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Friday, November 09, 2007 | Women's Basketball
Missouri Valley Conference Women's Basketball Opens 2007-08 Season
Four Missouri Valley Conference teams opened up the 2007-08 season on Friday, Nov. 9, highlighted by the University of Evansville winning an opening round preseason WNIT game at home over Marshall, 89-77.
Fueled by a raucous second-half crowd, the Purple Aces used a 26-0 run over a seven minute span midway through the second half to turn a 70-57 Marshall lead into an 83-70 Evansville advantage en route to an 89-77 victory in the first round of the 2007 Preseason WNIT. Evansville, 1-0 on the 2007-08 season, will now advance on to play No. 17/18 Michigan State on Sunday in the Preseason WNIT’s second round.
Sophomore forward Jillian Palan kick-started Evansville’s second-half run with a top-of-the-key three with 8:58 to play to trim UE’s deficit to 10 points, 70-60. Another three-pointer 54 seconds later by junior guard Ashley Austin continued UE’s charge, and a jumper from the elbow with 7:33 to play by Rebekah Parker trimmed the deficit to five points, 70-65, and had Roberts Stadium rocking.
Evansville then worked its way to the free throw line for five-straight free throws to tie the game at 70-70 with 5:40 to play. A rebound-put back by Shannon Novosel with 4:43 to play would give Evansville the lead for good, and Parker and Novosel would combine to score the next 11 points in the game to give UE a 13-point cushion, 83-70, with 2:27 left. Marshall would get no closer than 11 points the rest of the way.
Parker, who was limited to just six first-half points due to foul trouble, led all scorers with 22 points. She also grabbed seven rebounds and dished out four assists. Novosel, meanwhile, added a double-double with 20 points and game-high 12 rebounds. Evansville put all five starters in double-figures, as senior Courtney Felke and Austin both added 15 points, while junior forward Robyn Jennings chipped in 12.
Reserve guard Alix Barnette paced four Marshall players in double-figures with 15 points.
Juanise Cornell led Colorado State (0-1) with 12 points, and Sara Hunter finished with 10. The Panthers shot 46.9 percent (23-of-49) from the floor, including 7-of-18 (38.9 percent) from three-point range. UNI finished 19-of-20 (95 percent) from the free-throw line.
The Rams finished 20-of-56 (35.7 percent) from the floor, including 5-of-18 (27.8 percent) from behind the arc. CSU was 13-of-16 (81.3 percent) from the free-throw line.
The Panthers scored first and quickly built a 10-2 lead. Colorado State cut the Panther advantage to six, 12-6, but UNI went on a 7-0 run to take a 19-6 lead with 12:13 left in the first half.
Colorado State responded with a 6-0 run of their own, but Clausen connected from three to return the Panther advantage to double-digits, 22-12 with 9:54 remaining in the half.
Lauren Young hit a three for the Rams to cut the UNI advantage to seven, but a three from Brocka and a basket and free throw from Megan Keefe (Clear Lake, Iowa) gave UNI a 13-point lead, 28-15 at 7:43.
The Rams chipped away at the Panther lead, narrowing the gap to 32-24 at the five-minute mark. Wubbens connected on a three to start a 10-3 run by the Panthers that would send them into the break in front, 42-27.
UNI scored the first four points of the second half to take its largest lead of the game, 46-27 with 18:45 on the clock. The Panthers survived a late CSU run when the Rams cut the UNI lead to 56-48 with 7:39 to play. Clausen and Wubbens each hit from behind the arc, and Alexa Mennen (Dumont, Iowa) scored with 5:20 on the clock to cap an 8-0 run that put UNI in front 64-48. The Panthers maintained at least an 11-point lead through the rest of the game.
After an appearance in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season, the Phoenix, a perennial power in the Horizon League, came to play as it connected on nearly 52 percent (.519) of its shot en route to improving to 1-0 on the campaign, while dropping the Bulldogs to 0-1.
After a layup from senior Jill Martin (Norwalk, Iowa/Norwalk) with 11:14 remaining in the initial stanza, the Drake offense went cold as the Bulldogs missed their next five shots, while the Phoenix scored 12 unanswered points to take a 26-18 on a Kayla Groh layup at the 6:23 mark.
Martin stemmed the tide with a triple and sophomore Jordann Plummer (St. Louis, Mo./Cardinal Ritter) added two free throws to trim the deficit to 26-23. This proved to be as close as the Blue and White got for the remainder of the half and the game.
After falling behind 56-37 on a Rachel Porath three-point with 12:41 left in the contest, Drake made things intriguing with a 9-0 run fueled by five points from senior Lindsay Whorton (Independence, Mo./Truman). Whorton ended the run with the first of her back-to-back-to-back triples. She finished with 16 points, all coming in the second half.
Plummer connected on 9-of-11 shots from the floor and recorded a career- and game-high 20 points. Whorton added 16 points, including four three-pointers, while Martin chipped in 15 points and hauled in a game-high seven rebounds.
Groh paced five Phoenix players in double-figures with a 20-point performance as she went 4-for-4 from beyond the arc.
Drake wrapped the affair shooting better than 48 percent (.481) from the floor, while Green Bay bettered that mark tickling the twines at a .519 clip. Green Bay outrebounded the Bulldogs on the glass, 34-28.
Two of the better teams in the country a year ago at securing the rock, both sides finished with 14 turnovers. The Bulldogs converted those miscues into 14 points, to 12 by the Phoenix. Points in the paint went in favor of Green Bay, 32-30.
The loss by Drake snapped a three-game winning streak in season openers, as Drake now stands at 21-13 all-time in season lidlifters, including 26-8 at home. The setback was also the first in six home season openers played in odd-numbered years.
Northern Illinois 54, Bradley 48
Senior Rachel Merriman (Peoria, Ill./Notre Dame/Illinois Central) scored a career-high 13 points and junior Kelly Krumwiede (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West) added 11 points and nine rebounds in the loss.
The Braves forced 16 first-half turnovers, but shot 37.5 percent in the half and trailed 26-25 at the break. Northern Illinois shot 45.8 percent in the first half and outrebounded Bradley 19-13 in the first half.
Bradley went 0-for-6 with four turnovers to open the second half and fell behind 33-27 with 14:34 remaining. The Braves cut the deficit to four points on several occasions and were trailing 44-39 with 5:32 to play when Northern Illinois used a 10-2 run to take a 54-41 lead.
Kylie York capped the run with back-to-back three-point baskets that pushed the NIU lead to 13 points with just over two minutes to play. York’s three-pointer with 2:19 to play would be the final points for the Huskies, but Bradley a late Braves run would fall short.
Merriman, who finished 8-for-8 from the free throw line, made a pair of free throws with 44 seconds and added another pair of free throws with 37 ticks on the clock. Sophomore Skye Johnson (Olympia Fields, Ill./Marian Catholic) added a three-pointer at the buzzer as the Braves fell 54-48.
The Braves shot 31.9 percent from the field and connected on just 4-of-14 three-point attempts. Bradley forced 29 NIU turnovers and owned a 22-11 in points off turnovers.
Northern Illinois pounded the glass, outrebounding the Braves 40-24. The Huskies shot 46.7 percent from the field and were led in scoring by Aileen Rossouw’s 14 points and six steals. York hit 4-of-10 three-point attempts and finished with 12 points.
2007-08 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL