Fri., Jan. 27
at Creighton (9-9, 3-4 MVC)
D.J. Sokol Arena
Television: MVC TV (Fox Sports Midwest, Fox College Sports, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, ESPN3)
Radio: KWLO 1330 AM
The University of Northern Iowa women's basketball team (12-6, 5-2 MVC) will return to the road for a meeting with the Creighton Bluejays on Fri., Jan. 27, at D.J. Sokol Arena in Omaha, Neb.
PANTHER QUICK SHOTS...
- UNI is the defending Missouri Valley Conference champion after posting a 17-1 mark in regular-season league play and rattling off 19 straight wins against MVC opponents last season.
- UNI has won 29 of its last 32 games against Missouri Valley Conference opponents. The stretch dates back to March 6, 2010, and includes two MVC Tournament titles and a 17-1 conference record last season.
- Creighton leads the all-time series 30-16, but UNI has won the last four meetings between the schools. The Bluejays' last victory over UNI came on Jan. 24, 2010, in Omaha.
- K.K. Armstrong is the only player in the nation this season to record 25+ points, 8+ steals and 7+ rebounds in a non-overtime game. Armstrong achieved the feat on Jan. 20 in a 71-57 win over Bradley.
- UNI leads the MVC in turnover margin through 18 games with an average of plus-2.78 per contest.
- Seven different Panthers have made at least three three-pointers in a game this season.
- UNI's five regular starters (Kirschbaum, Oney, Madrigal, Armstrong and Morgan) are combining to score 55.1 of the Panthers' 65.9 points per game this season.
- In its 12 wins this season, UNI has allowed only 54.2 points per game. In six losses, UNI has allowed 74.3 points per game.
- UNI is 12-0 this season when it holds its opponents to under 44 percent shooting. The Panthers are 7-1 when they out-rebound their opponent.
- Against Indiana State on Jan. 12, senior guard K.K. Armstrong became the 21st player in school history and the fourth Panther in the last three seasons to join the 1,000-point club.
- The Panthers are listed as the No. 14 mid-major team in the nation by CollegeInsider.com. They are the highest-rated team from the Missouri Valley Conference.
- 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.
The Creighton Bluejays are 9-9 overall and 3-4 in MVC action heading into their Jan. 27 game with UNI. Creighton is 4-3 at home this season and has won three of its last four overall.
Creighton head coach Jim Flanery is in his 10th season leading the Bluejays, holding a record of 179-125 as a head coach.
Statistically, Creighton has been led by a pair of sophomores this season. Guard Carli Tritz has led the Bluejays with 14.0 points and 2.9 assists per game. In league play, Tritz has bumped her average up to 15.7 points per contest. Forward Sarah Nelson has put up 12.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game for the season.
Creighton leads the all-time series 30-16, but UNI has won the last four meetings between the schools. The Bluejays' last victory over UNI came on Jan. 24, 2010, in Omaha.
TV BROADCAST INFORMATION
Scott Warmann (play-by-play) and Laura Leonard (analyst) will call the contest. The game will air live on FOX Sports Midwest, FOX Sports Indiana Plus, FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX College Sports, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, ESPN3 (outside the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska), DirecTV (Channel 671), Dish Network (Channel 418) and AT&T U-Verse (Channel 748).
LAST YEAR vs. CREIGHTON
UNI's two games with Creighton in the 2010-11 season were relatively low-scoring affairs. The Panthers averaged 59 points over the two contests, while the Bluejays averaged 54.5. UNI claimed a 58-57 road victory on Jan. 13 before winning 60-52 at home on Feb. 10.
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 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 five regular starters (Kirschbaum, Oney, Madrigal, Armstrong and Morgan) are combining to score 55.1 of the Panthers' 65.9 points per game this season.
The Panthers are 12-0 this season when holding the opposition to below 44 percent shooting. UNI is 0-6 when allowing a field goal percentage higher than 44 percent.
IN THE CLUTCH
While the Panthers have shot 31.6 percent from beyond the arc this season, they are draining three-pointers at a 39.6 percent rate in the final five minutes of games.
