Nov. 1, 2013 - The 2013 Preseason WNIT celebrates its 20th year and officially tips off on Nov. 8-9 with eight first round games. Ten of the 16 teams featured in this year’s field are coming off of NCAA Tournament appearances and include NCAA Runner-Up Louisville and preseason Big 12 favorite Oklahoma.
Three teams in the field sit in the top 20 of the USA Today Coaches Poll and two teams are receiving votes: Louisville (No. 5), Oklahoma (No. 14), LSU (No. 17), Gonzaga (RV), and Quinnipiac (RV).
Each team will be guaranteed a minimum of three games with losers from the championship bracket falling into a consolation bracket. All games, including semifinal and championship, will be hosted by participating schools.
The championship game will be nationally televised live in HD on CBS Sports Network on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 4:00 p.m. ET. Thad Anderson (play-by-play) and former University of Colorado head coach Ceal Barry (analyst) will be calling the game. CBS SN is available across the country through local cable, video and telco providers and via satellite on DirecTV channel 221 and Dish Network 158.
The North Carolina Tar Heels won the 2012 Preseason WNIT before finishing the season 29-7 and a trip to the NCAA second round. The Tar Heels defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes 77-64 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena and were led by Tierra Ruffin-Pratt’s game-high 22 points.
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Round 1 Schedule
All 2012-2013 team records in parentheses
Nov. 8, 2013
IPFW (13-17) at Wichita State (24-10), 1:05 p.m. ET
North Carolina A&T (22-10) at Quinnipiac (30-2), 5 p.m. ET
Georgia State (13-16) at UT Martin (19-15), 7 p.m. ET
Mount St. Mary’s (15-16) at Saint Joseph’s (23-8), 7 p.m. ET
Stetson (24-9) at Oklahoma (24-11), 8 p.m. ET
Stephen F. Austin (14-17) at LSU (22-12), 8 p.m. ET
Idaho (17-16) at Gonzaga (27-6), 9 p.m. ET
Nov. 9, 2013
Loyola Chicago (17-15) at Louisville (29-9), 7 p.m. ET
•Since 1994, over 200 teams representing 32 Division I conferences have competed in the Preseason WNIT.
•The WNIT is currently the longest-running preseason women’s basketball tournament.
•UCONN is the only team to have won the Preseason WNIT three times (2005, 2001, & 1997).
•Two teams that won the Preseason WNIT have gone on to win the NCAA Tournament that same season: Baylor (2011) and UCONN (2001).
•Texas Tech set the all-time single-game attendance record (10,854) during the 2003 championship game. Tech defeated Rutgers 73-45 to claim the title.
•For the first time ever in the Preseason WNIT two schools from the same conference are in the field of 16. Two Missouri Valley teams are playing due to the late conference change by Loyola Chicago after the field had been announced. Loyola and Wichita State would only meet if both teams advanced to the championship game.
•A team may participate in the Preseason WNIT no more than once in a four year period.
-The Panthers return eight letterwinners from last year''s team, plus transfer point guard Alisha Andrews who practiced with the team last year. In addition, six-foot-four junior college All-America center Brittany Logan was added along with four freshmen recruits.
-Kendra Long, Georgia State''s only senior, was named to the Sun Belt All-Conference Preseason Team Third Team as one of the top 15 players. She is GSU’s all-time 3-point shot maker with 165. She has scored 867 points as she seeks to become the 21st 1,000-point scorer in school history.
-The Zags are picked as the favorites to win the West Coast Conference women’s basketball title, receiving nine first place votes in the preseason coaches’ poll. Gonzaga has won the WCC regular season title for an unprecedented nine straight years.
-Gonzaga returns 12 letterwinners, including four starters, from its squad that finished 27-6 overall last year, including 15-1 in the West Coast Conference.
-The Vandals are picked to finish second by both coaches and media in the WAC behind Seattle University. Senior Alyssa Charlston and junior Stacey Barr both earned preseason honors. Charlston averaged 13.4 ppg and 6.9 rpg last year and was named Preseason First Team All-WAC. Barr, a guard out of Melbourne, Australia, was also voted as a Preseason First Team All-WAC favorite. Barr was the 2013 WAC Tournament MVP, helping lead the Vandals to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1985.
