#UNIWBB Road Report – Title Game Berth Caps #HoopsInTheHeartland Experience

#UNIWBB tips off with Missouri State in the #MVCWBB Championship

#UNIWBB tips off with Missouri State in the #MVCWBB Championship

The UNI Panther women’s basketball team “survived and advanced” its way to the 2016 Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Championship Game, but the Missouri State Lady Bears won the title Sunday over the Panthers, 71-58, to claim the Missouri Valley Conference‘s NCAA automatic bid.

Missouri State nearly led wire-to-wire and fought off all of UNI’s best rallies to secure its first tournament championship since 2006. Sunday’s contest was only the Panthers’ third title game berth in program history and the first such appearance for all 16 members of the roster.

UNI, which is now the conference’s automatic bid to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament, needed a game-saving steal Friday to win its tournament opener, 46-45, against the Bradley Braves in the MVC Quarterfinals. The Panthers trailed for almost 24 minutes in the contest and rallied from a nine-point deficit to avoid the upset.

The Panthers followed their narrow victory with a 67-43 rout Saturday of the Southern Illinois Salukis in the MVC Semifinals. After building its largest halftime advantage of the season (41-17), UNI coasted towards the win to clinch its rare spot in the title game before losing to Missouri State and facing its next playing opportunity in the WNIT.

Here are some interesting stats from the week:

  1. Weekly’s honors include Elite 18 Award
    Madison Weekly, who led tournament scorers with 60 points, won the Elite 18 Award for best cumulative GPA of all championship game participants
  2. Lamar highlights All-Tournament Team
    Sharnae Lamar recorded a career-high 16 points Sunday and the game-winning steal Friday to earn All-Tournament honors along with Weekly
  3. Sorenson overcomes slump to break record
    Amber Sorenson broke Jacqui Kalin’s single-season three-point record, sitting on 90 treys now after snapping an 0-for-12 start to tournament action
  4. Morgan stands out in first tournament
    Mikaela Morgan matched a career high in scoring Saturday (8 points) and forced several turnovers in extended playing time (16.7 minutes per game)
  5. Garrison-Nickerson scores first bucket
    Dariann Garrison-Nickerson tripled her career scoring total by scoring a driving layup – her first collegiate field goal – in the MVC Semifinals

UNI will learn its tournament status Monday evening when the WNIT bracket is unveiled online. For more information, including updates of Panther broadcast coverage on News/Talk 1540 KXEL and/0r Panthers Inside Access, visit unipanthers.com. Thanks for reading, and take care! U-N-I Fight! #UNIFight