The women’s basketball team extended its season and played in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 14 years by capturing the Missouri Valley Conference championship in March. The NCAA appearance was the sixth overall for the women’s basketball program, with the most recent occurring in 2008.
Led by fifth-year ISU coach Kristen Gillespie, the Redbirds entered the Valley tournament as the fourth seed. Players defeated Northern Iowa 50-48 to advance to the first round of the NCAA Tournament, where they faced the No. 2 seeded University of Iowa in Iowa City on March 18.Appears In
Fifth-year student-athlete Juliunn Redmond led the Redbirds with 21 points in the Northern Iowa game. She had 68 points and 29 field goals in the tournament. She was named to the MVC All-Tournament Team and was MVP.
Winning the Valley tournament was an exceptional challenge, as the Redbirds had endured a four-game losing streak. They ended the regular-season with a record of 19-13. The team kept believing in themselves and each other to rally and capture the NCAA berth.
“I said this all along: This team had something special,” Gillespie said. “They have that intangible of love. They love each other so much. They are such a close-knit group. They believed in each other, they believed in our staff.”
“I like big moments. I love big games because that gives me the opportunity to showcase my talent on the big court,” Redmond said as she eagerly anticipated the Iowa game. She and the team appreciated fan support throughout the season and tournament run.
To learn more about the women’s team and their NCAA play, visit GoRedbirds.com.