What: Summit League Tournament Quarterfinals
Who: (5) Western Illinois (14-15 overall) vs.
(4) Fort Wayne (12-16 overall)
Where: Sioux Falls Arena • Sioux Falls, S.D.
When: Sunday, March 10 - 12 p.m.
Summit League Tournament Championship Central
FOLLOW THE ACTION
The Dog (88.3 FM) and WMQZ 104.1 FM
Talent: Michael Broskowski (play-by-play), Logan Sell (color)
LAST TIME OUT: Western Illinois shattered its 3-point shooting record, and senior Saule Kontautaite tied her own season record from 3-point range, as the Leathernecks defeated Oakland 64-53... Western drained nine 3s (now 223 this season) to complete the season sweep of Oakland... Kontautaite tied her own record of 67 last year, hitting four in the contest for a game-high 20 points... One of the conference leaders in field goal shooting, Ashley Luke fought through a 4-for-13 FG effort to score 11 points and match her season-high of 13 rebounds. The Summit League leader in offensive rebounds per game at 2.9, Luke cleared away 10 boards on the offensive end... Michele Salvatori matched a season-high (also set at Oakland) with 10 rebounds while matching her career-high of five assists.
NEAR RECORD CROWD FOR SENIOR DAY: Western Illinois nearly pulled off an attendance record for the final regular season game - and Senior Night - against Oakland... Attendance inside Western Hall was announced at 1,156, which ranks as the second-highest total in program history. The fans helped honor the team's five seniors: Christina Jones, Karis Phillips, Michele Salvatori, Saule Kontautaite, and Jackie Rieger.
GRAVINA SETS ANOTHER STANDARD: Head coach JD Gravina holds a 26-34 record in his first two years in charge of Leatherneck Basketball. No other coach in the program's NCAA Division I history has won more games in their first two years of coaching than Gravina... With the win over Oakland, Gravina took sole possession of first moving past Leslie Crane (25)... Gravina joins Bea Yeager (first two years team moved to Division I level) as the only coaches with at least 10 wins in each of the first two seasons, and Gravina is the only coach to win at least 12 games each season.
SUMMIT LEAGUE TOURNAMENT NOTES: Western Illinois enters the 2013 Summit League Tournament as the fifth seed, facing fourth-seed Fort Wayne Sunday afternoon at 12 noon...
> This marks the second time Western enters the tournament as the fifth-seed (lost to IUPUI in 2007, 56-51).
> Western owns an 11-18 record all-time in tournament play.
> A Western victory would advance the Leathernecks to the semifinals for the third time in the last four years.
> Western faces Fort Wayne for the first-time ever in postseason play. If Western wins, it will face either South Dakota State (0-1 all-time) or Oakland (1-1 all-time).
> This is the fifth straight year, and sixth time in last seven years, Western is the lower seed in the quarterfinal match-up.
> Being the No. 5 seed is the highest seed by Western in five years (#2 in 2008).
> Of the 21 tournament games appeared in by returning players, only one time has a Leatherneck scored in double-figures (22 by Saule Kontautaite in 83-71 victory over Oral Roberts in 2012).
ATTENDANCE ON THE RISE: The Leathernecks' regular season finale against Oakland brought 1,156 fans to Western Hall - the second highest attendance in program history. The total surpassed the previous season-high of 848 against South Dakota State ('Think Pink' event)... The record is 1,384 against IUPUI in March 2004... That was the third time this year Western drew at least 800 fans for a game... The 644 average home attendance in 14 games is the largest average since the 2006-07 season (660 avg./12 games)... The 1,156 attendance for Oakland was the last 1,000+ attendance since February 27, 2006 (1,001 vs. Kansas City).
3-POINT SHOOTING RECORDS SET: Hitting nine shots from 3-point range against Oakland allowed Western to rewrite its record set last year for most 3s made in a season. That wasn't the only noteworthy 3-point shooting effort in the game. Currently with 223 team 3-pointers...
- The Leathernecks need only 2 more 3-pointers to tie for eighth place among the Summit League 'Top 10' season performances, and 12 away from fourth place.
- Saule Kontautaite tied her own season 3-point field goal record of 67 (four made versus Oakland). She needs 3 to tie for 20th place among the Summit League season leaders.
