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March 20, 2014

WOMEN’S NCAA TOURNAMENT: Six players to watch in the tournament

Schimmel hopes to lead Cards to back-to-back Final Fours

(Continued)

> SOUTHERN INDIANA —

• JENNIFER O’NEILL: It’s not just about the seniors. Kentucky’s junior guard has already shown she can make the big play, scoring a school-record 43 points in the four-overtime thriller against Baylor in December. Comfortable in her role as the team’s sixth man, O’Neill has flourished guiding the Wildcats to a fifth-straight NCAA tournament appearance. They just hope she can lead them to a first Final Four.

• EBONY ROWE: Middle Tennessee’s star may be the least well known of the six. The Conference USA Player of the Year, holds 13 school records including the school’s all-time scoring and rebounding mark and is one of the rare few to be on the national leaderboard for scoring and rebounding. If the Blue Raiders are going to make any kind of run in the tournament, Rowe will be at the center of it.

• MEIGHAN SIMMONS: Tennessee’s feisty and speedy guard doesn’t have a great track record in the postseason. She shot a combined 5 of 31 in the Lady Vols’ final two tournament games last season. Then again, none of this current Lady Vols crop has a stellar NCAA tournament history as the program’s gone through a five-year Final Four drought. Still, Holly Warlick would trust Simmons to come up with the big shot in a tight situation. She’s the lone senior on Tennessee’s roster.

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