Women's Basketball Invitational - Semifinals
Wed., Mar. 21
at Seattle (20-11)
9 p.m. (CT)
Radio: 1330 AM KWLO
The University of Northern Iowa women's basketball team (18-14, 9-9 MVC) will meet the Seattle University Redhawks in the semifinals of the Women's Basketball Invitational on Wednesday evening. Tip is set for 9 p.m. (CT) at the Connolly Center in Seattle. The winner will face the winner of Minnesota/Manhattan in the WBI title game.
PANTHER QUICK SHOTS...
- 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 62 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.
- Seniors Rachel Madrigal and K.K. Armstrong are each expected to play in their 127th career game when the Panthers take on the Redhawks on Wednesday, tying Lizzie Boeck (2007-11) for the most in UNI history.
- 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 359 games for UNI.
- UNI secured its first postseason win in program history, with an 83-67 win at Stephen F. Austin on Mar. 15.
- 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.
- With 40 minutes at Sam Houston State on Mar. 17, Madrigal set the UNI single season record for minutes played at 1,147.
- Senior K.K. Armstrong recorded the second triple-double in UNI history on Mar. 17 in the WBI Quarterfinals at Sam Houston State. Armstrong racked up 30 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Only 10 players in the nation have posted a triple-double this season.
- The UNI women are the lone squad from the state of Iowa remaining in Division I postseason play. All eight men's and women's programs in the state (UNI, Iowa State, Drake and Iowa) qualified for postseason play.
- 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.
Seattle (20-11) defeated Wright State 82-65 on Sunday afternoon to claim the final spot in the WBI semifinals. The Redhawks are in their final year as a Division I independent before joining the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) in July 2012.
Sophomore center Kacie Sowell leads Seattle with 14.3 points and 10.1 rebounds per game, averaging a double-double for the season. Senior guard Talisa Rhea averages 13.8 points and 5.2 assists per contest. As a team, the Redhawks score 71.7 points per game.
UNI and Seattle have never met head-to-head, but the two schools shared three common opponents this season. Both defeated Colorado State on their home floors, and Seattle defeated Chicago State twice, while UNI also topped Chicago State once. Seattle defeated North Dakota 61-47 in the WBI first round on Mar. 15. UNI lost at North Dakota 74-70 on December 17.
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
3/17/2012 at Sam Houston St. W, 78-69 WBI
EIGHT ENTERED, ONE REMAINS
The 2011-12 season marked the first time in history that all eight Division I men's and women's teams from the state of Iowa (UNI, Iowa State, Drake and Iowa) qualified for postseason tournament play. The UNI women are the last team standing after recording their first two postseason wins in program history in the WBI.
MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT
As measured by the calendar, the 2011-12 season has become the longest season in UNI women's basketball history. The Panthers opened the year on Nov. 11 against Colorado State and their Mar. 21 contest with Seattle will match the latest that UNI has ever played. UNI also played on Mar. 21, 2010, against Nebraska in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
UNI's game at Seattle will be its 33rd of the season, tying 2009-10 and 2010-11 for the most games in a season.
TWICE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE
Senior K.K. Armstrong recorded the second triple-double in UNI history on Mar. 17 in the WBI Quarterfinals at Sam Houston State. Armstrong racked up 30 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Only 10 players in the nation have posted a triple-double this season.
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.
Armstrong's triple-double at Sam Houston State on Mar. 17 broke UNI postseason single-game records for points, rebounds and assists.
UNI's 18 wins this season are the second-most in the Tanya Warren era (2007-present).
COACH WARREN'S POSTSEASON TRADITION
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 scored 98 points combined over its last two second halves. The Panthers put up 52 points in the final 20 minutes at Stephen F. Austin on March 15, and then scored 46 second-half points at Sam Houston State on March 17. Between the two games, UNI shot 34-for-65 (52.3 percent) in the final 20 minutes.
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.
MADRIGAL BREAKS MARK
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.
ARMSTRONG SHARES THE WEALTH
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.
KIRSCHBAUM AND MADRIGAL SPELL DOOM FOR THE LADYJACKS
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.
McDOWELL CAREER HIGH
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.
PROTECT THE BALL
UNI has been climbing the national rankings in turnovers as the season has progressed. Currently, the Panthers rank No. 26 in the country for the fewest turnovers per game at 14.2. The Panthers have committed an average of just 12.2 turnovers per game over their past 13 contests.
Senior guard K.K. Armstrong is 10th on the UNI all-time scoring list. Armstrong (1,246 career points) scored nine points at Wichita State on March 3 to pass Alex Cook (2001-05) for 10th all-time.
KEYS TO THE GAME
UNI is 15-3 this season when holding its opponents to under 44-percent shooting and 3-11 when allowing better than 44-percent shooting. The Panthers are 9-1 when out-rebounding their opponents.