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JAGS TIP OFF 2014 WNIT THURSDAY AT CENTRAL MICHIGAN

March 20, 2014
HOOSIER SPORTS 365



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MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - For the second consecutive season, IUPUI will participate in a postseason tournament when the Jaguars travel to Mount Pleasant, Mich., on Thursday, March 20, to take on the 2014 MAC West Division champion Central Michigan Chippewas in the first round of the 2014 WNIT.

GAMEDAY INFORMATION

  • The Jaguars and Chippewas will tip at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday at McGuirk Arena.
  • Live stats can be accessed through www.IUPUIJags.com and www.CMUChippewas.com.
  • Morgan Adcock will have the radio call live from Mount Pleasant, Mich., beginning just prior to tip, and fans can listen in on IUPUIJags.com.
  • Adult tickets cost $9 and youth/senior tickets are $6, and doors will open at 6 p.m. ET


ABOUT CENTRAL MICHIGAN

  • The Chippewas enter the WNIT with a 20-11 overall record under the direction of seventh year head coach Sue Guevara.
  • Central Michigan claimed the program's first-ever Mid-American Conference West Division crown this season after navigating its way to a 16-2 conference record.
  • CMU is one of the highest scoring teams in the country averaging 82,6 ppg, which ranks second in the MAC and 11th nationally, thanks in part to averaging 9.2 made three's per game, which ranks fifth in the country.
  • The Chippewas have four players scoring in double figures led by Crystal Bradford's 20.3 ppg. She is joined in double figures by Niki DiGuilio (13.5 ppg), Jessica Green (11.8 ppg) and Jas'Mine Bracey (10.8 ppg).
  • Bradford also paces the squad in rebounding and assists, averaging 12.2 rpg and 4.6 apg, and she has collected 22 double-doubles on the season.
  • As a team, the Chippewas have made 95 more three's than their competition, and they are led in that category by DiGuilio's 99 made triples. Her 3.19 made three's per game ranks seventh nationally.


THE SERIES WITH THE CHIPPEWAS

  • Thursday's WNIT first round match-up will be the third all-time meeting between the two schools and the first since the 2003-04 campaign.
  • The series is tied at 1-1 with each time winning on their home floor.
  • The first meeting occurred back in the 2001-02 season with CMU earning a 57-56 win in Mount Pleasant.
  • The Jags then evened the series with a 71-61 win in Indianapolis on Dec. 30, 2003.


LAST TIME OUT ...

  • In IUPUI's third consecutive trip to The Summit League Tournament semifinals, it came up short again. This time it was a 76-69 overtime loss to the sixth-seed Denver Pioneers Monday (Mar. 10) afternoon.
  • The Jaguars inability to convert near the basket or draw fouls doomed them. They shot just 29 percent in the paint in the first half (6-21) and 36 percent in the paint for the game (16-45).
  • DeAirra Goss led all scorers with 20 points on the afternoon, but took 26 shots to get there and fouled out in overtime. Nevena Markovic posted her second double-double of the tournament with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
  • Jordan Johnston led the Pioneers with 15 points off the bench and Paige Bradley wasn't far behind, scoring 14 points including 7-9 shooting from the line. Theresa Wirth and Kailey Edwards rounded out the double-figure scorers with 12 points apiece.
  • The Jaguars didn't start things off well in their semifinal matchup, going scoreless for the first five minutes. They answered Denver's 6-0 start with a 6-1 run to cut the lead to 7-6, but Denver kept their foot on the gas and scored 11 straight. Denver would eventually push the lead to 15 points with 5:20 left in the half, but a 6-2 spurt from the Jaguars had them down only nine at half.
  • IUPUI was fortunate to be down just nine. They shot just 26 percent from the floor and missed all four of their three-point attempts.
  • The Pioneers took control of the game once again in the second half, building their lead back up to 53-39 with 9:51 to go in the game. That's when the Jaguars made their run.
  • Goss got into the paint for a short jumper to start things off. Denver's Alison Janecek fouled away from the ball at the same time, giving the ball back to the Jaguars. Dawn Luster took advantage finding Nicole Rogers on the right side for an open three to complete the five-point play. Goss converted an and-one opportunity following a Pioneer turnover and the lead was down to six.
  • Edwards ended the 8-0 IUPUI run with a pair of free throws, but IUPUI came right back with 3-pointers from Rogers and Katie Comello to cut the Denver lead to 55-53 with 6:34 left.
  • Down one with just under five minutes to go, the Jaguars took their first lead of the game off two Comello free throws. They would extend their lead to 62-57 before Denver would answer. In all, it was a 23-4 run and the Jaguars held the Pioneers without a field goal for 8:07.
  • Unfortunately that was about all IUPUI could muster. Tied at 63 with just 10 seconds to go in regulation, Goss had an opportunity to take the lead but her jumper near the free-throw line was off.
  • After a Denver rebound and missed half-court heave, the two teams headed to overtime.
  • The Jaguars briefly took the lead with 3:26 left in overtime after a pair of made free throws from Markovic, but Denver controlled the period the rest of the way. IUPUI had a chance to tie or take the lead with under a minute to go, but Markovic missed a 3-pointer and Denver took care of business at the line. Both teams made just two field goals in overtime, but the Pioneers made it to the line 12 times converting on nine of them.


JAGS EARN AT-LARGE BID TO WNIT

  • After failing to reach a postseason tournament in its Division-I era prior to the 2012-13 season, IUPUI has now made back-to-back WNIT appearances after earning an at-large bid to the 2014 WNIT.
  • Last season, the Jaguars earned the Summit League's automatic bid to the postseason tournament, but dropped a 63-47 decision to Illinois State in the opening round.
  • The Jags have eight players on their roster that played minutes in last year's WNIT, including this year's leading scorer DeAirra Goss.
  • Goss went 8-for-12 in her WNIT debut last season and scored 17 points, while adding two rebounds, two assists and a steal.


DOUBLE UP

  • Over the past five games, IUPUI's 6-4 forward Nevena Markovic has elevated her game.
  • During the first 26 games of the season, Markovic averaged 10.4 ppg and 5.7 rpg while shooting 45.8 percent from the floor.
  • While her scoring average through that point of the season ranked second on the team and her rebounding average was tops on the squad, she has improved upon those numbers over the last five games.
  • Since IUPUI's Feb. 22 contest at IPFW, Markovic is averaging 13.8 ppg and 9.2 rpg, while shooting 58.7 percent from the floor and 54.5 percent from three.
  • Against IPFW on Feb. 22, Markovic scored 19 points and grabbed 10 boards for her first double-double since Dec. 21, and then followed that with 11 points and six boards in a win over Omaha.
  • In the regular-season finale, Markovic posted her second double-double in three games with 13 points and 10 boards in a victory over Western Illinois.
  • In the Summit League Tournament, Markovic extended her streak of double-double games to three with an 11-point, 10-rebound effort against North Dakota State, before adding 15 points and 10 boards in a loss to Denver.

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