March 7, 2012

#6 Women's Basketball Hosts Illinois Wesleyan in NCAA Sweet 16 Game Friday Night

Nationally ranked Mount Union (#6 in D3hoops.com and ESPN/USA TODAY Coaches polls) plays No. 16 Illinois Wesleyan in the sectional round (round of 16) of the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship Friday at 7 pm at the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex in Alliance.

The game will also be LIVE on the radio on WRMU 91.1 FM and WDPN AM 1310 and simulcast online with LIVE AUDIO and LIVE STATS right here.  D3hoops.com will be providing a LIVE VIDEO feed of every game at the site.

It will be the second of two games at the site as No. 22 Centre (Ky.) plays Carthage (Wis.) in a game that will tip-off at 5 pm. 

Tickets will be available at the door starting at 3:30 pm for $7 for adults and $4 for seniors and students.

HOW THEY GOT HERE

Mount Union won its third-straight Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament championship and knocked off LaRoche (Pa.) 73-63 in the opening round then rallied from a double-digit second half deficit to knock off No. 25 Muhlenberg, 61-55 in the second round.

Illinois Wesleyan won its fifth-straight College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin championship and blew out both Maryville (Tenn.) 84-42 and No. 23 Thomas More (Ky.) 87-50 in the first two rounds.

The OAC and CCIW are two of 43 conferences that receive automatic bids into the tournament. There were also 20 national al-large bids and a final spot reserved for teams not in one of the automatic bid conferences to make up the 64-team NCAA Tournament field.  

NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY

The Purple Raiders are making their third-straight and sixth ever NCAA Tournament appearance. Mount Union has a 16-5 record in NCAA Tournament games making it to the round of 16 in 1995 and 2010, losing in the national championship game in 1996 and finishing third in the nation in 1998.

The Titans are in the "Sweet 16" for a fourth year in a row and are making their ninth overall and sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance with a 13-9 record.  A year ago, they finished fourth in the nation and hosted of the national semifinals and finals.

THE SERIES

This will be the first-ever meeting between the schools in women's basketball.  The two schools have met in NCAA post-season play on the football field with the Raiders scoring wins in 1992 (49-27) and 1996 (49-14).

COACHES

Suzy Venet (Mount Union '98) is 132-62 in her seventh season at her Alma mater.  Venet was an All-American for the Purple Raiders and is the OAC's all-time assists leader.  As head coach, the Raiders have won two OAC regular season titles, three OAC Tournament titles and made three-straight trips to the NCAA Tournament.  She is a two-time OAC Coach of the Year and was WBCA Region and D3hoops Region Coach of the Year in 2012.  She was an assistant coach at Bowling Green and Minnesota State-Mankato then got her first heading coaching job at Manchester (Ind.) College.  Including her season at Manchester, her career coaching record is 143-78.

Mia Smith (Southern Illinois-Edwardsville '86) is 278-108 in her 14th season at Illinois Wesleyan.  She is the Titans' all-time wins leader and is a four-time CCIW Coach of the Year including this year.  She has led IWU to six conference titles and seven NCAA Tournament appearances highlighted by a fourth place finish a year ago.

GAME PREVIEW

Mount Union is 28-1 overall on a school-record 23-game winning streak and has won 25-straight at home dating back to an 84-82 loss to John Carroll in Dec. 2010.  

Junior point guard Rosa LaMattina (Westlake/Westlake) and senior guard Kori Wiedt (North Olmsted/North Olmsted) both shared OAC Player of the Year honors and are a 1-2 punch on the perimeter for the Raiders.

LaMattina leads the team and is fifth in the OAC in scoring at 15.2 points per game, while leading the OAC in steals (3.3 per game) and third in assists (4.1 per game).

Wiedt is sixth in the OAC in scoring at 14.5 points per game and is fifth in the nation in three-point shooting (.468). 

Taking care of things inside is All-OAC Second Team senior forward Amanda Rose (Green/Green), who averages 11.5 points per game and leads the team in rebounds at 5.3 per game.  

The trio have all eclipsed 1,000 career points this season marking the first time in school history that three active 1,000-point scorers have played together.  On the school's all-time list, Wiedt is fifth with 1,258 points, LaMattina is ninth with 1,150 points while Rose is 11th with 1,100 points.  They bring the total to 13 players in Mount Union history with over 1,000 points.

Mount Union leads the conference and is 10th in the nation in scoring offense at 74.2 points per game and is the top defensive team in the conference allowing 56.6 points per game. The Raiders help that defense with a full court press and leading the OAC in steals at 12.2 per game.

