Arkansas edges Wisconsin 67-64; claims
title of 1999 Postseason WNIT
March 23, 1999; Fayetteville, Ark. - Arkansas put an exciting exclamation point on what could have been a disappointing season by winning the 1999 Postseason WNIT championship.
Arkansas, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament's Final Four the year before, was 15-14 in the regular season and only 11th in the SEC.
The Razorbacks got a second chance by earning a spot in the WNIT field, and they got stronger with each game and round that passed. The tournament culminated with a 67-64 Arkansas victory over Wisconsin in the back-and-forth title game.
An all-time record crowd of 14,163 fans paid to see Arkansas win the WNIT crown behind an inspired senior performance from Kamara Stancle with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Lonniya Bragg led Arkansas in scoring for three of the games, and earned MVP honors of the tournament. Teammate Sytia Messer was named all-tournament, as was Tamara Moore and Latonya Sims from Wisconsin; Drake's Tammi Blackstone; and Tamika Whitmore of Memphis.
Wisconsin hosted four games on its road to the championship game. The Badgers defeated Indiana State, Siena, Michigan State, and Memphis on the way.
Arkansas came into the tournament without leading scorer Karyn Karlin, who was out for the year with a torn ACL. In the opening round against Southland Conference champion Northwestern State, sophomore Bragg, quiet most of the season, tore into NSU for a career- tying 22 points.
Arena conflicts helped Arkansas host round two, and a late-season snowstorm led to the smallest crowd at Bud Walton Arena for women's basketball (890 fans). Those that braved the weather saw a sophomore class record 35 points as Wendi Willits busted the Sooners in an overtime thriller, 97-93.
The crowds began to pour back into Bud Walton, and Arkansas survived Rice, 76-70, in the quarterfinals thanks to 18 from Bragg. Arkansas hosted again in the semifinals, and the crowd and the Lady'Backs did not disappoint as 9,041 fans saw 5-11 Bragg rack up a career-high 23 against the 6-5 and 6-4 posts of MVC runner-up Drake in a 80-56 rout.
1999 Postseason WNIT Teams