Women's Basketball Set For Return To NCAA Tournament

Women's Basketball Set For Return To NCAA Tournament

RV Wisconsin Lutheran (24-3)
No. 9 Chicago (23-2)

Game No. 28 | NCAA Tournament First Round | Friday, March 2, 2018 | 5:30 p.m.
Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex (2,000) | St. Paul, Minn.

Stats | Video
Directions | Digital Program | Bracket

IT'S TOURNAMENT TIME: Wisconsin Lutheran College will face ninth-ranked Chicago (23-2) in the opening round of the 2018 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship Tournament Friday, March 2 at 5:30 p.m. on the campus of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. Chapman (23-4) will face regional host and sixth-ranked St. Thomas (25-2) in the other first round matchup at 8:00 p.m. The winners of the two first round games will face off in the second round Saturday, March 3 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets to the game are $7 for adults and $4 for students and seniors.

LIVE COVERAGE: St. Thomas will provide live stats and video for all three tournament games this weekend. All links are accessible on WLCSports.com.

WISCONSIN LUTHERAN UPDATE: The Warriors are returning to the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in the last eight seasons, and ninth overall, after winning two games in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Tournament to secure the league's automatic bid into the 64-team field. Wisconsin Lutheran ranks fourth in NCAA Division III in fewest turnovers per game (12.5), seventh in scoring defense (47.9), eighth in assist/turnover ratio (1.26), 12th in scoring margin (20.6), and 15th in field goal percentage (44.5). WLC is led by the 2017-2018 NACC Player of the Year, Jen Dowden, who averages 17.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. First Team All-NACC selection Caitlin Knueppel averages 14.5 points per game and is second in the NACC with 72 three-pointers made. Coreana Carson, a Second Team All-NACC pick, averages 10.6 points per game. The Warriors recorded a season-long 17-game winning streak, starting with a win over No. 10 WashU November 18. Wisconsin Lutheran, which has received national attention for 13 straight weeks in the D3hoops.com Top 25 poll, was ranked No. 25 in the week nine poll, the first time any NACC women's basketball program garnered a national ranking. The Warriors have played three previously ranked teams on their schedule this season (No. 15 DePauw, No. 10 WashU, NAIA No. 14 St. Francis). 

HEAD COACH KLAY KNUEPPEL: Klay Knueppel is in his 14th season as head coach of the Wisconsin Lutheran College women's basketball program. He enters Friday's contest with an overall collegiate coaching record of 275-110. Knueppel, the third head coach in program history, spent 12 seasons (1992-2004) as an assistant with the Warriors before being named head coach in 2004. The three-time NACC Coach of the Year has guided WLC to eight conference championships and seven NCAA Tournament appearances. Knueppel entered the season 30th among winningest active coaches in Division III with a .701 winning percentage.

NACC SUCCESS: Wisconsin Lutheran has experienced great success since the NACC formed in 2006-2007. In 12 seasons, the Warriors have compiled a 190-36 record in conference play. WLC has won eight NACC regular season titles in the last 10 seasons and has won the conference tournament seven times in the last eight years.

2017-2018 – 18-2
2016-2017 – 15-5
2015-2016 – 16-4
2014-2015 – 18-2
2013-2014 – 19-1
2012-2013 – 17-0
2011-2012 – 17-1
2010-2011 – 16-2
2009-2010 – 12-6
2008-2009 – 15-3
2007-2008 – 14-4
2006-2007 – 13-6

NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY: Wisconsin Lutheran is making its ninth NCAA Tournament appearance in program history and owns a 2-8 record on the national stage. The Warriors won their first-ever NCAA Tournament game in 2011, a 73-59 triumph over UW-La Crosse in the first round. In its last NCAA Tournament appearance two seasons ago, WLC fell to eventual semi-finalist Wartburg 65-49 in the first round.

