March 31, 2006 – Kansas State defeated Marquette 77-65 Saturday in the championship game of the 2006 Postseason WNIT. The teams played in front of a sellout crowd of 13,340 fans at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kan. It was the third-largest crowd in Postseason WNIT history and the first sellout in two years at K-State.
Kansas State (24-10) and Marquette (22-11) battled back and forth nearly the entire game. Marquette led 39-38 at halftime, and the lead changed 10 times before K-State made its final run late in the game, and then held Marquette to two baskets in the final seven minutes of play.
Kimberly Dietz (21 points) led K-State, and teammate Shalee Lehning had a rare triple-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. For Marquette, Danielle Kamm scored 16 points.
Dietz and Kamm earned spots on the WNIT All-Tournament team, as did Marquette's Christina Quaye, Western Kentucky's Crystal Kelly and Pittsburgh's Mallorie Winn. Claire Coggins, a junior at Kansas State, was named the Tournament MVP and scored 87 points during the tournament.
To get to the finals, Kansas State defeated Western Kentucky, Idaho State, Fresno State and Nebraska. Marquette downed Pittsburgh, Illinois, Iowa State and Indiana in earlier rounds. It was the first postseason championship game for either Kansas State or Marquette.
The final marked the culmination of the WNIT's first 40-team field. The event began with 16 teams playing a preliminary round, with the winners feeding into 16 first-round games. All games were held on the campuses of participating schools, and no seeds were designated. It was the first year that the tournament expanded from 32 to 40 teams, which was done to offer more postseason opportunities to teams that won their regular-season conference title but lost in their conference tournament and did not earn an NCAA automatic berth.
Monday, March 13, 2006 – The first 40-team field in the history of the Postseason Women’s National Invitation Tournament was announced tonight.
The WNIT kicks off postseason action Wednesday with preliminary-round games. Sixteen teams will play in that round, and then feed into 16 first-round games. All games are held on the campuses of participating schools, and no seeds are designated.
This is the first year that the tournament expands from 32 to 40 teams, which was done to offer more postseason opportunities to teams that won their regular-season conference title but lost in their conference tournament and did not earn an NCAA automatic berth.
The field features four teams each from the Big 12 and Big East conferences. From the Big 12, Kansas State, Nebraska, Iowa State and Kansas were chosen. From the Big East, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Marquette and Cincinnati made the field. Three teams made the WNIT from the Atlantic 10: Charlotte, St. Joseph’s and Xavier. Three teams also made it from the Colonial (James Madison, Delaware and Hofstra) and the Missouri Valley (Indiana State, Drake and Northern Iowa).
Game times will be announced Tuesday, March 14, by the WNIT.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Jackson State at Rice
Western Illinois at Illinois
Stony Brook at Hofstra
Belmont at Tennessee Tech
Thursday, March 16
Northern Iowa at Kansas
Cincinnati at Florida International
Santa Clara at Oregon State
UC-Santa Barbara at Fresno State
Thursday, March 16
Eastern Michigan at Indiana State
Wisconsin-Green Bay at Iowa State
Friday, March 17
Western Illinois-Illinois winner at Marquette
South Carolina at Xavier
James Madison at Charlotte
Belmont-Tennessee Tech winner at Western Kentucky
Drake at Nebraska
Idaho State at Kansas State
Saturday, March 18
Jackson State-Rice winner at Indiana
Northern Iowa-Kansas winner vs. Mississippi
Delaware at Pittsburgh
St. Joseph’s (Pa.) at Virginia
Cincinnati-Florida International winner at Miami
Stony Brook-Hofstra winner at Villanova
Santa Clara-Oregon State winner at Wyoming
UC-Santa Barbara-Fresno State winner vs. UNLV