WMU News

Broncos host Richmond Wednesday in WNIT quarterfinals

March 22, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's women's basketball team defeated UNC Charlotte, 85-83 in overtime, Sunday night (March 21) before 1,424 fans at WMU's University Arena in the second round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament.

WMU will play host to the University of Richmond in the quarterfinal round of the WNIT at 7 p.m. Wednesday (March 24) in University Arena. The Richmond Spiders, 22-9 overall, advanced to the quarterfinals with an 84-77 victory over Florida State in round two and an opening-round win over South Florida, 63-55.

With the victory over Charlotte, the Broncos improved to 19-12 for the season, while the 49ers finished 17-14. In first-round action, WMU defeated favored Louisville, 63-61, at Cardinal Arena and ended Louisville's 13-game home winning streak.

Against Charlotte, the Broncos had four players in double figures. Freshman Carrie Moore led the way with a game-high 24 points, while senior Lori Crisman had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Junior Kelly Koerber, who led WMU with a career-high 23 points at Louisville, added 19 at home against Charlotte. Junior Maria Jilian finished the night with 11 points, four steals, six assists and seven rebounds. Both Jilian and Crisman played the entire 45 minutes.

"Our team is very driven right now to get the job done, and they have proven that tonight and against Louisville," said head coach Ron Stewart. "Lori [Crisman] did a great job, and she is not willing to quit yet as a senior. Maria Jilian did an outstanding job for us again tonight, as she always does. Maria has played the entire 40-minutes for us all season long, and I truly believe she is one of the best point guards in the MAC."

WMU opened an early 17-5 lead over Charlotte and led by as many as 14 points in the first half and 15 in the second. Each time the Broncos built a double-digit lead, however, Charlotte would narrow the margin. WMU held a 35-26 advantage at half time. Charlotte trimmed the lead to four points with 12 minutes remaining in regulation, and WMU rebuilt an 11-point lead with under 10 minutes to go. Charlotte managed to tie the contest three times in the final two minutes, but was never able to take the lead.

In overtime, Charlotte scored first, but the Broncos quickly rallied for a six-point advantage. Again, Charlotte came back to tie the contest with just :33 remaining. A jumper by Crisman with 18 seconds left gave the Broncos the 85-83 overtime victory.

Admission to Wednesday's WNIT quarterfinal contest is $7 for adults and $5 for children and WMU students. All tickets are general admission and will be available at the door or may be ordered by calling the Athletic Ticket Office at 269 387-8092 or toll free 888 4-WMU-TIX.

Media contact: Paula Haughn, 269 387-4138, paula.haughn@wmich.edu

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