03/04/16 – Wartburg 65, Wisconsin Lutheran 49
03/07/15 – Hope 72, Wisconsin Lutheran 47
03/06/15 – Wisconsin Lutheran 70, Wheaton 67 (OT)
03/07/14 – Hope 60, Wisconsin Lutheran 54
03/01/13 – UW-Whitewater 68, Wisconsin Lutheran 48
03/02/12 – Calvin 59, Wisconsin Lutheran 47
03/05/11 – Illinois Wesleyan 84, Wisconsin Lutheran 69
03/04/11 – Wisconsin Lutheran 73, UW-La Crosse 59
03/05/03 – UW-Eau Claire 70, Wisconsin Lutheran 49
03/01/00 – UW-Oshkosh 64, Wisconsin Lutheran 38

NACC IN THE NCAA'S: Wisconsin Lutheran (2018, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011) is one of only three teams to represent the NACC in its history at the NCAA Tournament, with Lakeland (2017, 2010) and Concordia Wisconsin (2009, 2007) being the others. The Warriors won the 2008 NACC Tournament, but did not advance to the NCAA Tournament because the league did not have an automatic bid. The NACC is 3-10 all-time in NCAA Tournament games.

03/03/17 – Ohio Northern 68, Lakeland 36
03/04/16 – Wartburg 65, Wisconsin Lutheran 49
03/07/15 – Hope 72, Wisconsin Lutheran 47
03/06/15 – Wisconsin Lutheran 70, Wheaton 67 (OT)
03/07/14 – Hope 60, Wisconsin Lutheran 54
03/01/13 – UW-Whitewater 68, Wisconsin Lutheran 48
03/02/12 – Calvin 59, Wisconsin Lutheran 47
03/05/11 – Illinois Wesleyan 84, Wisconsin Lutheran 69
03/04/11 – Wisconsin Lutheran 73, UW-La Crosse 59
03/05/10 – DePauw 79, Lakeland 46
03/07/09 – UW-Stevens Point 78, Concordia Wisconsin 58
03/06/09 – Concordia Wisconsin 76, Concordia Moorhead 72
03/02/07 – Luther 72, Concordia Wisconsin 51

SERIES HISTORY: Friday's NCAA Tournament first round matchup marks the seventh all-time meeting between the Warriors and Maroons, and the first since the 1995-1996 season. Chicago has won two straight and leads the series 5-1.

WLC VS. THE UAA: Wisconsin Lutheran's history against University Athletic Association (UAA) opponents dates back to 1990. The Warriors have faced just two of the eight current UAA members. WLC has faced Chicago six times and Washington-St. Louis four times. Entering Friday's tournament contest, the Warriors are 2-8 all-time against UAA opponents.

11/18/17 – at Wisconsin Lutheran 63, WashU 50
11/22/13 – WashU 79, at Wisconsin Lutheran 48
12/03/11 – at WashU 70, Wisconsin Lutheran 58
01/09/03 – WashU 61, at Wisconsin Lutheran 47
01/09/96 – Chicago 68, at Wisconsin Lutheran 53
02/22/95 – Chicago 62, at Wisconsin Lutheran 52
02/22/94 – at Wisconsin Lutheran 74, Chicago 62
02/24/93 – Chicago 77, at Wisconsin Lutheran 74 (OT)
12/02/91 – Chicago 85, at Wisconsin Lutheran 79
11/17/90 – Chicago 119, at Wisconsin Lutheran 71

SCOUTING CHICAGO: Ranked ninth in the latest D3hoops.com Top 25 poll, the Maroons (23-2) won the University Athletic Association regular season title after finishing a perfect 14-0 in conference play. Chicago, which has won 21 straight games, is making its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance in program history and is 8-6 in tournament games. The Maroons are 12th in NCAA Division III in scoring at 78.2 points per game, and rank in the top 25 in three other categories (turnover margin, free throws made, scoring margin). UC forces 22.6 turnovers per game and has held opponents under 34 percent shooting 10 times this season. Mia Farrell leads the Maroons, averaging 15.6 points per game, and Taylor Lake adds 13.8 points and 5.9 rebounds while connecting on 45.6 percent of her shots. Obi Olariche controls the paint for UC, averaging a double-double of 12.5 points and 11.3 rebounds per contest. The forward leads the team, shooting 48.5 percent from the floor and has rejected nearly one shot per game. 