Like Mount Union, Illinois Wesleyan features a high-powered offense as the Titans are the nation's third highest scoring team at 79.0 points per game and the fourth best shooting team at 45.4 from the floor.

Leading that potent offense is the tandem of Olivia Lett and Melissa Gardner.  Lett, a 6-0 senior guard, is sixth in the nation in scoring at 21.5 points per game as the CCIW's Most Outstanding Player.  She also is the team's top rebounder at 6.6 per game.  Gardner is second on the team in scoring at 13.4 points per game and has hit 85 three's this season including seven in the second round win at Thomas More.

Mount Union Career Scoring Records

  1. Kerri Canning (1997-2001) - 1,605
  2. Dana Zarzycki (1991-1995) - 1,580
  3. Ashley Bourdeau (2001-2005) - 1,545
  4. Suzy Venet (1994-1998) - 1,528
  5. Kori Wiedt (2008-present) - 1,258
  6. Tracy Wilson (1992-1996) - 1,228
  7. Katie Harrington (1996-2000) - 1,184
  8. Cindy Bash (1984-1987) - 1,175
  9. Rosa LaMattina (2009-present) – 1,150
  10. Lauren Friedrich (2003-2007) - 1,110
  11. Amanda Rose (2008-present) - 1,100
  12. Alicia Williams (2004-2008) - 1,064
  13. Holly Rhodes (1990-1994) - 1,016

PROJECTED STARTERS

MOUNT UNION

  • Rosa LaMattina, Jr, PG - 15.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.9 apg, 4.0 spg
  • Kori Wiedt, Sr, G - 14.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg
  • Amanda Rose, Sr, F - 11.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg
  • Tierney Allen, Jr, G – 6.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg
  • Erin Schmidt, Sr, G – 5.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg

ILLINOIS WESLEYAN

  • Olivia Lett, Sr, G - 21.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg
  • Melissa Gardner, Jr, G - 13.4 ppg, 1.8 rpg
  • Britt Hasselbring, Sr, G - 6.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg
  • Colleen McMahon, So, G - 6.6 ppg, 2.0 rpg
  • Karen Solari, Sr, G - 4.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg

MOUNT UNION PLAYER NOTES

Rosa LaMattina, Jr., PG, Westlake/Westlake

  • 12th player in school history to score over 1,000 career points - 9th on school's all-time list with (1,150 points)
  • 2012 OAC Player of the Year
  • 2012 All-OAC First Team
  • OAC Player of the Week (2/6/12)
  • Season-high 25 points vs. Ohio Northern (1/7/12)
  • Season-high 5 rebounds vs. Otterbein (1/21/12)
  • Season/Career-high 9 assists at Muskingum (1/18/12)
  • Season/Career-high 7 steals at Muskingum (1/18/12)
  • Has scored in double figures in 27 games this season.
  • MVP of Mount Union M Club Shootout
  • Has started every game of college career - 89 games
  • Career-high 27 points vs. Baldwin-Wallace (2/10/10)
  • Career-high 9 rebounds vs. Union (N.Y.) (11/27/10)
  • Two-time All-OAC Second Team
  • 2009-10 OAC Freshman of the Year

Kori Wiedt, Sr. G, North Olmsted/North Olmsted

  • 11th player in school history to score 1,000 career points - 5th on school's all-time list with 1,258 pts.
  • 2012 OAC Player of the Year
  • 2012 All-OAC First Team
  • 2012 Academic All-OAC 
  • OAC Player of the Week (1/23/12)
  • Season-high 29 points vs Capital (2/23/12)
  • Season-high 11 rebounds vs Capital (12/10/11)
  • Season-high 5 assists vs Wilmington (2/4/12) and vs Capital (2/23/12)
  • Made 7 three-pointers at Muskingum (1/18/12)
  • Has scored in double figures in 22 games this season
  • Started all 30 games last season and has played in 111 career games (108 starts)
  • School-record 238 career three-pointers made
  • Career-high 31 points vs. Muskingum (12/6/08)
  • Four-time All-OAC
  • 2011 All-Great Lakes Region
  • 2011 Academic All-OAC