UNI is averaging 6.9 three-pointers made per game, ranking No. 24 in the nation. The Panthers have drained six or more three-pointers in 13 games this season, while their opponents have only completed the feat seven times.
Seven different Panthers have made at least three three-pointers in a game this season. They include: Katelin Oney (6 times), Rachel Madrigal (5 times), Mercedees Morgan (3 times), K.K. Armstrong (once), Brittni Donaldson (once), Jess McDowell (once) and Brooke Brown (once).
NOT QUITE COMEBACKS
In four of the Panthers' six losses this season, UNI has trimmed a second-half deficit of 14 points or more to five points or less, only to come up on the short end of the final score.
Date Opponent Initial Deficit Post-Comeback Result
Nov. 19 vs. Iowa Down 14 @ 11:42 Up 1 @ 0:36 L, 74-78
Dec. 4 at Green Bay Down 16 @ 18:45 Down 5 @ 3:56 L, 67-75
Dec. 17 at North Dakota Down 15 @ 12:56 Down 1 @ 1:03 L, 70-74
Jan. 12 vs. Indiana State Down 16 @ 9:32 Down 3 @ 0:53 L, 62-68
UNI leads the MVC in turnover margin through 18 games with an average of plus-2.78 per contest.
REBOUND TO WIN
UNI is 7-1 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 12 wins this season, the Panthers have averaged a plus-2.5 rebounding margin. In six losses, UNI is averaging a negative-11.3 rebounding margin.
UNI is 8-2 this season when its starting lineup spends more than 13 minutes together on the floor. The Panthers' two losses came on Nov. 19 against Iowa (78-74) and on Jan. 12 against Indiana State (68-62).
The Panthers own a perfect 9-0 mark this season when they post a higher field goal percentage than their opponents.
STARTER AND CLOSER
Rachel Madrigal has scored nearly 59 percent of her points in the first half of games this season. On the other hand, K.K. Armstrong has scored 60 percent of her points in the second half.
K.K. Armstrong Notes
K.K. Armstrong is the only player in the nation this season to record 25+ points, 8+ steals and 7+ rebounds in a non-overtime game. Armstrong achieved the feat on Jan. 20 in a 71-57 win over Bradley.
ALL-AROUND POINT GUARD
Senior point guard K.K. Armstrong has led UNI in rebounding for three straight contests, averaging 9.0 boards per game. Armstrong also put up 19.7 points, 5.7 assists and 3.0 steals per game over that stretch.
UNI senior K.K. Armstrong was one assist short of recording the second triple-double in school history and the 11th in MVC history on Jan. 14 in a win over Illinois State. Armstrong scored 17 points, matched her career-high with 10 rebounds, and set a new career-best with nine assists against the Redbirds.
The Panthers' only previous triple-double was achieved by Kris Huffman on Jan. 31, 1986, when she tallied 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists vs. Eastern Illinois.
Over her last five games, Armstrong owns a 24-to-9 assist-to-turnover ratio.
MAKING A MARK
With 25 points against Bradley on Jan. 20, UNI senior guard K.K. Armstrong jumped from 20th to 15th on the UNI career points leaderboard. Armstrong also ranks eighth all-time at UNI in free throws made and assists.
Armstrong's 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.
OFF THE BENCH
K.K. Armstrong is the 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.
On UNI's road trip to Evansville (1/5) and Southern Illinois (1/7), senior guard K.K. Armstrong led the team in plus/minus for both contests. Armstrong was plus-21 at Evansville and plus-13 at Southern Illinois.
Katelin Oney Notes
PEAKING IN THE VALLEY
UNI senior Katelin Oney ranks ninth in the MVC with an average of 14.0 points per game in conference play.
THREE-POINT TOP 10
With 40 three-pointers this season, senior guard Katelin Oney has vaulted into the UNI career Top 10 list. Oney is now eighth all-time at UNI with 120 three-pointers.
Of the 12 players in UNI history who have drained more than 100 career three-pointers, Oney has the second-best career three-point field goal percentage at 36.7 percent (120-of-327).