CHICAGO HEAD COACH CARISSA SAIN KNOCHE: Carissa Sain Knoche is in her sixth season as head coach of the University of Chicago Maroons. During her tenure as head coach, Chicago has compiled a 98-54 overall record and a 57-27 clip in the UAA. She served as an assistant coach for the Maroons for four seasons prior to being named head coach.

WLC'S ROAD TO THE NCAA TOURNAMENT: The Warriors punched their ticket to the 2018 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship Tournament by earning the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference's automatic bid. Top-seeded WLC defeated fourth-seeded Lakeland 68-47 in the NACC Tournament Semifinal and soon after went onto defeat second-seeded Concordia Wisconsin 66-59 in the NACC Tournament Final Sunday afternoon.

WLC'S LAST GAME: The Warriors jumped out to a 9-2 lead and later led by a game-high 16 points with over six minutes left in the second quarter, before carrying a 28-19 lead into halftime. CUW cut the deficit to just one point three different times in the fourth quarter, but clutch threes from Coreana Carson, Jen Dowden, and Caitlin Knueppel secured the 66-59 victory. Dowden stuffed the stat sheet with 21 points, seven assists, and five rebounds while Maddie Cruz added a career-high 12 points and pulled down five rebounds. Wisconsin Lutheran won all three matchups from Concordia Wisconsin to sweep the season series.

CHICAGO'S ROAD TO THE NCAA TOURNAMENT: Chicago punched its ticket to the 2018 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship Tournament after completing a perfect 14-0 season in UAA play. It was the Maroons' sixth UAA title in program history (2018, 2015, 2012, 2011, 2008, 1989). Chicago, which is back in the tournament for the second straight season, holds an 8-6 overall record in the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship Tournament

CHICAGO'S LAST GAME: The Maroons won their 21st consecutive game and completed a perfect 14-0 season in the UAA Saturday, February 24 when they defeated Washington (Mo.) 96-90 in their final UAA contest of the season. Mia Farrell led five players for Chicago in double-figures with 31 points, including 15-of-18 from the free throw line. Olariche Obi notched her 14th double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds.


#2 Maddie Cruz, G, 5-4, Jr., New Berlin, Wis./Waukesha West
2017-2018 Stat Snapshot: 4.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.4 spg
#10 Jen Dowden, F, 6-0, Jr., Bonduel, Wis./Bonduel
2017-2018 Stat Snapshot: 17.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.3 spg
#11 Caitlin Knueppel, G/F, 5-9, Sr., Wauwatosa, Wis./Wisconsin Lutheran
2017-2018 Stat Snapshot: 14.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.0 spg
#22 Kelly Tramburg, G/F, 5-10, So., Fall River, Wis./Fall River
2017-2018 Stat Snapshot: 8.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.3 apg, 0.9 spg
#24 Coreana Carson, G, 5-5, Sr., Milwaukee, Wis./HOPE Christian
2017-2018 Stat Snapshot: 10.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.8 spg

#2 Mia Farrell, G, 5-6, So., Bolingbrook, Ill./Joliet Catholic
2017-2018 Stat Snapshot: 15.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.5 spg
#11 Taylor Lake, F, 5-10, So., Mars, Pa./North Allegheny
2017-2018 Stat Snapshot: 13.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.7 spg
#20 Olariche Obi, F, 5-10, Jr., Murfreesboro, Tenn./Central Magnet
2017-2018 Stat Snapshot: 12.5 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 1.6 apg, 2.7 spg
#23 Miranda Burt, G, 5-9, So., Knoxville, Tenn./Farragut
2017-2018 Stat Snapshot: 8.7 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.0 spg
#34 Jami Kockenmeister, G, 5-9, Jr., Greenwich, Conn./Greenwich
2017-2018 Stat Snapshot: 5.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.7 spg