Women's Basketball
UNI, Evansville Ready for Saturday Night MVC Matchup
Courtesy: UNI Athletics Communications  
Release: Friday 02/03/2012

Sat., Feb. 4
Evansville (4-17, 1-9 MVC)
7 p.m.
McLeod Center
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Radio: KWLO 1330 AM

The University of Northern Iowa women's basketball team (14-7, 7-3 MVC) will meet the Evansville Purple Aces on Sat., Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. in the McLeod Center. UNI is in search of its third three-game winning streak of the season.

GAME PROMOTIONS

DOUBLEHEADER

Fans with tickets to the UNI-Creighton men's game at 4 p.m. on Saturday can attend the women's game against Evansville at no extra charge with their ticket stub.

HOMETOWN HEROES

UNI welcomes all residents of Decorah, Iowa, and the surrounding area to the McLeod Center on Saturday to support former Decorah Vikings and current UNI student-athletes Rachel Madrigal and Moran Lonning. The first 100 fans will receive player cards of Madrigal and Lonning.

AUTOGRAPH SESSION

The Panthers will hold an autograph signing after the game at the south end of the court with the entire women's basketball team present. Posters will be provided.

GOLD RUSH

Official "Gold Rush" t-shirts can be purchased at local retailers. Wear your gold to the men's and women's basketball game.

KIDS' ZONE

Pregame, a Kids' Zone will be set up on the concourse of the McLeod Center with games, chances to win prizes and photo opportunities with T.C.

KIDS TAKE OVER THE McLEOD CENTER

Six lucky Kids Club members were previously drawn to participate in this special promotion. Each kid will perform various duties around the McLeod Center during the first half of the women's basketball game.

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 31 of its last 35 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.
  • UNI has achieved good results against the travel tandem of Southern Illinois and Evansville over the past three seasons. The Panthers have won a combined 11 straight games against the Salukis and Purple Aces, dating back to the 2008-09 season.
  • UNI leads the all-time series against Evansville, 21-18. The Panthers have won each of the last seven meetings and have not lost to the Purple Aces in Cedar Falls since Feb. 2, 2008.
  • 21 games into the season, UNI's top three scorers are separated by only 14 points. Seniors Katelin Oney (274 points), K.K. Armstrong (262 points) and Rachel Madrigal (260 points) lead the Panthers' scoring attack.
  • With a 4-of-5 shooting performance on Feb. 2, senior Rachel Madrigal is now shooting 52.4 percent for the season. The last Panther to post a higher field goal percentage for a season was Cassie Hager in 2004-05, when she hit 55.6 percent of her shots.
  • Senior K.K. Armstrong is still 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 senior Katelin Oney has made a three-pointer in nine straight games and in 18 of 21 games overall.
  • Seven different Panthers have made at least three three-pointers in a game this season.
  • UNI topped the Purple Aces, 61-51, at Evansville on Jan. 5, with junior Mercedees Morgan scoring a game-high 17 points.
  • 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. 17 mid-major team in the nation by CollegeInsider.com.
  • 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.

SCOUTING EVANSVILLE

            Evansville is 4-17 overall and 1-9 in the MVC. The Purple Aces are 0-10 on the road this season. Evansville's lone league win was a 71-59 victory over Bradley on Jan. 8.

            Head coach Oties Epps is in his first year at Evansville.

            Junior center Samantha Heck leads the Purple Aces in scoring with 13.6 points per contest. Senior Briyana Blair is putting up 10.5 points, 9.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.

            UNI leads the all-time series against Evansville, 21-18. The Panthers have won each of the last seven meetings and have not lost to the Purple Aces in Cedar Falls since Feb. 2, 2008.

PANTHER NOTES

LAST TIME vs. EVANSVILLE

UNI held a 29-28 halftime lead at Evansville on Jan. 5 before opening the second half with a 12-0 run to take a 13-point lead. UNI led the rest of the way for a 61-51 victory.

            Mercedees Morgan led the Panthers with 17 points, 15 of which came in the second half. Amber Kirschbaum had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

LAST YEAR vs. EVANSVILLE

In two games against Evansville last season, UNI held the Purple Aces to 26-of-109 shooting (23.9 percent) and forced 50 turnovers. Katelin Oney averaged 14.5 points over the two contests with Evansville.

KIRSCHBAUM CONTROLS SIU

Junior Amber Kirschbaum scored 23 points and pulled in 15 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season in UNI's 73-51 win over Southern Illinois on Feb. 2. UNI is 4-0 when Kirschbaum records a double-double, winning each of those contests by at least 10 points.

HOLD ON TO THE BALL

The Panthers committed only 10 turnovers against Southern Illinois on Feb. 2, matching their season-low. UNI is 39th in the nation with only 15.1 turnovers per game.

LATE GAME HEROICS

UNI erased a six-point deficit with one minute to play at Drake on Jan. 29, and senior Rachel Madrigal capped the comeback with a game-tying three-pointer with six seconds remaining to force overtime. Madrigal then scored the first five points of overtime to help UNI build a lead it would hold onto the rest of the way. Madrigal finished with a career-high 26 points and season-high nine rebounds.

KEYS TO THE GAME

UNI is 13-1 this season when holding its opponents to under 44 percent shooting and 8-1 when out-rebounding its opponents.

TOP FOUR

Four Panthers are averaging double-figures in points: Katelin Oney (13.0 ppg), K.K. Armstrong (12.5 ppg), Rachel Madrigal (12.4 ppg) and Amber Kirschbaum (10.0 ppg).

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 (82 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.

