Weekly Women's Basketball Notebook - Nov. 12
The Valley faced some tough competition in the first week of the 2007-08 women's basketball season, with three top-25 opponents. With nine of tens teams having started its seasons, the non-conference mark sits at 5-5 while Evansville, Illinois State, Indiana State, Creighton and Northern Iowa opened up with wins. UE's Shannon Novosel has been named the MVC Player of the Week while Tanaeya Worden of Southern Illinois is this week's newcomer of the week.
Player of the Week
Shannon Novosel, Evansville, Jr., F, Lexington, Kentucky
Evansville junior Shannon Novosel averaged a double-double this week in helping the Purple Aces to a 1-1 record against Marshall and #17 Michigan State in the 2007 Preseason WNIT. Novosel averaged 13.0 points and a team-high 10.5 rebounds per game in the two contests for the Purple Aces, while shooting 47.6 percent from the floor. Novosel recorded her second career double-double as a Purple Ace on Friday night to help Evansville knock off Marshall, 89-77, as she scored a career-high 20 points and grabbed a career- and game-high 12 rebounds. Novosel also tied for game-high rebounding honors on Sunday at #17 Michigan State, as she hauled in nine rebounds and scored six points against MSU’s 6’9 sophomore center and preseason John Wooden Award candidate Allyssa DeHaan. For the week, Novosel went 10-for-21 from the field for 47.6 percent, while also going 1-for-3 from beyond the arc (33.3 percent) and 5-for-7 from the free throw line (71.4 percent). She also swiped four steals and rejected two shots defensively for UE.
Newcomer of the Week
Tanaeya Worden, Southern Illinois, Fr., G, Sioux City, Iowa
Southern Illinois freshman Tanaeya Worden, from Sioux City, Iowa, came off the bench for the Salukis in their opener against #25 DePaul to record 17 points, two steals and a rebound, despite playing with a cast on her arm. The newcomer shot 43 percent from the field in her first regular season showing, and 44 percent from three-point range. She averaged more than a point a minute in the game.
Other Notable Performances...Player: Rachel Merriman, Bradley; Megan Neuvirth, Creighton; Jordann Plummer, Drake; Tiffany Hudson, Illinois State; Maria Olsthoorn, Indiana State; Tahnee Balerio, Missouri State; Danielle Wubbens, Northern Iowa and Erica Smith, Southern Illinois.
Other Notable Performances...Newcomer: Megan Klingler, Bradley; Kellie Nelson, Creighton; Shala Jackson, Illinois State; Kelsie Cooley, Indiana State; Maggie Dwyer, Missouri State; Erin Brocka, Northern Iowa and Tanaeya Worden, Southern Illinois.
Novosel, Shannon - UE .......... 20 points, 12 rebounds
vs. Marshall (preWNIT)
Balerio, Tahnee - MSU 20 points
at Texas (11-11-07)
Cirone, Kristi - ILS 23 points
at Eastern Illinois (11-11-07)
Novosel, Shannon - UE 20 points
vs MARSHALL (11-09-07)
Parker, Rebekah - UE 22 points
vs MARSHALL (11-09-07)
Plummer, Jordann - DU 20 points
vs GREEN BAY (11-09-07)
Novosel, Shannon - UE 12 rebounds
vs MARSHALL (11-09-07)
Below are the 2007-08 records of Valley schools in their home facilities:
Robertson Field House
Omaha Civic Auditorium
Illinois State 0-0
Indiana State 1-0
Missouri State 0-0
Hammons Student Center
Northern Iowa 1-0
Southern Illinois 0-1
Wichita State 0-0
Charles Koch Arena
The Valley Vs. Other Conferences
Big East 0-1
Big 12 0-1
Big Ten 0-1
Conference USA 1-0
Mountain West 1-0
Ohio Valley 1-0
Sun Belt 1-0
The Valley Vs. Ranked Opponents
Evansville at #17 Michigan State - L, 53-73
#25 DePaul at Southern Illinois - L, 63-78
Missouri State at #22 Texas - L, 55-92
Bradley fell to 19-14 in season openers, including a 4-8 record when opening the season on the road, with a 48-54 loss at Northern Illinois. The 48 points scored were the fewest in a season opener since scoring 39 points in a 75-39 loss at Iowa to start the 1985-86 season. Senior Rachel Merriman led the Braves with a career-high 13 points, hitting 2-of-4 shots from the field and all eight of her free throw attempts. Junior Kelly Krumwiede added 11 points and nine rebounds.
On the Horizon
Tuesday’s home opener against Butler marks the first of four potential games against Horizon League opponents. The Braves also host Illinois-Chicago (Nov. 17) and play at Loyola-Chicago (Dec. 5). Bradley could also potentially play Cleveland State in the final day of the Great Alaska Shootout. The Braves own a 35-19 (.648) record against current members of the Horizon League, including a 26-16 (.619) against this year’s potential Horizon League foes. Bradley is 13-5 (.722) against current members of the Horizon League under eighth-year head coach Paula Buscher.
