Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Virginia schools well-represented in WNIT

Lots of reasons to pay attention to the Women's National Invitational Tournament this year as four schools in Virginia are included in the 64-team field. The key first-round matchups:

VCU at Bowling Green, 7 p.m.: The Falcons (24-5) won the Mid-American Conference regular-season title before getting upended by Central Michigan in the MAC semifinals. Key players include first-team All-MAC forward Alexis Rogers (12.4 ppg, 8.7 rpg) a redshirt sophomore transfer from Duke.
The winner plays: Boston University or St. Joseph's.

Miami (Ohio) at Richmond, 6 p.m. Thursday: RedHawks went 21-9 this season and are led by junior guard Courtney Osbourn, a first-team All-MAC performer who averaged 19.8 points and 4.9 assists and dropped a conference single-game record 48 points on Akron in early January.
The winner plays: Virginia or Howard.

Howard at Virginia, 7 p.m.: After getting off to a 1-5 start, the Lady Bison went 23-3 the rest of the way, with all three losses coming to Hampton. The third of those losses was a 54-53 setback in Saturday's MEAC championship game. The Cavaliers sent off former coach Debbie Ryan with three victories in last year's WNIT before falling in the quarterfinals.
The winner plays: Miami (Ohio) or Richmond

Davidson at James Madison, 7 p.m.: The Wildcats (22-9) were the Southern Conference co-champions and the No. 1 seed in the SoCon Tournament. They are led by 6-4 junior forward Sophia Aleksandravicius who earned conference player of the year and defensive player of the year honors.
The winner plays: Charlotte or Wake Forest.

Three of the teams identified among the last four out of the NCAA at-large pool are in the WNIT - Virginia, Temple and Oklahoma State. The fourth, USC, apparently declined a WNIT bid. So did North Carolina.

Click here for the complete WNIT bracket.

Also, the 16-team Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI) field was announced. Participating teams are Seattle, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, North Dakota, Wright State, Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston State, Northern Iowa, Rice, Robert Morris, Manhattan, Holy Cross, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Charleston Southern, Bradley and Tennessee Tech.

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