- Kontautaite now has 134 in her career, currently in second place all-time and just 12 shy of Amanda Walker's record.
- Michelle Maher made 55 to date, tied for sixth among the Western season 'Top 10'. She needs 2 more to tie for fourth place.
SALVATORI BREAKS GAMES PLAYED RECORD, RIEGER CLOSE BEHIND: When senior Michele Salvatori stepped onto the court Saturday versus Oakland she set the Western Illinois record playing in her 120th game, taking sole possession of the all-time record from former teammate Jordon O'Brien... Fellow senior Jackie Rieger is close behind as she made her 117th career appearance, tying Amanda Walker for third all-time.
RARE SEASON SWEEPS: Western Illinois pulled off not one but two rare season sweeps this season... The Leathernecks defeated North Dakota State 85-83 in Fargo, then 55-50 at home to sweep the Bison for the first-time ever in history. In fact, it was the first-ever win in Fargo for the Leathernecks... Western opened Summit League play with an 81-73 win at Oakland, then finished the sweep 64-53 in the regular season finale. That marked the first sweep of the Golden Grizzlies since 2004.
MORE NON-CONFERENCE VICTORY NOTES: Last year Western went on the road and lost by 30-plus points each to in-state rivals Eastern Illinois and Bradley. This season at home, the Leathernecks defeated EIU on December 17th 70-68, then just four days later knocked off the Braves 92-81 (largest scoring output this season)... Western went on the road, rallied in the final five minutes, and defeated Loyola 65-61 on December 5th. That win was the program's first over the Ramblers in five career meetings... The 35-point win at home versus Chicago State was the largest margin of victory over a Division I opponent this year.
LUKE CHALLENGING FOR NEWCOMER HONORS: Redshirt-freshman Ashley Luke continues to make a case for the Summit League 'Newcomer of the Year' award. In her first Summit League season, she led Western averaging 12.9 points per game (T-9th in Summit), 8.0 rebounds (2nd) and 1.1 blocks (T-4th), shooting 49.7 percent from the field (4th)... Luke is second on the team with 24 steals... Her 71 defensive rebounds surpass the total rebounds of every other Leatherneck... Her six double-doubles this year (Bradley, Kansas City-2, North Dakota State, South Dakota, Oakland) also lead the squad... Overall she leads the Summit League averaging 3.2 offensive rebounds per game, including a season-high 10 offensive caroms against Oakland.
LUKE NAMED BACK-TO-BACK PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Ashley Luke pulled off a feat not accomplished by a Western Illinois women's basketball player in 10 years, earning Summit League 'Player of the Week' honors in consecutive weeks (February 18th/25th). She became the first player since Zane Teilane accomplished the feat in the final two weeks of December 2003... Luke recorded a double-double in consecutive days, season-high 20 points/11 rebounds at Kansas City followed by 16 points/10 boards at South Dakota... She shared the weekly award on February 25th.
NATIONALLY SPEAKING: Western Illinois women's basketball enters the postseason nationally-ranked 16th in 3-point field goals made per game (7.7), 46th in assists per game (15.2), 71st in 3-point shooting percentage (.327), 44th in personal fouls per game (14.2) and 59th in assist to turnover ratio (0.93)... Rebecca Henricson remained 25th nationally in assist/turnover ratio (2.07). Saule Kontautaite climbed 11 spots to 63rd averaging 2.31 3-pointers per game, and is 95th in 3-FG percentage (.333).
SUMMIT LEAGUE 'TOP 10': Western leads the Summit League averaging 15.2 assists and 7.7 3-point FGs... Western is second in assist/turnover ratio (0.93), scoring offense (63.2 ppg), 3-point percentage (.327) and blocks (3.7)... The Leathernecks are fourth in personal fouls (14.2), then fifth in field goal shooting (.393), total rebounds (37.0), steals (8.1), FG percentage defense (.392), and scoring defense (61.4)... Ashley Luke stands fourth in FG shooting (.475, best average by a freshman) and tied for fifth at 7.1 rebounds. She's first with 3.2 offensive rebounds and tied for fourth at 1.0 blocks. Luke is the only freshman in the Summit to rank among the 'Top 10' in scoring (T-9th/12.9) and rebounds (2nd/8.0) in league-only stats... Rebecca Henricson stands third averaging 3.9 assists, fifth in steals (1.9) and second in assist/turnover ratio (2.1)... Saule Kontautaite remains first in 3s made (2.3)... Michelle Maher is third averaging 2.0 3s per game... Charnelle Reed stands fourth shooting .402 from 3-range and ninth averaging 1.4 3s per game.
