Women's Basketball Weekly Notebook (Mar. 3)
Monday, March 3, 2014
Women's Basketball Weekly Notebook (Mar. 3)

Still Up for Grabs
With one weekend remaining in MVC play, the regular-season title and top seed for the 2014 edition of the Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament is still up for grabs. Wichita State (13-4 MVC), Indiana State (12-4 MVC) and UNI (12-4 MVC) all still have a chance to grab the No. 1 seed.

Wichita State is seeking its second consecutive regular-season Missouri Valley Conference title, while both Indiana State and UNI are hoping to win their third regular-season league championship. 

Win All Split Win 0 Remaining Opponents
Wichita State 13-4 14-4 --- 13-5 1 (MSU)
Indiana State 12-4 14-4 13-5 12-6 2 (@DU, @UNI)
UNI 12-4 14-4 13-5 12-6 2 (ILS, INS)
Illinois State 8-8 10-8 9-9 8-10 2 (@UNI, @DU)
Evansville 8-8 10-8 9-9 8-10 2 (@LUC, @BU)
Drake 8-8 10-8 9-9 8-10 2 (INS, ILS)
Missouri State 8-9 9-9 --- 8-10 1 (@WSU)
Loyola 5-11 7-11 6-12 5-13 2 (SIU, UE)
Bradley 4-12 6-12 5-13 4-14 2 (UE, SIU)
Southern Illinois 3-13 5-13 4-14 3-15 2 (@BU, @LUC)

Title Town

The league has had eight different regular-season champions in the past 10 seasons (MSU-2004, MSU-2005, INS-2006, SIU-2007, DU/UE/ILS-2008, ILS-2009, ILS-2010, UNI-2011, MSU-2012, CU/WSU-2013). Here’s a look at titles by current MVC members (most recent in parentheses):

  Regular-Season* Tournament
Bradley N/A N/A
Drake 6 (2008) 5 (2007)
Evansville 1 (2008) 2 (2009)
Illinois State 6 (2010) 4 (2008)
Indiana State 2 (2006) N/A
Loyola N/A N/A
Missouri State 12 (2012) 9 (2006)
UNI 1 (2011) 2 (2011)
Southern Illinois 4 (2007) 2 (1990)
Wichita State 1 (2013) 1 (2013
*Includes outright and shared championships

Cream of the Crop

UNI (12-4 MVC) has won at least 12 conference games for the seventh time in program history, while Indiana State (12-4 MVC) has won 12+ Valley games for the first time since 2007 and the fifth time in program history.

Wichita State (13-4 MVC) has recorded three-straight seasons of 12+ league wins for the first time in program history. The Shockers have tallied 12 or more MVC wins five times.

First to 20
Wichita State became the first Valley women’s basketball team to reach the 20-win plateau this season. For the fourth time in program history (since the 1982-83 season), the Shockers have won at least 20 games, including a current streak of three straight (2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14).

Missouri State owns the most 20-win seasons (since the 1982-83 season), with 15, while Drake (13) and Illinois State (12) are a close second and third, respectively.

20-Win Seasons (since 1982-83)
15 - Missouri State
13 - Drake
12 - Illinois State
8 - Southern Illinois
4 - Wichita State
4 - Indiana State
3 - Evansville
3 - UNI
1 - Bradley

History of 20-Win Seasons
The Valley record for consecutive 20-win seasons is six, held by both Drake (1996-97 - 2001 -02) and Missouri State (1990-91 - 1995-96).  Drake, Illinois State and Southern Illinois both had five 20-win seasons in a row (DU, 1981-82 - 1985-86; ILS, 2006-07 - 2011-12; SIU, 1982-83 - 1986-87), while Missouri State has had 20-win seasons in four consecutive years (1997-98 - 2000-01). 

