Score: No. 1 Western Illinois 77, No. 2 IUPUI 69
Records: Western Illinois (26-6), IUPUI (24-8)
Location: Denny Sanford PREMIER Center - Sioux Falls, S.D.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Top seeded Western Illinois advances to the NCAA Women's tournament with a 77-69 win over the second seeded IUPUI.
2017 Summit League tournament MVP Emily Clemens followed up her semi-final triple double against Omaha with a near miss on a double-double with 20 points and 9 assists.
IUPUI just about stole this game thanks to late free throws by Holly Hoopingarner and Alex Brown. But with 2.2 seconds left on the clock, Coach Gravina drew up a play for a Taylor Hanneman three. Hanneman connected as time expired to send the game to overtime.
In the extra period Taylor Higginbotham, Taylor Hanneman and Morgan Blumer all connected from deep for a 9-0 run to start ovetime. It was simply too much for the Jaguars to overcome as their leading scorer Danielle Lawrence, and their leading 3-point shooter, Sydney Hall had both fouled out.
Western Illinois had lost 13 of the last 14, including five straight to IUPUI before this victory in the Summit League Championship. This was the Fighting Leathernecks first conference title since 1995.
The Jaguars were led by Sydney Hall with 18 points, followed by Jenna Gunn (16) and Caitlyn Tolen (10)
After Western Illinois extended the game into overtime, their 9-0 run to start the period put the Jaguars into a hole that they could not dig out of.
Inside The Box Score
- Conference tournament MVP Emily Clemens was one assist shy of a double double
- Sydney Hall went 4/6 from beyond the arc as she finished with 18 points to lead IUPUI
- Western Illinois had four players score in double figures, led by Emily Clemens with 20
Morgan Blumer, Western Illinois
Emily Clemens, Western Illinois (MVP)
Mikale Rogers, IUPUI
Mikaela Shaw, Omaha
Sydney Hall, IUPUI
News & Notes
- Western Illinois reaches its first NCAA Tournament since 1995.
- The total women's tournament of 21,092 is the fourth-highest of all-time.
- Western Illinois becomes the first top seed to claim the women's crown since South Dakota State in 2013.
- This was the first overtime period played during the championship game since 2012 (South Dakota State vs. Kansas City) and just the third overall.
- There were two overtime games in the tournament for the first time since 2010.
- Prior to winning three games at this season's tournament, the Fighting Leathernecks had not won a tournament game since 2012.
- IUPUI advanced to the championship game for the first time since 2008 (fell to Oral Roberts).
- Emily Clemens becomes the first Western Illinois player to be named tournament MVP since Oberon Pitterson in 1995.
Western Illinois will await for Selection Monday on March 13th at 6 P.M CST on ESPN