March 19, 2011

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DURHAM, N.C. - The Marist women's basketball team won its 27th straight game on Saturday morning with a 74-64 upset of seventh-seeded Iowa State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Sophomore Kate Oliver (Sydney, Australia) led the Marist starting five in double figures with 16 points, as the Red Foxes won their fourth NCAA Tournament game in program history. Oliver shot 7-for-14 from the floor and netted 11 points in the first half. She also had three blocks in the game, and added two steals in the final 47 seconds.

Oliver was joined in double figures by the remainder of the Marist (31-2) starting lineup. Junior Élise Caron (Quebec, Canada) and junior Erica Allenspach (Miamisburg, Ohio) netted 11 points and shot 7-for-8 from the free throw line. Yarde had a career-high eight assists.

After Anna Prins scored the first basket of the game for Iowa State (22-11), Marist responded with an 8-0 run over the next 1:17 to claim an 8-2 advantage. Oliver hit a jumper to open the stretch, while Gang used back-to-back threes to cap the run. Allenspach had a pair of her five assists during the stretch.

The Cyclones fought to tie the score at 11 after a triple by Hallie Christofferson with 12:57 to go. Iowa State also took a 16-15 lead at the 8:01 mark on a Christofferson layup. It was the last lead that Iowa State would have in the game. Christofferson scored five points.

From there, Marist used a 25-4 run over a span of 6:51 which grew the lead as large as 20 points, 40-20. The Red Foxes hit five of their eight first half three-pointers during the spurt. Caron, Gang, freshman Leanne Ockenden (Syracuse, N.Y.), Oliver and Yarde each hit a three during the stretch.

Iowa State scored the final five points of the first period to cut the halftime deficit to 15, 40-25. The Red Foxes shot 50 percent from the field in the opening half and assisted on 14 of 15 field goals. Marist scored 17 points off 11 Iowa State turnovers in the stanza.

The Red Foxes' hot shooting continued to open the second half as they scored six of the first eight points. Yarde and Allenspach each drained layups and Gang sank a pair of free throws.

Every time Iowa State tried to cut into the Marist lead, the Red Foxes would respond with a basket. After six straight points by the Cyclones cut the deficit to 12, 51-39, Ockenden answered with a triple to push the lead back to 13, 54-39, on the next possession.

The Cyclones got as close as six points, 60-54, with 4:26 to play on a Prins triple, but Oliver, Yarde, Caron and Allenspach teamed up on a 9-2 run to push the lead back to 13 points, 69-56 with 2:22 to play.

Prins got Iowa State as close as eight in the final 63 seconds of the game, but Marist answered at the foul line and shot 5-for-8 in the final minute to secure the 10-point victory.

The Cyclones were led by Prins who had her fourth double-double of the year with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Kelsey Bolte added 18 points, but she shot 6-for-20 from the floor. Chelsea Poppens had a game-high 12 rebounds.

In the game, the Red Foxes shot 43.6 percent from the floor and assisted on 21 of 24 baskets. Marist scored 26 points off 17 Iowa State turnovers. The Cyclones held a stern 48-29 advantage on the glass and a 17-4 edge on the offensive boards.

#19/17 Marist, which is on the nation's longest winning streak, will take on #6/6 Duke in the second round on Monday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on ESPN2HD and ESPN3.com.

Tickets for the second round game can be purchased by visiting https://www.etix.com/ticket/online/venueSearch.jsp?venue_id=3412&cobrand=goredfoxes&displayType=list.

Notes: Saturday marked the first time that Marist had five players in double figures in a game this season... It was the first time five players reached double figures since March 6, 2009 when Marist defeated Loyola 81-27 in the MAAC Tournament Quarterfinals... The Red Foxes only had four players in double figures five times this year... Marist is 1-0 all-time against Iowa State and the Red Foxes are 3-5 against the Big 12... Marist is 4-6 in the NCAA Tournament and won its first game in the big dance since the 2007-08 season when they beat DePaul 76-57 in Baton Rouge, La. ... Élise Caron and Maria Laterza currently boast a record of 118-17 and is the winningest class in program history.