Monday, March 8, 2010

How sweet it is

Photo by Marc Featherly, IWU

The Illinois Wesleyan women's basketball team has not lost at home this season. If that trend continues for two more weeks, the Titans will have a national championship banner to hang in the Shirk Center.

After a dominant 83-53 win over Simpson on Saturday, the Titans (28-1) learned that they will host the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight rounds of the tournament this Friday and Saturday. With the Shirk Center playing host to the Final Four no matter which teams make it, the road to the national title officially goes through Bloomington, Ill.

On Friday at 7:00, Mia Smith's squad will face UW-Stevens Point (23-6), a team they defeated 84-80 at Shirk back in November. Four Titans scored in double figures, and Nikki Preston led the way with 19. IWU faced Stevens Point in the Sweet 16 last year as well, winning 77-64.

The Pointers are led by post player Britta Peterson and her 15.4 points per game. Peterson led the team with 21 points in the teams' first match-up this season. While the team has a solid presence down low, they're also dangerous from behind the arc--they shoot 34 percent from three compared to 30 percent for the Titans.

Overall, however, the Titans score 80 points per game compared to 69 for the Pointers, and the Titans allow three fewer points per game (58) than the Pointers (61).

If IWU prevails on Friday, they'll face a team with only one loss. Hope (29-1), which is essentially a #2 seed, will take on Marymount (28-1) on Friday at 5:00. Hope has won 21 straight games and outscores their opponents by an average score of 74-51.

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