHARES THE WEALTH
UNI senior K.K. Armstrong dished out seven assists in UNI's first-round WBI victory over Stephen F. Austin on Thursday, surpassing the previous school postseason record of four assists set by Sarah Larsen in a WNIT game at Kansas on March 16, 2006.
KIRSCHBAUM AND MADRIGAL SPELL DOOM FOR THE LADYJACKS
With UNI holding a 33-32 lead early in the second half against Stephen F. Austin (3/15), Rachel Madrigal and Amber Kirschbaum combined to score the Panthers' next 16 points. By the time Madrigal and Kirschbaum were done, UNI held a 49-43 lead it would not relinquish.
McDOWELL CAREER HIGH
Sophomore forward Jess McDowell poured in a career-high 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting at Stephen F. Austin on March 15.
By shooting 50.8 percent from the field at Stephen F. Austin on March 15, UNI surpassed 40 percent for the first time since Feb. 26 vs. Drake, 45 percent for the first time since Dec. 4 at Green Bay, and 50 percent for the first time since Nov. 14 at Chicago State.
It was only the second time this season that the Panthers drained more than 50 percent of their shot attempts.
PROTECT THE BALL
UNI has been climbing the national rankings in turnovers as the season has progressed. Currently, the Panthers rank No. 29 in the country for the fewest turnovers per game at 14.3.
Senior guard K.K. Armstrong is 10th on the UNI all-time scoring list. Armstrong (1,252 career points) scored nine points at Wichita State on March 3 to pass Alex Cook (2001-05) for 10th all-time. Armstrong is one point short of tying Tara King (2002-07) for ninth all-time.
KEYS TO THE GAME
UNI is 16-3 this season when holding its opponents to under 44-percent shooting and 3-11 when allowing better than 44-percent shooting. The Panthers are 9-1 when out-rebounding their opponents.
GOOD, GOOD, REALLY GOOD
With the Panthers' victory over Illinois State on Jan. 14, UNI head coach Tanya Warren earned her 79th career win and moved to No. 2 on the school's all-time wins list. Warren (87 wins, 2007-present) passed Wanda Green (78 wins, 1968-78) and now trails only Tony DiCecco (183 wins, 1995-2007) for most victories as a UNI women's basketball head coach.
UNI's starters have scored 85 percent of the team's points this season. Panther starters are averaging 55.6 of the team's 65.2 points per game.
THE THREE SENIORS
33 games into the season, UNI's top three scorers are separated by only 37 points. Seniors Katelin Oney (445 points), K.K. Armstrong (441 points) and Rachel Madrigal (408 points) lead the Panthers' scoring attack. All three have scored 25 or more points in a game this season.
UNI has connected on six or more three-pointers in 17 of the last 21 games. The Panthers are averaging 6.9 three-pointers per game, ranking them No. 27 in the nation.
Seven different Panthers have made at least three three-pointers in a game this season. They include: Katelin Oney (11 times), Rachel Madrigal (9 times), Mercedees Morgan (4 times), Brooke Brown (3 times), K.K. Armstrong (3 times), Brittni Donaldson (twice) and Jess McDowell (once).
UNI leads the MVC in turnover margin through 33 games with an average of plus-3.0 per contest.
REBOUND TO WIN
UNI is 9-1 this season when it out-rebounds its opponent. The Panthers' only loss in a game in which they won the rebounding battle came on Jan. 12 against Indiana State.
In their 19 wins this season, the Panthers have averaged a negative-0.7 rebounding margin. In 14 losses, UNI is averaging a negative-9.6 rebounding margin.
UNI is 10-3 this season when its starting lineup spends more than 13 minutes together on the floor. The Panthers' three losses came on Nov. 19 against Iowa (78-74), on Jan. 12 against Indiana State (68-62), and on Mar. 1 at Missouri State (80-68).