Senior guard Katelin Oney owns a cumulative plus/minus mark of plus-102 to lead the Panthers in that stat category -- meaning that, in Oney's minutes this season, UNI has outscored its opposition by 102 points.
ONEY ON FIRE
Katelin Oney 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.
LOTS OF THREES
Senior guard Katelin Oney 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
RETURN TO SENDER
Senior Rachel Madrigal has recorded 14 blocks in the first seven games of the MVC season to lead the league in that category. Madrigal had a career-high five swats against Indiana State on Jan. 12, and she is currently No. 9 on the UNI all-time list with 65 career blocks.
UNI senior Rachel Madrigal has played 37 or more minutes in six consecutive games, including 117 out of 120 minutes in the Panthers' last three contests against Indiana State (1/12), Illinois State (1/14) and Bradley (1/20). Madrigal's average of 34.9 minutes per game is the highest by a Panther since Nicole Clausen played 35.3 minutes per game in the 2008-09 season.
Madrigal has played 40 minutes in a game twice this season -- vs. Iowa on Nov. 19 and vs. Indiana State on Jan. 12 -- and has played 36 minutes or more on 12 different occasions.
Rachel Madrigal is shooting 30-of-60 (50 percent) in MVC play, ranking sixth in the conference.
TURN IT UP
After averaging 4.1 points per game through the first three seasons of her career, Madrigal is scoring 12.1 points per game this season. She scored a career-high 22 points vs. Illinois State on Jan. 14.
Amber Kirschbaum Notes
CLEANING THE GLASS
Junior forward Amber Kirschbaum is No. 5 in the MVC with 7.9 rebounds per game. Kirschbaum has posted double-digit rebounds in six games this season.
FILLING THE STAT SHEET
Amber Kirschbaum is making her presence known on the defensive end of the floor. Kirschbaum leads UNI in rebounds (142) and is second on the team in steals (26) and blocks (19).
CARRYING THE SQUAD
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.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE NO. 3
Junior Amber Kirschbaum recorded her third double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds at Evansville on Jan. 5. The Panthers are 3-0 when Kirschbaum posts a double-double.
Junior forward Amber Kirschbaum 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. Kirschbaum was named Tournament MVP.
Mercedees Morgan Notes
WHEN IT COUNTS
Mercedees Morgan has not missed a shot in the final five minutes of a game this season. Morgan is 6-of-6 from the floor, including a perfect 4-of-4 from three-point range in the last five minutes of games. She is also 8-of-10 from the free throw line in that time frame.
Junior Mercedees Morgan owns the best assist-to-turnover ratio in the MVC through seven league games. Morgan has tallied 21 assists and 13 turnovers for a 1.6 assist-to-turnover ratio.
TEAM ON HER BACK
Mercedees Morgan led the Panthers in scoring in a 61-51 road win at Evansville on Jan. 5. Morgan scored 15 of her 17 points in the second half, and the Panthers opened the second half with a 12-0 run to build a 13-point lead they did not relinquish.
Junior Mercedees Morgan either matched or set career-highs in blocks (3), field goals made (6), field goals attempted (14), three-pointers made (4) and three-pointers attempted (9) against South Dakota on Dec. 7.
Jess McDowell Notes
GETTING A CHANCE
Sophomore forward Jess McDowell and freshman guard Brittni Donaldson each made their first career start against Iowa State on Dec. 20. McDowell scored a career high 11 points and was 3-of-5 from three-point range against the Cyclones.
Sophomore Jess McDowell doubled her previous career high in rebounds in UNI's 90-73 win over Youngstown State (11/26). McDowell pulled down eight rebounds in only 12 minutes on the floor, doubling her previous best of four boards.
Brooke Brown Notes
Redshirt freshman Brooke Brown either matched or set career-highs in points (12), rebounds (5), steals (3), field goals (3), three-pointers (3), free throws (3) and minutes (32) in a 71-57 win over Bradley on Jan. 20. Brown also led the Panthers with a plus/minus score of plus-14 for the game.