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Greyhounds draw Ashland in NCAA tournament

Posted on 03.14.2013

The University of Indianapolis women’s basketball team is headed back to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament for the 10th time in program history. As the eighth seed in the Midwest Region, the UIndy women’s team will face the top-seeded Ashland University Eagles. This year’s tournament berth marks the third consecutive tournament appearance for the Greyhounds, the team’s fifth out of the past six seasons.

This matchup will not be the Greyhounds’ first with the Eagles this year, however. The Greyhounds hosted the Eagles earlier this season, on Dec. 14 in Nicoson Hall, losing 70-54. Four Eagles players scored in double figures during that contest, compared to two UIndy players. Coming into the contest, both teams were ranked among the top five nationally.

Following the announcement of the bracket, senior guard Kristin Turner said she was excited to have the opportunity to take on the top-seeded Eagles and compete in the tournament.

“I came here not knowing really what was going to happen, and I’m just so happy to keep playing and not be done,” Turner said. “I didn’t want to end it [the season] the way we did.”

Turner said that she feels confident about the team’s matchup against the Eagles and that having played them once will help the Hounds prepare for this game.

“I think now there won’t be any reason to have nerves,” Turner said. “We’ve done it once before. We just have to go out there and play like we know how.”

Prior to the selection this past Sunday, the Greyhounds lost 64-63 to the Kentucky Wesleyan College Panthers on March 8 at the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind. in the quarterfinal round of the 2013 Deaconess Great Lakes Valley Conference Basketball Tournament.

The Greyhounds shot better than the Panthers inside the paint and at the free throw line but gave up seven 3-pointers. The Panthers also applied defensive pressure that contributed to their victory, forcing 17 turnovers by UIndy.

Three Greyhounds scored in double figures in the contest: Turner, who finished with 16 points, junior forward/center Eliza Wortman with 15, and junior guard Katy McIntosh with 13. Wortman also finished with eight rebounds for the Hounds.

At the start of the first half, the game belonged to the Greyhounds. UIndy came out in the first 18 minutes of the game and built a 25-9 lead over the Panthers. The Greyhounds maintained their double-digit lead until the 2:45 mark in the first half. The Panthers went on a scoring run in the remaining minutes to even up the score at the half, 38-38.

In the second half, the Panthers took the lead for the first time in the game with 13:20 remaining. The Greyhounds continued to stay close to KWC in the following minutes, allowing the Panthers to pull ahead by no more than four points, until the 6:45 mark. With 6:04 remaining, the Panthers pulled ahead by seven points following a 3-pointer, but the Greyhounds did not give in. In the final four minutes, UIndy tied the score twice, and following a made shot by McIntosh in the process of being fouled with 39 seconds remaining along with a free throw, UIndy took the lead 63-62. However, with 24 seconds left, the Panthers sealed the win with a pair of free throws, and the Greyhounds failed to score with their last possession in the remaining seconds.

After the game, Head Women’s Basketball Coach Constantin Popa said that he thought UIndy played decently but also had rough moments in the game that cost the Greyhounds the victory.

“I guess that’s the game of basketball,” Popa said. “I mean you have to play 40 minutes. You have to learn how to finish the game. And you have to have people step up and take the lead at times. And I think that’s one thing we kind of missed in the second half of this game.”

The Greyhounds take on Ashland on Friday, March 15, at 6 p.m. in Ashland, Ohio. The winner will advance to the second round on March 16, to take on the victor of the game between fifth seed KWC and fourth seed Michigan Tech University.


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