The Panthers own a 13-1 mark this season when they post a higher field goal percentage than their opponents, with their only loss coming to Creighton in the MVC Tournament quarterfinals.
UNI has never had the same leading scorer for three consecutive games this season. In fact, the Panthers have only had the same leading scorer in back-to-back games four times.
Amber Kirschbaum Notes
- MVC Scholar-Athlete second team selection for the 2011-12 season.
- Has played in all 99 games since joining UNI for the 2009-10 season. Sunday's game at Minnesota will be Kirschbaum's 100th game as a Panther.
- No. 7 in the MVC with 7.3 rebounds per game.
- Kirschbaum's 239 rebounds are the fifth-most ever in a single season by a UNI player.
- Posted double-digit rebounds in 10 games this season.
- Leads UNI in rebounds (239), is second on the team in blocks (32), and third on the team in steals (39).
- UNI is 4-0 this season when Kirschbaum records a double-double, winning each of those contests by at least 10 points.
- Her 62 career blocks rank No. 10 all-time at UNI.
- Notched her fourth double-double of the season with 23 points and a career-high-matching 15 rebounds in a 73-51 win over Southern Illinois on Feb. 2.
- Kirschbaum's hot shooting in the first half against Bradley on Jan. 20 kept UNI in the game while the rest of the team struggled. With seven minutes remaining in the first half (and UNI leading 16-15), Amber Kirschbaum was 5-of-5 shooting and the rest of the Panthers were a combined 0-for-14.
- Recorded her third double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds at Evansville on Jan. 5.
- Posted back-to-back double-doubles - the third and fourth of her career - to lead UNI to a tournament championship at the Loyola Marymount Thanksgiving Classic on Nov. 25-26 in Los Angeles. In wins over Wyoming and Youngstown State, she scored 36 points and pulled down 25 rebounds, recording a new single-game career-high in each of those categories.
- Named Tournament MVP at the Loyola Marymount Thanksgiving Classic.
Katelin Oney Notes
- Her 237 three-point attempts this season are the most in a single season in UNI history. The previous record, set by Jacqui Kalin in the 2009-10 season, was 216 attempts.
- One of only three Panthers in school history to put together two seasons with more than 60 made three-pointers (2010-11 and 2011-12).
- Leads UNI in scoring with 13.5 points per game.
- Averaging 16.1 points in 16 road games this season.
- The Panthers' leading scorer in MVC play with an average of 13.8 points to rank 11th in the league.
- 6th all-time at UNI with 150 career three-pointers -- 70 of those coming this season.
- 9th all-time at UNI with a career three-point percentage of 34.9%.
- She's drained at least one trey in 26 of 33 games this season, including an earlier streak of 12 straight games with a three-pointer.
- Scored in double-digits in 11 consecutive games from Jan. 7 at Southern Illinois to Feb. 17 at Bradley.
- Drained six treys at Seattle in the WBI semifinals on Mar. 21 -- her third career game with six three-pointers.
- Scored a career-high 33 points at Southern Illinois on Jan. 7 - the most in a game by a Missouri Valley Conference player this season. Oney's performance tied for the 11th-best single-game scoring output in UNI history. She scored 22 of her 33 points in the second half and set a new career highs in free throws made and attempted, going 10-of-16 at the line.
- Hit six three-pointers at nationally-ranked Green Bay on Dec. 4 to reach 100 career three-pointers made in a Panther uniform. Oney was one triple shy of tying the UNI single-game record of seven
Rachel Madrigal Notes
- Tied for first all-time at UNI with 127 games played.
- Led the MVC with 36 blocks in 18 conference games.
- Her 51 blocks on the season make her only the fifth player in UNI history to surpass 50 blocks in a single season.
- Ranks fifth all-time at UNI with 94 career blocks.
- Has played 35 minutes or more in 12 straight games.
- No. 2 in the MVC with 36.7 minutes per game in league play.
- Ranked No. 6 in the MVC with a 49.2 percent field goal percentage.
