UNI hope to keep sweep alive against Indiana St.

ST. CHARLES, Mo. – The Northern Iowa women’s basketball team has had Indiana State’s number this season.

And after a regular season sweep of the Sycamores, the Panthers hope the third time is just as charmed.

Meeting for the second time in nine days, fourth-seeded UNI (15-15) tips off against fifth seed Indiana State (18-11) today at 2:35 p.m. in the quarterfinal round of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament at the Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo.

The game will be broadcast at www.valley-live.tv

The winner advances to play the victor of top-seeded Wichita State (21-9) vs ninth seed Drake (11-19) in a semifinal contest Saturday at 1:35 p.m.

Fresh off a 29-point outburst in UNI’s 75-49 rout of the Sycamores in Cedar Falls March 7, Jacqui Kalin leads the Panthers’ attack at 19.4 points per game and 20.6 in conference play. The 2013 Jackie Stiles MVC Player of the Year became the first women’s player in school history to surpass 2,000 career points after tallying 14 against Illinois State Saturday.

Anna Munn leads Indiana State at 14.7 points per outing – fourth in the MVC – but had just four points on a 1-for-5 effort against UNI last week. Natasha Zurek led Indiana State with 13 points as the Sycamores missed all five of their attempts snapping their 392 consecutive games streak with at least one 3-point make.

AGWSR grad Jess McDowell has flourished from beyond the arc for the Panthers in early March, tallying a combined 13 3-pointers and 43 points in wins over Evansville and Southern Illinois, while Hannah Schonhardt – a member of the MVC All-Freshman team – has reached double figures in six of the last 11 games. UNI closed the regular season by winning seven of 11 and boasts a 7-3 mark in the MVC Tournament under the direction of coach Tanya Warren.

Sneaking past the Sycamores 54-52 in their first meeting Jan. 6, the Panthers have won by double digits in their last three victories. Both teams finished with a 10-8 mark in conference play, with UNI’s most recent win over Indiana State securing the fourth seed in the tourney.