March 14, 2009

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky.- A 15-0 run in the second half was the springboard to a 74-64 win for the Greyhound women's basketball team over ninth-ranked Quincy in the semifinal round of the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional at the Bank of Kentucky Center Saturday night. The Hounds registered their second straight win over a top ten opponent to advance to Monday's Midwest Regional Final for the first time in school history.

The final score was not indicative of the battle between the two Great Lakes Valley Conference rivals. The lead changed hands six times in the second half and there were 10 ties overall in a physical struggle with each possession.

Both teams' offenses were in high gear right off the tip. Both squads combined to hit on a combined 11-of-14 shots as the Lady Hawks (27-5) held a 16-13 edge at the first media timeout. The defenses began to take hold as the game's intensity ratcheted up a notch. QU standout and GLVC Player of the Year Jessica Keller hit the floor hard after a drive while Samantha Meissel (Terre Haute, Ind./Terre Haute North) and Caroline Schutzman (Carmel, Ind./Bishop Chatard) each took punishing blows in a hard-fought opening half.

Jessica Canary (Coatesville, Ind./South Putnam), fresh off her game-winning performance a night prior, stayed hot, hitting four of her first five shots for 15 points before halftime on the way to a new career-best 33 points. Three of those first-half points came on an off-balance triple with the shot clock winding down putting UIndy up four at 31-27.

The Greyhounds (24-9) led 36-33 at the half, shooting 52.2 percent from the floor to Quincy's 37.9 effort. More importantly, UIndy held Keller to just 2-of-9 shooting in the first frame.

Keller would get the Hawks started early in the second half, getting to the line several times en route to eight quick points. She finished the night with 26 points and 10 rebounds, but she could not pull Quincy out of a scoring drought that spanned over six minutes and allowed UIndy to erase a four-point deficit and turn it into a lead that reached as many as 13.

During the run, Canary hit her fourth long ball of the game to help the Hounds regain the lead for good at 58-57 with just under seven minutes to play. She connected again on the next trip down and the Hounds began to mount on its lead.

The Greyhounds now advance to the NCAA Midwest Regional Final as one of 16 D-II team still alive. Monday's regional championship will feature UIndy and the winner of Saturday night's other semifinal matchup with host Northern Kentucky and fifth-seeded Michigan Tech. Game time is 7:00 p.m. Eastern at the Bank of Kentucky Center.

Notes: UIndy's all-time record in NCAA tournament play improves to 5-6 ... It is the first time UIndy has advanced to the Regional Championship ... Coming into the game, the Greyhounds and Ouachita Baptist were the highest seeds remaining after the 2009 opening round (No. 7) ...Canary averaged 25.2 points per game against the Hawks in three games this season and has three of her six 20-point games against Quincy.