HENRICSON AMONG BEST IN ASSISTS: Junior Rebecca Henricson continues to rank among The Summit League leaders in assists while making a name for herself nationally taking care of the basketball... Henricson is third averaging 3.9 assists, while ranking second in assist/turnover ratio at 2.1 (114 assists/55 turnovers). Henricson remained 25th nationally in the ratio... Henricson has shown off her defense, now fifth averaging 1.9 steals... She is one of three players in Summit to rank among the 'Top 5' in both assists and steals... Henricson took sole possession of 10th place all-time among the Western assist leaders with 233, and is alone in 10th place on the season 'Top 10' list.
ROUND ONE vs FORT WAYNE: IPFW jumped out to a 15-point halftime lead and cruised to an 80-49 win on December 30th in Fort Wayne... The Mastodons hit 11-of-21 from 3-point range, had 12 steals and forced 21 Leatherneck turnovers... Amanda Hyde led Fort Wayne with 25 points and six assists while Erin Murphy added 21 points... Western shot just 27.9 percent from the field (12-of-43) and half of those field goals came from beyond the arc (6-of-18)... Ashley Luke led Western with 12 points and Saule Kontautaite chipped in 10 points.
ROUND TWO AGAINST FORT WAYNE: Saule Kontautaite scored a game-high 17 points and Michelle Maher added 16 as Western cruised to a 73-54 Summit League victory over Fort Wayne on Thursday night... Maher started the scoring with a 3-pointer as the Leathernecks scored the first six points... Fort Wayne cut it to one at 6-5 on Rachel Mauk's triple, but Western scored 10 straight... Five of the team's first nine field goals were from 3-point range... Fort Wayne cut it to six, but Ashley Luke scored in the paint then on the next possession converted a three-point play to extend the lead back to 10 and that would be the closest that IPFW would get for the remainder of the game... Kontautaite drained five 3-pointers, and scored in double-figures for the fourth straight time... Maher moved into a tie for seventh among the season leaders with 53 from 3-point range, thanks to her four made in the game. She matched a career-high with seven rebounds to go with her 16 points while dishing out four assists... Jackie Rieger added 11 points and five rebounds... Luke narrowly missed on her third straight double-double, tallying 12 points and nine rebounds... While the offense was clicking, Rebecca Henricson and the Leatherneck defense held Amanda Hyde to seven points below her Summit League-leading 19.2 points per game
SCOUTING THE MASTODONS: Similar to Western Illinois, Fort Wayne enters the quarterfinal round match-up having won four of its last six, however, the Mastodons lost two in a row to close out... Amanda Hyde leads in scoring with 18.7 points and 87 assists, along with 4.8 rebounds... Erin Murphy is next at 12.3 points... Stefanie Mauk is averaging 7.7 points and a team-leading 5.9 rebounds with 15 blocked shots, also a team-high... Five Mastodons have made at least 21 3-pointers on the year, led by Stefanie Mauk's 48... The team's 78.6 percentage at the free throw line is good for fifth-best in the nation... IPFW also ranks 30th averaging 7.0 3-pointers per game, and 28th commiting just 13.9 turnovers per contest... Hyde is 18th in free throw percentage (.872) and 34th in scoring.
WESTERN-MASTODONS 2012-13 SERIES: In the two games versus Fort Wayne this year, Saule Kontautaite leads the scoring attack at 13.5 points per game shooting 50 percent from the field... Ashley Luke averages 12.0 points and 6.5 rebounds, going 10-of-13 at the free throw line... Michelle Maher is 6-of-10 from 3-point range, averaging 11.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists... Rebecca Henricson is averaging 5.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals.
In the two games versus Western this year, Amanda Hyde led in scoring (18.5), followed by Stefanie Mauk (16.5) and Erin Murphy (15.0 ppg)... Western held a +5.5 edge in rebounds but committed 10 more turnovers than IPFW... The Leathernecks actually shot better from 3-point range (.405) than from the field (.382)... Fort Wayne went 41.2 percent from the field and .346 from 3-point range.