Active 20-Win Seasons in the Valley
3 - Wichita State (2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14)

Speaking of 20 Wins
Since the start of the 1992-93 season only two 20-win MVC teams have been left out of the postseason. In that time, 45 of 47 20-win Valley teams have advanced to the postseason. Last season Wichita State, Creighton and Illinois State each earned postseason bids after winning at least 20 games.

15 is Almost Always Enough
In 29 conference seasons, MVC regular-season champions have won at least 15 conference games 20 times. No team has finished the Valley regular-season with 15 wins and finished lower than second-place. Just two second place 15-win teams have finished more than one game behind the league winner.

The 1985-86 Drake teams finished 16-2 behind an undefeated Southern Illinois team and the 1991-92 Southern Illinois team finished 15-3 behind a 17-1 Missouri State team that went on the play in the Final Four.

MVC Tournament Seeding Scenarios
Dozens of possible seeding scenarios for the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament could be played out during the final weekend of conference play. Here’s a look at what COULD happen with SPECIFIC results simulated and what we know for sure heading into the final weekend.

There are several other game results possibilities and the following listings are not all-inclusive, just selected Thursday results scenarios. More definite seeding scenarios will be available after Thursday’s games.

 • Wichita State, Indiana State and UNI are all still in the mix for the No. 1 seed;  
 • Wichita State can finish with as many as 14 wins and as few as 13 wins;
 • Indiana State can finish with as many as 14 wins and as few as 12 wins;
 • UNI can finish was as many as 14 wins and as few as 12 wins;
 • Drake, Evansville and Illinois State can finish with as many as 10 wins and as few as 8 wins;
 • Missouri State can finish with as many as 9 wins and as few as 8 wins;
 • Loyola can finish with as many as 7 wins and as few as 5 wins;
 • Bradley can finish was as many as 6 wins and as few as 4 wins;
 • Southern Illinois can finish was as many as 5 wins and as few as 3 wins.

If HOME teams win on Thursday - Below are the possible seeds if all of the home teams (BU, DU, LUC, UNI) win on Thursday, March 6 based on record alone).

1. Wichita State/UNI
2. Wichita State/UNI
3. Indiana State
4. Drake
5. Evansville/Illinois State/Missouri State
6. Evansville/Illinois State/Missouri State
7. Evansville/Illinois State/Missouri State
8. Loyola
9. Bradley
10. Southern Illinois

If ROAD teams win on Thursday - Below are the possible seeds if all of the road teams (UE, ILS, INS, SIU) win on Thursday, March 6(based on record alone).

1. Wichita State/Indiana State
2. Wichita State/Indiana State
3. UNI
4. Evansville/Illinois State
5. Evansville/Illinois State
6. Drake/Missouri State
7. Drake/Missouri State
8. Loyola
9. Bradley/Southern Illinois
10. Bradley/Southern Illinois

If teams currently HIGHER in the MVC Standings win on Thursday - Below are the possible seeds if all of the teams currently higher in the MVC standings (UE, INS, LUC, UNI) win on Thursday, March 6 (based on record alone).

1. Wichita State/Indiana State/UNI
2. Wichita State/Indiana State/UNI
3. Wichita State/Indiana State/UNI
4. Evansville
5. Drake/Illinois State/Missouri State
6. Drake/Illinois State/Missouri State
7. Drake/Illinois State/Missouri State
8. Loyola
9. Bradley
10. Southern Illinois

If teams currently LOWER in the MVC Standings win on Thursday - Below are the possible seeds if all of the teams currently lower in the MVC standings (BU, DU, ILS, SIU) win on Thursday, March 6 (based on record alone).

1. Wichita State
2. Indiana State/UNI
3. Indiana State/UNI
4. Drake/Illinois State
5. Drake/Illinois State
6. Evansville/Missouri State
7. Evansville/Missouri State
8. Loyola/Bradley
9. Loyola/Bradley
10. Southern Illinois

Freshmen Sensations
Evansville’s Sara Dickey and Drake’s Lizzy Wendell are already making an immediate impact on their teams in their rookie campaigns. Dickey ranks second in the league in scoring with 18.2 points per game, while Wendell ranks second among freshman and fifth in the Valley with 15.7 points per game.

