IUPUI Withstands Second-Half Surge from WIU to Advance

IUPUI Withstands Second-Half Surge from WIU to Advance

Women's Basketball Championship Page

First Half Highlights // Second Half Highlights

The Basics
Score: No. 5. IUPUI 66, No. 4 Western Illinois 59 
Records:  IUPUI (15-15), Western Illinois (17-13)
Location: Denny Sanford PREMIER Center - Sioux Falls, S.D.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Fifth seeded IUPUI survived numerous comeback attempts to defeat forth seeded Western Illinois 66-59 in the quarterfinals of the 2015 Summit League women's basketball tournament Sunday at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls.

IUPUI opened the game with an 11-0 run,  built the margin to 25-6 before WIU, which made just four of its first 26 shots, closed the half getting within seven at 30-23 on a three-pointer by Michelle Maher with just under a minute to go in the half. IUPUI led 34-25 at the break.

Then WIU got back in the game with a 10-2 run to start the second half and went ahead 39-38 on a basket by Ashley Luke. The teams traded baskets, with WIU hitting back-to-back three-pointers for a 53-51 lead.

But IUPUI closed the game with a 15-6 run taking the lead for good  on a basket by Nievena Markovic, who followed that score with a three-point basket to make it 58-53 IU PUI.

In a battle of all-conference post players, Markovic finished with 22 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocked shots while Luke led WIU with 20 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks. 

Shaquira Scott added 20 points for IUPUI, which shot 48 per cent (22-46) while Maher had 12 points and Sophie Reichelt had 10 rebounds for WIU, which finished at 31 percent (19-62) for the game.

IUPUI, now 15-15 for the season, will face defending champion and top seed South Dakota in the 12 noon semi-final game on Monday.

WIU, which won both regular season games from IUPUI, ends its season at 17-13.

Turning Point
It was a game of spurts as the Jaguars scored the game's first 11 points before Western Illinois finally got on the board more than four minutes in. The Jaguars led by as many as 19 in the first half and it appeared IUPUI was going to run away and hide from the Leathernecks. However, WIU had a 7-0 run of their own near the end of the first half and the halftime deficit was only nine.

The Leathernecks stayed hot after halftime, opening the half on a 14-4 run to take their first lead. From there, the game was back-and-forth. The Jaguars held just a two-point lead at the 1:45 mark and proceeded to out-score Western Illinois 8-3 the rest of the way to close out their seven-point victory.

Inside The Box Score

  • Summit League Player of the Year Ashley Luke of Western Illinois led her team with a double-double, scoring 20 and grabbing 12 rebounds.
  • Nevena Markovic led all scorers with 22 points to go along with nine boards.
  • IUPUI out-scored WIU in the paint 28-18.
  • Western Illinois shot 31 (made nine) 3-pointers compared to IUPUI's six (made five).
  • IUPUI shot 47.8% from the field while WIU shot just 30.6% (20.0% in the first half).

News & Notes

  • Today's game marks jus tthe fourth time IUPUI and Western Illinois have faced each other in tournament play since 1998-99 (17 years). With the win, IUPUI evened its tournament series record with WIU at two apiece.
  • The No. 5 seed has now defeated the No. 4 seed for just the third time since 2003 (13 seasons).
  • WIU's Ashley Luke moved into second place all-time in school history for points scored. She currently has 1,511 points in her career.
  • IUPUI improved to 4-3 all-time in league tournament history under head coach Austin Parkinson. The Jaguars have advanced to the semifinals for the fourth-straight year.
  • Western Illinois' Ashley Luke has scored in double figures in 67 consecutive games.

Up Next
IUPUI advances to the semifinals and will face No. 1 seed South Dakota Monday. The semifinal game is scheduled for a 12:0 p.m. CT tip-off and will be televised regionally on Midco Sports Network and nationally on ESPN3.