Ashlee Mells and the Ladyjacks host UNI Thursday at 7 p.m. in the first round of the WBI.
March 13, 2012
WBI Game Notes (Northern Iowa)
2012 WBI Bracket
No. 2 Stephen F. Austin vs. No. 7 Northern Iowa (1st Round)
Thursday, Mar. 15, 2012 7:00 p.m. (CST)
William R. Johnson Coliseum (7,203) Nacogdoches, Texas
Radio: Q107.7 FM TV: None Online: www.sfajacks.com
Record: 23-9, 11-5
Last 5/Streak: 3-2/L-1
Coach: Brandon Schneider
Career: 337-99 (14th season)
At SFA: 34-27 (2nd season)
SID: Kenny Bybee
Record: 16-14, 9-9
Last 5/Streak: 1-4/L-3
Coach: Tanya Warren
Career: 84-73 (5th season)
At UNI: Same
SID: Colin McDonough
FOR STARTERS: The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks will make their 26th appearance in postseason play beginning Thursday when they host Northern Iowa in the first round of the Women's Basketball Invitational. This is the first time the Ladyjacks will partake in the WBI. If the Ladyjacks were to win Thursday, they would then host the winner of Wednesday's No. 3 Sam Houston State/No. 6 Rice contest Saturday in Nacogdoches at 6 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT: A trip to the NCAA Tournament and a Southland Conference Tournament title fell just short for the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks, falling 60-56 to McNeese State Friday evening at the Leonard E. Merrell Center. Four Ladyjacks scored in double-figures, including a team-high 12 points a piece from Brittney Matthew and Annette Davis. The Ladyjacks also got 11-point performances from both Porsha Roberts and Ashlee Mells.
THE PANTHERS: The Panthers are making their third straight appearance in a postseason tournament after securing the school's first two NCAA Tournament bids in 2010 and 2011. UNI has won 60 games since the start of the 2009-10 season, marking the most wins in school history over a span of three seasons. UNI is the only school taking part in the 2012 WBI that qualified for the NCAA Tournament in the 2010-11 season. The Panthers earned the Missouri Valley Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with MVC Tournament titles in each of the past two seasons. The Panthers have lost seven of their past eight games entering Thursday, including a 53-46 first round loss to Creighton in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
vs UNI: This will be the first ever meeting between SFA and UNI.
COVERAGE: Thursday's game is scheduled to be on the radio on Q107.7 FM at 7 p.m., with the pregame show beginning at 6:45 p.m. Live stats will also be available on www.sfajacks.com. For more information of the WBI and to see the entire bracket, visit www.womensbasketballinvitational.com.
THE IDES OF MARCH: This will mark the Ladyjacks 26th appearance in postseason play, having last advanced to the 2010 WNIT where they fell to Creighton, 76-65. The Ladyjacks have lost their last seven postseason games dating back to a 73-72 victory over Xavier in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2000. SFA has an 18-28 all-time record in postseason play.
BACK TO THE SLC CHAMPIONSHIP: For the first time since 2007, the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks played in the Southland Conference championship. It marked the 17th time in school history that the Ladyjacks played in the title game.
23 VICTORIES: SFA's 23 wins this season are the third-highest mark this century and, with a chance of four more victories, could surpass the 2000-01 team that went 26-7 to become the winningest team this century. The Ladyjacks have already recorded the 26th 20-win season in SFA history and are one of just 22 SFA teams that have totaled 23 victories in a single-season.
TRIO EARNS ALL-CONFERNECE HONORS: Senior guard Tammara Marion earned her third consecutive All-Southland Conference selection, making the second-team for the first time in her illustrious career. The Houston, Texas native had made the third-team in both the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons. Freshman center Porsha Roberts was selected the Southland Conference Freshman of the Year, becoming just the fourth Ladyjack in school history to win the award and the first since LaToya Mills in 2002-03. Roberts tied Kendria Smith and Amy Collins for the SFA single-game record for blocks in a game with eight at Texas State (2/1) and has recorded three or more blocks in a single contest on six different occasions. Roberts' 57 blocks this season is the fourth-most in a single-season in Ladyjacks history. Junior transfer Ashlee Mells becomes just the second player in SFA history to be selected the Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year, joining Lori Davis from the 1989-90 campaign.
TAKING DOWN THE POWERHOUSES: The Ladyjacks became the first team in the Southland Conference, other than Central Arkansas, to beat the Cowgirls in league play in the last two years.
PARTY IN THE CUSA: With their back-to-back wins over Rice (68-64) and SMU (66-60), and their win over Southern Miss earlier this season, the Ladyjacks have defeated three Conference USA squads in a season for the first time since the 2006-07 campaign when SFA knocked off Southern Miss, Louisiana Tech and Tulsa.
RECORD WATCHES: With six made three-pointers, only one short of a personal best, against Southern Miss (11/26/11), senior guard Tammara Marion became the all-time leader in made three-pointers (184), passing former Ladyjack Dayna Reed's previous record of 178. Marion also tied the all-time school record for three-pointers attempted on 1/14 at UTSA by launching her 555 trifecta, tying the previous mark held by Kirby Killingsworth.
PRESEASON POLLS: With one of the top recruiting classes in the nation, the Ladyjacks earned four first-place votes in the coaches' poll and three more in the SID poll and a second-place finish; however, each poll has UTSA in the top spot in the league's West Division.
MARION PRESEASON ALL-SOUTHLAND: Tammara Marion was named to the all-Southland Conference preseason first team while the Ladyjacks were selected to finish second in the SLC West according to the preseason polls of league coaches and sports information directors. Marion, who was a second team all-conference selection last year, ranked third in the conference in 2010-11 in scoring (16.1).
800-WIN CLUB: The Ladyjacks (874 wins) became the sixth member of an exclusive club with their 73-40 victory over Sam Houston State in 2007-08. SFA became only the sixth women's program in NCAA Division I history to record 800 wins. The Ladyjacks joined Tennessee, Louisiana Tech, Old Dominion, Texas and James Madison as the only schools to ever accomplish the feat. Making the victory more special was the fact that it was Sue Gunter Day on the SFA campus. Tennessee Tech also joined the 800-win club in 2008-09.