The last season the Valley had two freshmen finish in the top-15 in scoring was in 2002-03, in Missouri State’s Kari Koch (14.7 ppg, 10th) and Indiana State’s Melanie Boeglin (12.5 ppg, 15th).

In Elite Company
Evansville freshman Sara Dickey is the league’s top scoring freshman in 2013-14, already reaching 491 points through 27 games, while her Drake counterpart, freshman Lizzy Wendell, has scored 423 total points in 27 games. Since 1982, only 10 freshmen in MVC history have reached 400 points. Before this season, the last student-athlete to accomplish this feat was Southern Illinois’ Cartaesha Macklin, who scored 495 points in her freshman campaign in 2011-12. Missouri State’s Jackie Stiles holds the Valley’s freshman scoring record at 618 points in the 1997-98 season.

The last time two league freshman scored 400+ points in the same season was in 1999-00, when Drake’s Carla Bennett (430 points) and Indiana State’s Kourtney Mennen (418) accomplished the feat.

Below is a look at the top-scoring freshman in MVC women’s basketball, dating back to the 1993-94 season.

Name, School (Freshman Season) Points
Jackie Stiles, Missouri State (1997-98) 618
Cartaesha Macklin, Southern Illinois (2011-12) 495
Sara Dickey, Evansville (2013-14) 491
Casey Garrison, Missouri State (2008-09) 476
Kari Koch, Missouri State (2002-03) 456
Carla Bennett, Drake (1999-00) 430
Lizzy Wendell, Drake (2013-14) 423
Kourtney Mennen, Indiana State (1999-00) 418
Jacqui Kalin, UNI (2007-08) 413
Tammi Blackstone, Drake (1996-97) 400

Southern Illinois' Dyana Pierre and Drake's Lizzy Wendell have been named the Missouri Valley Conference Player and Newcomer of the Week, respectively. Pierre earns her first honor of the season, while Wendell tallied her league-leading seventh Newcomer of the Week award this season.

Dyana Pierre, So., C, Southern Illinois
Pierre had back-to-back 20-point, 15-rebound double-doubles last weekend. She averaged 25.0 points and 16.5 rebounds per game for the weekend. Against Missouri State, Pierre scored 27 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, and she followed it up with 23 points and 15 rebounds in SIU’s upset over Wichita State. With the two performances, Pierre became the first MVC player with back-to-back 20-point, 15-rebound double-doubles in at least 18 years. Pierre’s two 20-point, 15-rebound double-doubles on last weekend alone matched the other nine MVC teams combined this season. She did it on 20-of-35 shooting (57 percent) and grabbed 15 offensive rebounds. In both games, Pierre had as many rebounds by halftime (8) as any member of the opposing team had in the whole game. She also added four assists, a block and steal in the two games combined.

Lizzy Wendell, Fr., F, Drake
Wendell had a historic game against UNI on Sunday finishing with a career-high 35 points along with six rebounds, two assists and two steals. Wendell has 423 points this season as she is just the 10th MVC freshmen to have 400 or more points in their debut season. Her three-pointer with two seconds left in regulation forced overtime. The Blue Springs, Mo., native is fifth in the league in scoring at 15.7 points per game.

Noteworthy - In addition to the league's player and newcomer of the week selections, several conference players had notable performances, and they include: 

Kelly Frings (BU); Kyndal Clark (DU); Sara Dickey (UE); Octavia Crump (ILS); Anna Munn (INS); Troy Hambric (LUC); Bry Snow (MSU); Brittni Donaldson (UNI); Alex Harden (WSU); Leti Lerma (BU); Lindsay Smith (ILS); Jasmine Grier (INS); Katie Palmer (MSU).