Amanda Rose, Sr., F, Green/Green

  • 13th player in school history to score over 1,000 career points - 11th on school's all-time list with (1,100 points)
  • 2012 All-OAC Second Team
  • 2012 Academic All-OAC
  • 2012 Capital One Academic All-District 7 Second Team
  • OAC Player of the Week (1/16/12)
  • Season-high 20 points at Heidelberg (1/14/12)
  • Season-high 10 rebounds vs. Bates (Me.) (12/19/11)
  • Has scored in double figures in 20 games this season
  • Has played in 115 career games and has started 112 games
  • Career-high 21 points vs. Marietta (2/9/11)
  • 2011 All-OAC Honorable Mention
  • OAC Scholar Athlete of the Month - Dec. 2010
  • Two-time Academic All-OAC
  • Her father -- Dennis Rose '75 played basketball at Mount Union

Tierney Allen, Jr., G, Alliance/Alliance

  • Season-high/career-high 15 points vs. Muskingum (2/1/12)
  • Season-high four steals vs. Ohio Northern (1/7/12)
  • Season-high five assists vs. Marietta (1/4/12), vs. John Carroll (1/25/12) vs. Ohio Northern (2/25/12)
  • Season-high/career-high nine rebounds vs. Muhlenberg (3/3/12)
  • Came off the bench in all 30 games last season
  • Has played in 73 career games and started 28 games this season
  • All-tournament team at Mount Union M Club Shootout

Erin Schmidt, Sr., G, Akron/Walsh Jesuit

  • Has played in all 29 games this season and started the last 19 games
  • Has scored double figures five times this season
  • Season-high and career-best 12 points vs. Capital (12/10/11)
  • Career-high eight rebounds vs. Marietta (1/4/12)

Brittany Kilgore, Jr., C, Northfield/Nordonia

  • Started first three games of the season ... missed six games with an injury and has come off the bench in five games.
  • Season-high 10 points at Westminster (Pa.) (11/15/11) and at Carnegie Mellon (Pa.) (11/19/11)
  • Season-high 5 rebounds at Carnegie Mellon (Pa.) (11/19/11)
  • Has played in 66 career games and made 10 starts
  • Career-high 30 points vs. John Carroll (12/8/10)

Megan Saunders, So, F, Lakewood/Lakewood

  • Has played in 25 games with five starts this season
  • Season-high six points and career-high six rebounds vs. Allegheny (Pa.) (11/25/11) and at John Carroll (12/7/11)
  • Career-high 10 points at St. John Fisher (N.Y.) (11/28/10)

Aly Daniel, Fr., C, Willard/Willard

  • Has come off the bench in all 29 games so far this season
  • Had season-best/career-best 15 points vs. Heidelberg (2/18/12)
  • Had season-high/career-high eight rebounds at Wilmington (12/17/11)
  • Has scored in double figures in six games this season

Amanda Tamerlano, Fr., G, North Royalton/North Royalton

  • Has come off the bench in all 29 games and had first career start against John Carroll (12/7/11)
  • Had season-high/career-high five points vs. Bates (Me.) (12/19/11) and vs. Otterbein (1/21/12)
  • Had season-high/career-high four rebounds vs. Bates (Me.) (12/19/11) and vs. LaRoche (3/2/12)
  • Had season-high/career-high three assists at Carnegie Mellon (Pa.) (11/19/11)

Kelly Evans, Sr., G, Twinsburg/Twinsburg

  • Season-high seven points at Otterbein (12/3/11)
  • Played in all 29 games and started vs. Heidelberg (2/18/12)
  • Has played in 94 career games
  • Season-high four rebounds at Marietta (2/8/12)
  • Career-high eight points at Heidelberg (1/15/11)

Marybeth Leitch, Jr. F, Rocky River/Rocky River

  • Has come off the bench in 28 games this season
  • Had season/career-high six points vs. Allegheny (Pa.) (11/25/11) and vs. Wilmington (2/4/12)
  • Had season/career-high eight rebounds vs. Wilmington (2/4/12)
  • Came off the bench in 13 games in 2010-11

Olivia Holt, So, G, Williamsfield/Pymatuning Valley

  • Has come off the bench in 28 games this season
  • Had season/career high five points at Wilmington (12/17/11)
  • Hed season/career high four rebounds vs. Wilmington (12/17/11) and Heidelberg (2/18/12)
  • Came off the bench in nine games in 2010-11

Maggie Miller, Jr, G, Salem/United Local

  • Has come off the bench in all 29 games this season
  • Had season/career-high eight points vs. Drew (N.J.) (12/20/11)
  • Had season/career-high five assists vs. Heidelberg (2/18/12)
  • Came off the bench in 20 games in 2010-11 and seven games in 2009-10
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