Senior Devyn Flanagan returned to the lineup in the Braves opener at Northern Illinois after missing both exhibition games and finished with six points, three assists, one block and three steals. Flanagan became the 10th player in program history to record 700 points, 300 rebounds, 200 assists and 100 steals in a career. She currently has 759 points, 307 rebounds, 201 assists and 111 steals during her time as a Brave. The only other players in school history to reach those marks in all four categories are Karen Anderson, Shelli Braud, Karin Nicholls, Heather Best, Genny Mueller, Val Wancket, Jen Brown, Erika Grogg and Tammy Van Oppen. Flangan enters this week’s action 28th in scoring, needing 40 points to move into the top 25 in scoring at BU.
Creighton won its season-opener for the first time since 2004, with a 67-54 triumph over Arkansas-Little Rock last Saturday. The win moves the Bluejays to 2-4 in season debuts under Jim Flanery and 14-20 all-time. The Jays are now 9-5 when playing their first game of the season at home and 23-11 all-time in their first home game of the year.
Creighton’s game at preseason No. 3 Rutgers this Friday night will mark the Jays’ first contest against a ranked opponent since the 2004-05 campaign when the Jays lost to No. 18 Minnesota at home. The Jays have lost 12 straight games against nationally-ranked opponents, dating back to a win over 14th-ranked Kansas on Dec. 7, 1999. CU is 2-16 against the top-25 since 1998-99.
Despite scoring 67 points in their season-opener, no Bluejay scored more than 10 points, as Megan Neuvirth and Michelle Kaus led a balanced offense with 10 points each. Of the 10 Bluejays which played in the game, all scored in the first half and no player attempted more than eight shots in the game. With the exception of Ally Thrall’s 38 minutes, the other nine players played between 11-22 minutes each and nine of the 10 players scored at least five points.
Drake faces a busy week as the Bulldogs travel to in-state rival Iowa on Tuesday (Nov. 13) before returning home to host Sacramento State and Weber State on Friday (Nov. 16) and Sunday (Nov. 18), respectively.
Back in Blue
Lindsay Whorton needs one three-pointer for 200 in her Drake career while Jill Martin recorded a 15-point, seven-rebound effort in her return to the Bulldog line-up after missing all but five games a season ago.
Evansville is now 7-1 all-time in both season-opening and home-opening games under eighth-year head coach Tricia Cullop after Friday night¹s 89-77 victory over Marshall. The 89 points rank as the third-highest scoring season-opener for UE, trailing only a 101-point outburst against Danville in 1981 (101-50) and a 93-point outing at Ohio in 1999 (93-63).
Wait and See
With the addition of the consolation round to this year’s Preseason WNIT, Evansville will play one more game in the tournament, but UE will have to wait until after Tuesday’s quarterfinal action to find out its next opponent. Evansville will likely battle the loser of the Notre Dame-Western Kentucky contest, although the Purple Aces could also square off with either TCU or the loser of the Maryland-Delaware contest. All five of UE’s potential opponents a vanced on to postseason play last season.
Junior forward Shannon Novosel entered the 2007-08 season with just one career double-double in her UE playing career. This past weekend, Novosel averaged a double-double in helping the Purple Aces go 1-1 against Marshall and #17 Michigan State in the 2007 Preseason WNIT. Novosel averaged 13.0 points and 10.5 rebounds per game to lead the UE charge along the frontline. She had a career-high 20 points and 12 rebounds in UE’s 89-77 victory over Marshall on Friday night, and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds against Michigan State’s 6’9 sophomore center Allyssa DeHaan on Sunday.
The Redbirds opened the season with an 81-63 win over Eastern Illinois. The key to the game was a 15-6 Redbird run to open the second half. It was the third time ISU won its season opener under head coach Robin Pingeton. The game was the first regular season contest for the Redbirds at Lantz Arena since Feb. 20. 1992.
Cirone Shoots It Up; Brace Yourself
Junior guard Kristi Cirone scored a game-high 23 points including 4-of-5 from three-point range. It was her 5th-career game with double-figure scoring; her 16th time with 20 points. Sophomore forward Ashleen Bracey made her first-career start against Eastern Illinois. Bracey had six points and a game-high seven rebounds in a career-high 31 minutes.
Indiana State opened up its season with a home game at the Hulman Center against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Sycamores won the game in front of a season-opening crowd of 2,751 fans.
Indiana State set a new record in its season opener. The Sycamores paraded to the line 47 times in the game versus Arkansas Pine Bluff. ISU was able to tie a school record by making 41 of those attempts. Individually, Maria Olsthoorn hit a perfect 11-of-11 attempts from the charity stripe while senior Laura Rudolphi was 9-for-9.
