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IUPUI: WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TO PLAY CENTRAL MICHIGAN IN WNIT

March 18, 2014
HOOSIER SPORTS 365



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FORT COLLINS, Colo. – For the second straight season, the IUPUI women's basketball team will participate in postseason play as the Jaguars will travel to Mount Pleasant, Mich. to take on Central Michigan in the first round of the 2014 WNIT.

The Chippewas and Jaguars will meet on Thursday, March 20, but the time of Thursday's game has yet to be determined. Central Michigan is one of three Mid-American Conference teams to earn a bid to the WNIT after posting a 20-11 record, including a 16-2 conference record that resulted in its first MAC West Division title.

The winner of the Central Michigan/IUPUI game will take on the winner of the Northwestern/Ball State match-up.

"I couldn't be happier for our kids, and specifically our seniors, for earning an at-large big in the WNIT," head coach Austin Parkinson said. "Qualifying for this prestigious tournament back-to-back years shows the consistency of these young ladies."

With South Dakota earning the Summit League's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, the regular-season champion South Dakota State Jackrabbits earned the conference's automatic bid to the WNIT. The Jags, who enter postseason action with a 22-9 record, finished second in the Summit League with an 11-3 league mark resulting in an at-large selection to the WNIT.

"The Summit League is a grind night in and night out and for our league to have two teams participate in the WNIT shows others about the quality of our league," Parkinson said.

First-Team All-Summit League and All-Tournament Team performer DeAirra Goss leads the Jaguars offensively averaging 15.0 ppg on 44.6 percent shooting from the floor. Goss is one of two double-figure scorers for the Jags with the other being Second-Team All-Summit League selection Nevena Markovic, who is averaging 10.9 ppg while leading the team in rebounding with 6.3 rpg.

Both Goss and Markovic's scoring average have risen over the last five games to 18.4 ppg and 13.8 ppg, respectively, but Markovic has been a force on the glass adding 9.2 rpg. During that stretch, the 6-4 forward has put together four double-doubles and enters the WNIT with three consecutive double-doubles.

Last year, IUPUI made its first postseason tournament since joining the Division-I ranks when it was selected to participate in the WNIT. The Jags fell to Illinois State in the first round of the tournament and finished the 2012-13 campaign with a 20-12 mark, which was a D-I program-record for wins before surpassing that total this year and making it back-to-back 20-win seasons.

Thursday's meeting between the two schools will be the third all-time and the series is tied at 1-1. CMU won the first meeting between the two schools back in 2001-02, 57-56, before the Jaguars came back with a 71-61 victory during the 2003-04 campaign.

Game times will be announced by WNIT officials on Tuesday, March 18. The official website for the WNIT is www.womensnit.com and fans can follow updates on Twitter at @womensNIT.


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