FAB FIVE

UNI's five regular starters (Kirschbaum, Oney, Madrigal, Armstrong and Morgan) are combining to score 55.6 of the Panthers' 66.3 points per game this season.

THE THREE SENIORS

21 games into the season, UNI's top three scorers are separated by only 14 points. Seniors Katelin Oney (274 points), K.K. Armstrong (262 points) and Rachel Madrigal (260 points) lead the Panthers' scoring attack. All three have scored 25 or more points in a game this season.

FROM DOWNTOWN

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 16 games this season, while their opponents have only completed the feat eight times.

MULTIPLE THREATS

Seven different Panthers have made at least three three-pointers in a game this season. They include: Katelin Oney (6 times), Rachel Madrigal (6 times), Mercedees Morgan (4 times), K.K. Armstrong (once), Brittni Donaldson (once), Jess McDowell (once) and Brooke Brown (once).

TURNOVER MARGIN

UNI leads the MVC in turnover margin through 21 games with an average of plus-2.95 per contest.

REBOUND TO WIN

UNI is 8-1 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.

KEY STAT

In their 14 wins this season, the Panthers have averaged a plus-1.7 rebounding margin. In seven losses, UNI is averaging a negative-10.1 rebounding margin.

STARTING LINEUP

UNI is 9-2 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).

GOOD OMEN

The Panthers own a perfect 10-0 mark this season when they post a higher field goal percentage than their opponents.

Amber Kirschbaum Notes

  • Has made her last 13 free throw attempts. Her last miss came with 17:46 left in the first half against Illinois State on Jan. 14.
  • No. 5 in the MVC with 7.9 rebounds per game.
  • Posted double-digit rebounds in seven games this season.
  • Leads UNI in rebounds (165) and is second on the team in steals (27) and blocks (23).
  • UNI is 4-0 when Kirschbaum records a double-double, winning each of those contests by at least 10 points.

Katelin Oney Notes

  • Leading UNI in scoring with 13.0 points per game.
  • The Panthers' leading scorer in MVC play with an average of 14.1 points to rank 12th in the league.
  • Has made a three-pointer in nine straight games and in 18 of 21 games overall. The last time she failed to make a trey was on Dec. 29 in the Panthers' home loss to Wichita State.
  • Scored in double-digits in seven consecutive games, dating back to Jan. 7 at Southern Illinois.
  • Tied for seventh all-time at UNI with 125 three-pointers -- 45 of those coming this season.
  • Of the 12 players in UNI history who have drained more than 100 career three-pointers, Oney has the third-best career three-point field goal percentage at 36.1 percent (125-of-346).
  • Drained two treys against Southern Illinois on Feb. 2 to move into a tie for seventh place on the UNI career leaderboard in three-pointers (125).

Rachel Madrigal Notes

  • Ranks No. 2 in the MVC with a 54.8 percent field goal percentage in league games.
  • Shooting 52.4 percent for the season. The last Panther to post a higher field goal percentage for a season was Cassie Hager in 2004-05, when she hit 55.6 percent of her shots.
  • Over her last six games, Madrigal is shooting 60.4 percent (32-of-53) from the field.
  • Only six players in UNI history have a higher career field goal percentage than Madrigal (.477) while making at least as many shots (237).
  • Leads the MVC with 20 blocks in 10 conference games. She tallied five blocks against Indiana State on Jan. 12 and four more at Drake on Jan. 29.
  • Ranks ninth all-time at UNI with 71 career blocks.
  • She 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.
  • 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.

K.K. Armstrong Notes

  • 13th on the UNI all-time scoring list. Armstrong (1,067 career points) passed Cassie Hager (2002-06) on Jan. 29 at Drake.
  • 6th at UNI all-time in free throws attempted (421).
  • 7th at UNI all-time in free throws made (310).
  • 8th at UNI all-time in assists (320).
  • 9th at UNI all-time in steals (157).
  • 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.
  • Owns a 24-to-10 assist-to-turnover ratio in the last five games.
  • Has 17 steals in her last four games and is averaging 4.8 assists over her last six games.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Has scored 58 percent of her points in the second half this season.
  • Led UNI in rebounding for three a three-game stretch from Jan. 12-20, averaging 9.0 boards per game. Armstrong also put up 19.7 points, 5.7 assists and 3.0 steals per game over that run.
  • Owns a cumulative plus/minus mark of plus-140 to lead the Panthers in that stat category -- meaning that, in Armstrong's minutes this season, UNI has outscored its opposition by 140 points.

Mercedees Morgan Notes

  • No. 7 in the MVC with 3.0 assists per game for the season.
  • No. 9 in the MVC with an average of 2.9 assists per game in league play.
  • Tallied at least five assists in a game on four different occasions this season.
  • Recorded at least two assists in all but two games.
  • Did not play against Southern Illinois on Feb. 2 due to injury.
  • Drained three three-pointers on her way to 11 points at Creighton on Jan. 27, playing in her hometown of Omaha, Neb.
  • 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.

Jess McDowell Notes

  • Averaging 21 minutes per game over the past three contests.
  • Played a career-high 23 minutes off the bench against Southern Illinois on Feb. 2, scoring five points and grabbing three rebounds.
  • Tallied a career-high three steals at Drake on Jan. 29.

Brooke Brown Notes

  • Made her first career start on Feb. 2 against Southern Illinois.
  • Bumped her playing time up to 17.0 minutes per game over the last 10 games after playing 9.0 minutes per game through the Panthers' first 11 contests.
  • 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.
  • Led the Panthers with a plus/minus score of plus-14 against Bradley on Jan. 20.

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