Coveted Nationally-Ranked Win
Indiana State will look for its first-ever win against a nationally-ranked opponent on Wednesday, November 14 against No. 17 nationally-ranked Vanderbilt at Hulman Center. The Sycamores fell 89-75 at Vanderbilt last season in the championship game of their Holiday Tournament in Nashville, Tenn.
With their 92-55 loss at #22 Texas, the Lady Bears are now 20-19 all-time in season openers and have dropped their last four contests on opening night. Sunday’s game also marked the fifth year in a row Missouri State has played its first game away from Hammons Student Center. Last year, MSU lost to Iowa, 79-70, in its season opener in Kansas City after dropping the first game of 2005-06 at Arkansas State and its 2004-05 opener at Richmond.
MSU vs. Ranked Opponents
The Lady Bears are now 19-35 all-time versus ranked opponents and have lost nine straight against top 25 teams. Missouri State’s last win over a ranked foe came against Gail Goestenkors’ fifth-ranked Duke Blue Devils in the 2001 NCAA West Regional semifinal (3/24/01). Sunday’s game versus #22 Texas was the Lady Bears’ first season opener versus a ranked opponent since the 2000-01 season when they defeated #10 LSU, 85-75. MSU is now 2-2 all-time versus ranked teams in season openers.
On the Road Again
Since snapping a seven-game road losing streak with an 83-76 win over Indiana State in Terre Haute last January, the Lady Bears have dropped their last eight contests on the road and their last nine away from Hammons Student Center. Over the last two years, Missouri State has won just two true road games and only four of its 28 games away from Hammons.
The Warren Era
Tanya Warren earned her first career victory as a head coach when the Panthers topped Colorado State 72-58 Friday night. Only two other Panther head coaches won their debut games, Wanda Green in 1968 (the programs’ first season) and J.D. Anderson in 1980. Warren is the first to accomplish the feat since UNI joined the Division I ranks in 1982.
With 11 of 13 players on the roster being freshmen and sophomores, UNI will rely on its young players to contribute right away this season. The Panthers started three freshmen and one sophomore in their win over Colorado State. Sophomore Danielle Wubbens led the Panthers with 14 points, and sophomore Nicole Clausen came off the bench to score 13. Erin Brocka scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds in her collegiate debut, and freshman Jacqui Kalin scored eight points and dished out six assists.
Free Throw Shooting
The Panthers put a lot of emphasis on free-throw shooting in the off season, and it showed on Friday. UNI went to the line 20 times, connecting on 19. Seven different Panthers scored from the charity stripe, led by freshman Erin Brocka who was 6-of-6 from the line.
The Salukis fell to No. 25 DePaul Saturday in SIU Arena dropping their second straight season-opener. Last season Southern fell to Big 12 rival Missouri to open the most successful season in 15 years at SIU.
Freshmen Guards Shine In Exhibition
Tanaeya Worden and Ellen Young shined in exhibition play for the Salukis. Worden averaged 14.5 points adding five assists and five steals, while Young averaged 12.5 points and 5.0 boards per contest, while adding eight assists and five steals. Worden also added 17, while wearing a cast on her left hand in the season opener against DePaul
The Saluki offense averaged 64.0 points per games last season to rank eighth in the MVC. In Southern’s two exhibition games this season, the Salukis have averaged 95.5 points per contest signaling a rise in offensive output from the 2007-08 squad.
Two members of the Shocker women¹s basketball program will be chasing career milestones as the regular season begins this week. Kiki Stephens needs 544 points this season to become Wichita State¹s all-time leading scorer, a mark held by Shocker Hall of Fame member Allison Daniel, who finished her career with 1,638 points in 1986. Stephens recorded her 1,000th career point in a game at UNI last season. Head coach Jane Albright is also approaching a milestone, as the 24-year coaching veteran needs 12 wins this season for her 400th career Division I victory.
Opening Day Numbers
The Shockers are 1-3 in season-openers under Jane Albright, with the lone win coming in 2005-06, en route to a 15-win season. Last year the Shockers lost a seven-point decision to Hofstra at home in the Preseason WNIT following a win over San Diego State in the 2005 season opener. WSU has opened the season at home in four of Albright¹s five seasons now, and are 19-14 overall in home openers and 18-15 all-time in season-opening matchups.
Monday Opens Season
Wichita State opens its regular season on Monday against Texas Southern, and will not play at home again until the end of the month thanks to a four-game road trip that includes stops at UTSA and the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. The Shockers will face defending Big 12 champion Texas A&M, Indiana and Wake Forest in the Paradise Jam before returning home to take on Nicholls State on Nov. 29.