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W. Illinois advances to NCAA's for first time since 1995

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 7, 2017 at 5:05 p.m.



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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Emily Clemens had 20 points, nine assists and five steals, Taylor Hanneman hit a 3-pointer as time expired to force overtime and Western Illinois beat IUPUI 77-69 on Tuesday to win the Summit League Tournament for the first time since 1995.

Morgan Blumer scored 18 points, Taylor Higginbotham added 15 and Hanneman finished with 12 points for No. 1 seed Western Illinois (26-6), which tied the school record with its 11th win in a row.

Hanneman, Higginbotham and Blumer each hit a 3-pointer as the Leathernecks scored the first nine points of overtime and held on from there. Second-seed IUPUI missed 6 of 7 from the field, including its first four shots, after regulation.

Sydney Hall scored 18 points, Jenna Gunn added 16 and Caitlyn Tolen 10 for IUPUI (24-8).

Western Illinois shot just 38 percent, but scored 23 points off IUPUI's season-high 25 turnovers.

Mallory Boyle hit 1 of 2 free throws to give the Leathernecks a 61-57 lead with 13 seconds left. Tolen hit an NBA-range 3 from the left wing two seconds later and, after Clemens — an 87 percent free-throw shooter this season — missed the front end of a one-and-one, Holly Hoopingarner made two foul shots with 3.7 seconds left to give IUPUI its first lead since the opening minutes of the second half. Alex Brown stole the ensuing inbound pass and was immediately fouled. She hit two free throws to make it 64-61, but Hanneman's 3 tied it at the buzzer.

The game featured eight ties and 11 lead changes, three of which came in the final four seconds of regulation.

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The Associated Press

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