Site: Cedar Falls, Iowa
Venue: McLeod Center
Date: Nov. 4
Time: 3 PM
Tickets: $6 adults, $3 children
The University of Northern Iowa women's basketball season will open their 2012-13 season against the Upper Iowa Peacocks with an exhibition game on Nov. 4 at home in the McLeod Center. The Panthers haven't met the Peacocks since Feb. 15, 1985 when UNI defeated Upper Iowa 81-62.
Tanya Warren enters her sixth season as the head coach of the Panthers after taking the team to new heights. During the 2011-2012 season, Warren led the Panthers to a successful season with 19 wins, marking its third straight season with 17 or more wins for only the second time in program history. The Panthers' 63 wins since the start of the 2009-10 season are the school's most over a span of three seasons. The team also racked up the first post-season victories in UNI history, winning three games to advance to the finals of the Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI). Carol Russell will enter her third season with the Peacocks in the fall of 2012. She became the head women's basketball coach at UIU in the spring of 2010 after spending eight seasons as the head women's basketball coach at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. She is the 12th head coach in the 35-year history of the Peacock women's basketball program.
Panther fans can keep up with UNI athletics at the official website, www.unipanthers.com. Fans can also keep up with women's basketball on Facebook at www.facebook.com/uniwomensbasketball and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/unipantherwbb.
Through a partnership with NeuLion, all home women's basketball games, other than the exhibition, will be shown with streaming audio and video at www.unipanthers.com. The subscription service also allows fans to listen to all road games through the web, along with watching selected road games.
Each Monday, UNI's in-season coaches speak at noon in the back room of Pepper's Sports Bar and Grill, located on 18th street in Cedar Falls. The public and media are invited to attend and head what Tanya Warren and the other coaches have to say about their teams.
The Panthers lead the series against Upper Iowa 6-0 with their last meeting coming in 1982. The closest contest between UNI and the Peacocks was in 1972 when UNI won by 13 points 48-35. The biggest deficit between UNI and Upper Iowa was in 1973 when the Panthers won by 47 points.
Scouting Upper Iowa
The Peacocks opened up their 2012-13 season with an exhibition win against Ashford University on Oct. 28. Upper Iowa finished last season 3-23 overall. They are returning two seniors along with three juniors to the court this season.
Full-season ticket packages are available for $20 to see the Panther women's basketball team in action at the McLeod Center. A total of 15 home games are on tap in 2012-2013. Contact UNITix at 319-273-4849 for more information.
UNI was picked to finish fourth in the MVC this season. Creighton took the top spot with Wichita State taking the second spot. Illinois State finished in the third place spot with Missouri State rounding out the top-five behind the Panthers.
Jacqui Kalin was picked by the conference as part of the preseason All-MVC team. She was joined by Wichita State, Illinois State, Creighton and Missouri State.
Returning to the Court
The Panthers will have two key players returning to the court this season in Jacqui Kalin and Mercedees Morgan. Kalin, who missed the entire 2011-12 season due to injury, will return after being named the 2010-11 Jackie Stiles MVC Player of the Year. Morgan, who played and started in over 20 games last season, missed the second half of the 2011-12 season after suffering a season ending knee injury.
Senior CLASS Award
Jacqui Kalin has been named a candidate for the 2012-13 Senior CLASS Award. She is one of 30 women student-athletes that have been chosen. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.
In the Books
Jacqui Kalin currently has 1,419 points in her career at UNI. She is on track to become the all-time leading scorer and will need 432 points to tie the record of 1,851 points that was set by Amy Swisher who played from 2000-2004.
The Panthers will suit up only three seniors this season along with one junior and four sophomores. The other eight spots on the roster belong to four redshirt freshmen and four true freshmen.
The UNI women's basketball team made history last season by notching the program's first post-season wins during their run in the Women's Basketball Invitational. UNI won three games to advance to the finals of the WBI.
Winning in McLeod
The women's basketball program currently has a winning record inside the McLeod Center. The overall record of 55-27 includes nine wins at home last season.
Amber Kirschbaum is currently sitting on 62 career blocks and at the No. 10 spot on UNI's all-time list. She is only 17 blocks away from moving up on the list.
Amber Kirschbaum led the team last season with 242 total rebounds. She notched 10 or more rebounds in 10 games last season.
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.
The Panthers lost three seniors last season in Rachel Madrigal, K.K. Armstrong and Katelin Oney. They own 29 spots in the top-20 of the school's career records leaderboards. Oney, Madrigal and Armstrong played in a combined 362 games for UNI.
UNI on TV
The University of Northern Iowa women's basketball program will make at least three appearances on the Missouri Valley Conference's in-house television package this season. The Valley, with Niles Media Group of Kansas City serving as its production company, has worked in conjunction with FOX Sports Midwest - along with its sister regional cable outlets FOX Sports Indiana and FOX Sports Kansas City - and Comcast SportsNet Chicago to clear all basketball and Olympic sport telecasts. UNI's first appearance on the MVC in-house television package will be their conference opener against Illinois State in Normal, Ill on Jan. 4. The Panthers will appear again Jan. 25 when they travel to Omaha, Neb. to take on the Creighton Bluejays. UNI will also be on the MVC TV package when they play Wichita State on Feb. 8 in Wichita, Kan.
The Panthers will face one of their toughest non-conference schedules this season. Nine of the opponents qualified for post-season play a year ago and five of those teams made it to the NCAA tournament.