WNIT: Who's left
BY Staff Reports
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
3/27/12 at 8:42 AM
Related Story: Cowgirls head to WNIT semifinal on inspiring play
Who's still playing in the WNIT? Here are the semifinal qualifiers:
Oklahoma State Cowgirls
Coach: Jim Littell
Record: 20-12 (8-10 Big 12, tied 6th place)
Best players: Sophomore point guard Tiffany Bias ranks seventh nationally in assists and was chosen second-team All-Big 12. Freshman forward Liz Donohoe is the league's freshman of the year. Toni Young, a preseason All-Big 12 selection, has scored in double figures a career-best six consecutive games.
What OSU does best: The Cowgirls rank 16th nationally in field goal percentage defense.
Impressive number: Despite the cancellation of two home games following a plane crash that took the lives of coach Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna, the Cowgirls set a school record with 16 home-court victories.
Factoid: The court at Bicentennial Center in Salina, Kan., is now known as Kurt Budke court. Salina was Budke's hometown. A dedication ceremony took place Saturday.
How they got to the semis: Bias, Donohoe and Young combined for 61 points in a 78-70 quarterfinal triumph over Colorado.
San Diego Toreros
Coach: Cindy Fisher
Record: 26-8 (12-4 West Coast Conference, tied 2nd place)
Best players: Senior guard Dominique Conners is the program's all-time leading scorer and has been held to single digits just once this season. She and senior forward Morgan Woodrow were among 10 players chosen to the All-WCC team. Sophomore guard Amy Kame was honorable mention.
What San Diego does best: The Toreros rank 13th nationally in field goal percentage defense.
Impressive number: The Toreros are 11-4 on the road.
Factoid: Senior guard Izzy Chilcott once was a champion surfer in Australia. She put away the board to pursue basketball and leads the Toreros in rebounding.
How they got to the semis: Freshman forward Sophia Ederaine blocked nine shots and grabbed 13 rebounds in 23 minutes of court time to help USD beat Washington 58-47 in a quarterfinal game.
Coach: Quentin Hillsman
Record: 22-14 (6-10 Big East, tied 10th place)
Best players: Junior center Kayla Alexander and senior forward Iasia Hemingway were selected second-team All-Big East. They combine to average 29.3 points and 13.6 rebounds.
What Syracuse does best: The Orange ranks 12th nationally in rebounding margin and 24th in free throw percentage.
Impressive number: The first four postseason road wins in program history came in the last four games. The Orange reached the WNIT semifinals without playing a home game.
Factoid: Hemingway is a transfer from Georgia Tech. As a Tech sophomore in 2009, she scored 10 points in a second-round NCAA Tournament game against Oklahoma.
How they got to the semis: Rachel Coffey hit a 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds left in regulation to force overtime and Syracuse advanced with a 74-73 quarterfinal decision over Toledo.
James Madison Dukes
Coach: Kenny Brooks
Record: 28-7 (14-4 Colonial Athletic Association, 2nd place)
Best players: Junior guard Tarik Hislop (second team) and sophomore guard Kirby Burkholder (third team) were named All-CAA. Nikki Newman was the league's defensive player of the year. Newman's coach calls her the best four-point-a-game scorer (her career average is 3.6) in school history.
What James Madison does best: The Dukes rank fifth nationally in field goal percentage defense.
Impressive number: The Dukes have averaged 25.4 wins with seven postseason appearances (three NCAAs, four WNITs) over the last seven seasons.
Factoid: Brooks didn't have to go far to recruit star power. Burkholder and Newman were teammates at a nearby high school.
How they got to the semis: Burkholder and Hislop combined for 37 points in a 68-59 quarterfinal conquest of Virginia.