- Ranked No. 8 in the MVC with a free-throw percentage of 80.9%.
- Only three players in UNI history have a higher career field goal percentage than Madrigal (.472) while making at least as many shots (291).
- Scored a career-high 26 points at Drake on Jan. 29, including a game-tying three-pointer to force overtime in the Panthers' 82-77 victory.
- Her five blocks against Indiana State on Jan. 12 are tied for the most in a game by an MVC player this season.
- Average of 36.0 minutes per game is currently the fifth-highest for a season in UNI history.
- Played 37 or more minutes in six consecutive games from Dec. 31-Jan.20, including 117 out of 120 minutes in the Panthers' three contests against Indiana State (1/12), Illinois State (1/14) and Bradley (1/20).
- Played 36 minutes or more on 22 different occasions this season, including 40 minutes or more seven times.
K.K. Armstrong Notes
- Tied for first all-time at UNI with 127 games played.
- 10th on the UNI all-time scoring list. Armstrong (1,252 career points) needs two points to pass Tara King (2002-07) for ninth all-time.
- 1st at UNI all-time in free throws attempted (502).
- 3rd at UNI all-time in free throws made (365).
- 3rd at UNI all-time in assists (375).
- 5th at UNI all-time in steals (188).
- No. 3 in the Valley in assists per game (4.1) and T-4 in steals per game (2.5).
- One of 3 players in UNI history to record at least 130 assists in a single season.
- No. 2 in the MVC with a 1.5 assist-to-turnover ratio.
- Has scored in 67 consecutive games.
- Has 48 steals in her last 16 games.
- Recorded the second triple-double in UNI history at Sam Houston State on Mar. 17 with 30 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.
- One of 10 players in the nation this season to register a triple-double.
- Eight steals against Bradley on Jan. 20 tied Evansville's Briyana Blair for the most by an MVC player this season. Armstrong was one steal shy of matching the UNI single-game school record of nine, set by Allison Starr in 1999.
- 21st player in UNI history to score more than 1,000 career points. She started only 29 games on her way to the accomplishment. No other Panther did it with less than 64 starts.
- Owns a cumulative plus/minus mark of plus-122 to lead the Panthers in that stat category -- meaning that, in Armstrong's minutes this season, UNI has outscored its opposition by 122 points.
Brooke Brown Notes
- Recorded season-highs in rebounds (6) and assists (4) in UNI's WBI semifinal victory at Seattle on March 21.
- Has started 12 of the last 13 games in place of an injured Mercedees Morgan.
- Played 20.8 minutes per game in MVC play after averaging 9.0 minutes in non-conference games.
- Tallied a career-best 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting vs. Drake on Feb. 26.
- Played a career-high 35 minutes against Drake on Feb. 26.
- Has drained three treys in a game three times this season.
- Set then-career-highs of 12 points in each of the Panthers' meetings with Bradley this season.
Jess McDowell Notes
- Registered a career-best nine rebounds at Seattle in UNI's WBI semifinal win on March 21.
- Played a career-high 27 minutes in UNI's second-round WBI win over Sam Houston State on March 17.
- Scored a career-high 13 points in UNI's first-round WBI win over Stephen F. Austin on March 15.
- Six games of six or more rebounds this season, with each occurring in under 28 minutes of playing time.
- Grabbed eight rebounds at Wichita State on Mar. 3.
- Has recorded at least two rebounds in 19 of the last 21 games.
- Tallied a career-high three steals at Drake on Jan. 29.
- Made her first career start against Iowa State on Dec. 20.
- Scored a then-career-high 11 points and was 3-of-5 from three-point range against the Cyclones on Dec. 20.
- Doubled her previous career high in rebounds in UNI's 90-73 win over Youngstown State on Nov. 26. McDowell pulled down eight rebounds in only 12 minutes on the floor, doubling her previous best of four boards.