UNI Shoots for WBI Final Four Saturday at Sam Houston State
Courtesy: UNI Athletics Communications  
Release: Wednesday 03/16/2012

Women's Basketball Invitational - Quarterfinals
Sat., Mar. 17
at Sam Houston State (18-11, 12-4 Southland)
2 p.m.
Johnson Coliseum
Huntsville, Texas
Radio: 1330 AM KWLO

The University of Northern Iowa women's basketball team (17-14, 9-9 MVC) will take on Sam Houston State in the quarterfinals of the Women's Basketball Invitational on Sat., Mar. 17, at 2 p.m. The winner will meet the winner of Seattle-Wright State in the WBI semifinals.


  • 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 61 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.
  • The Panthers topped the Bearkats 88-49 at a tournament in Houston on Nov. 30, 2002, in UNI's only previous meeting with Sam Houston State.
  • UNI's three seniors - Katelin Oney, Rachel Madrigal and K.K. Armstrong - own 25 spots in the Top-20 of the school's career records leaderboards. Oney, Madrigal and Armstrong have played in a combined 356 games for UNI.
  • With an 83-67 win at Stephen F. Austin on Mar. 15, UNI secured the first postseason win in program history. The Panthers now 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.
  • This is UNI's sixth appearance in a postseason tournament. Aside from NCAA Tournament berths in 2010 and 2011, the Panthers made WNIT appearances in 2001, 2003 and 2006, dropping a first-round contest each time.
  • Seniors Rachel Madrigal and K.K. Armstrong are each expected to play in their 126th career game when the Panthers take on the Bearkats on Saturday, putting them at No. 2 on the UNI all-time list and only one game short of Lizzie Boeck's record of 127 games played.
  • If UNI senior Rachel Madrigal plays three or more minutes vs. Sam Houston State on Saturday, she will set a school record for the most minutes played in a season. Madrigal is averaging 35.7 minutes per game.
  • After racking up 36 assists in her last eight games, UNI senior K.K. Armstrong is up to 121 assists on the season. Armstrong is one of five players in UNI history to record at least 120 assists in a single season. Her 362 career assists are fifth in school history.
  • 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.


            Sam Houston State (18-11, 12-4 Southland) is making its first-ever postseason appearance. The Bearkats are 12-1 at home this season after defeating Rice 73-55 in the first round of the WBI.

            Junior Britni Martin leads Sam Houston State with 17.4 points and 4.0 assists per contest. Martin had 22 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in SHSU's first-round victory over Rice. Junior forward Sequeena Thomas averages 14.6 points and 12.7 rebounds per game for the season.

            UNI is 1-0 all-time against Sam Houston State and 2-1 all-time against Southland Conference opponents after defeating Stephen F. Austin on Thursday evening.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


UNI's March 15 game at Stephen F. Austin was its first in the state of Texas since a first-round WNIT loss at Baylor on Mar. 20, 2003.


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 has been climbing the national rankings in turnovers as the season has progressed. Currently, the Panthers rank No. 28 in the country for the fewest turnovers per game at 14.4. The Panthers have committed an average of just 12.4 turnovers per game over their past 12 contests.


Senior guard K.K. Armstrong is 10th on the UNI all-time scoring list. Armstrong (1,216 career points) scored nine points at Wichita State on March 3 to pass Alex Cook (2001-05) for 10th all-time.

UNI Single-Game Postseason Records

Points   23        Rachel Madrigal           at Stephen F. Austin (WBI)      3/15/12

            21        Amy Swisher    at DePaul (WNIT)        3/16/01

            21        Amy Swisher    at Baylor (WNIT)         3/20/03

            21        Jacqui Kalin      vs. Michigan St. (NCAA)         3/20/11

Rebounds         11        Abbi Schutte    at DePaul (WNIT)        3/16/01

            11        Sarah Larsen    at Baylor (WNIT)         3/20/03

Assists  7          K.K. Armstrong           at Stephen F. Austin (WBI)      3/15/12

            6          Rachel Madrigal           at Stephen F. Austin (WBI)      3/15/12

Steals   4          Lizzie Boeck     vs. Michigan St. (NCAA)         3/20/11

Blocks  2          Cassie Hager    at Kansas (WNIT)       3/16/06

            2          Erin Brocka      vs. Nebraska (NCAA) 3/21/10


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