HUNTSVILLE, Texas - University of Northern Iowa senior K.K. Armstrong put together one of the best all-around performances in UNI women's basketball history on Saturday afternoon, recording the second triple-double in UNI history to lead the Panthers past Sam Houston State, 78-69, and into the semifinals of the Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI).
Armstrong finished with 30 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists and four steals in 40 minutes of action. 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.
UNI (18-14) shot better than 45 percent from the field for the second straight game, knocking down 29-of-64 shots (45.3 percent). The Panthers went 10-for-20 from beyond the arc, including a 7-for-11 effort in the second half. UNI recorded 25 assists on its 29 made field goals and committed only 10 turnovers.
After scoring 52 second-half points on Thursday at Stephen F. Austin in the WBI first round, UNI lit the scoreboard for 46 points in the second half against Sam Houston State (18-12).
After building an early 8-1 lead, UNI's shooting turned cold and the Bearkats rallied back to take a 20-11 lead with 9:45 left in the first half. Armstrong kept the Panthers close with five quick points on a layup and three-pointer that closed the gap to 20-16.
UNI hung with Sam Houston State over the next seven minutes, trimming the deficit to two points on three different occasions before finally tying the contest at 32-32 with 1:56 left in the half. The Bearkats scored the final four points of the half to lead 36-32 at the break.
Armstrong torched the nets for 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting in the first half. The rest of the Panthers combined to shoot 4-for-19 in the first 20 minutes.
UNI exploded out of the gates in the second half, scoring 22 points in just over eight minutes to open the half. Freshman Brittni Donaldson drained a three-pointer to put UNI up 46-45 with 14:22 to play in the game, and the Panthers would not trail again. An Oney trey with 4:15 left pushed the margin to its largest at 13 points and UNI held off the Bearkats for the 78-69 victory.
With 40 more minutes today, Madrigal set the UNI single season record for minutes played at 1,147.
UNI advances to the semifinals of the WBI and will meet the winner of Seattle-Wright State next week. Seattle and Wright State will play at 4 p.m. Sunday. Date (either Mar. 21 or 22), time and location of UNI's semifinal tilt have yet to be determined.
NOTES: K.K. Armstrong set new UNI single-game postseason records in points (30), rebounds (12), and assists (10) ... Armstrong tied the UNI postseason record for steals (4) ... Armstrong and Madrigal each played in their 126th career game Saturday, and should tie the UNI career record of 127 games held by Lizzie Boeck in the WBI semifinals ... Amber Kirschbaum's 236 rebounds have her tied for the fifth-most ever in a single season by a UNI player ... Katelin Oney's 64 three-pointers this season are the fifth-most ever by a Panther ... Armstrong has 131 assists this season to rank No. 4 in UNI history and her 372 career assists are tied for third all-time.