-Idaho returns five starters from a team that finished 17-16 (11-7 WAC) a year ago. The Vandals lost to eventual national champion UCONN in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
-IPFW senior Amanda Hyde was selected as the preseason Summit League Player of the Year and a first team selection while junior Haley Seibert was named to the second team. Hyde will lead a Mastodon team that was picked to finish fourth in the Summit League this year. Last season, Hyde averaged 18.6 ppg, dished out 3.1 apg and had 1.9 spg earning her Summit League Player of the Year.
-IPFW finished the 2012-13 season 13-17 (8-8, Summit 4th) and return 10 letterwinners and four starters.
-Senior guard Shoni Schimmel was named to the John R. Wooden Award Women''s Preseason Top 30. Schimmel was a key player in the Cardinals'' success last season. Louisville finished as the 2013 NCAA Runner-Up with a 29-9 overall record. The Cardinals finished the 2013 season ranked third in the Coaches Poll. Schimmel averaged 16.5 points per game in the NCAA Tournament.
-Louisville was selected by the league’s 10 head coaches to finish second in the 2013-14 American Athletic Conference regular season behind UCONN.
-Junior Simone Law earned a spot on the 2013-14 Missouri Valley Conference Preseason All-Conference Team and Loyola was picked to finish sixth in the league. Law is looking to build on a solid sophomore season where she averaged 17.8 ppg, and 8.7 rpg, earning a First Team All-Horizon League selection last year.
-Sheryl Swoopes takes over as head coach for the Ramblers in their first year playing in the MVC. Loyola returns four starters from a team that finished last year 17-15 (10-6, Horizon 3rd).
-LSU starts the season with its highest preseason ranking since 2009 as the Lady Tigers are tabbed No. 17 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. LSU is coming off its first Sweet 16 appearance since 2008 and is picked to finish third in the 2014 SEC preseason media poll.
-LSU returns three senior starters in National Player of the Year candidate forward Theresa Plaisance, center Shanece McKinney and guard Jeanne Kenney. Leading the backcourt is sophomore guard Danielle Ballard, who delivered one of the most impressive freshman seasons in school history. Ballard shattered the LSU single-season steals record with 100.
Mount St. Mary’s
-Mount St. Mary''s guard Sydney Henderson earned preseason All-Northeast Conference recognition and the Mountaineers placed third in the annual NEC women''s basketball preseason coaches poll. Henderson is one of two returning starters for the Mount this season. She led the team both in scoring and rebounding in 2012-13, placing ninth in the NEC with 13.1 ppg and 10th with 6.0 rpg.
-The Mount will be making their second appearance in the WNIT and look to improve on a 15-16 record from a year ago.
North Carolina A&T
-Expectations are high for NC A&T this year after posting a 22-10 record, appearing in the Postseason WNIT and finishing second in the MEAC in 2012-13. Returning among the starting five will be senior forward Tracy King, junior guard Ariel Bursey and redshirt-sophomore center Eboni Ross who was named the MEAC Rookie of the Year last season.
-This is A&T’s second appearance in the Preseason WNIT, after posting a 1-2 record in the 2009 tournament.
-Oklahoma was selected as the preseason favorite to win the Big 12 in 2013-14 in a vote of the league’s head coaches. It is the fourth time the Sooners have topped the preseason rankings.
-Led by Preseason All-Big 12 Team member and the conference’s top returning scorer Aaryn Ellenberg, the Sooners return four starters from their Sweet 16 appearance last season.
-This is Oklahoma’s first appearance in the WNIT since 2008 when the Sooners lost to North Carolina 80-79 in the championship game played in Norman. Courtney and Ashley Paris were named to the all-tournament team.
-The Bobcats are coming off their best season in school history finishing 30-3 overall, winning the MAAC championship, and appearing in the program’s first ever NCAA Tournament. Junior Jasmine Martin and senior Brittany McQuain played a big role in the Bobcats’ success last year and both players were selected to the MAAC Preseason Second Team.
-Martin led the Bobcats with 51 three-pointers in 2012-13 and is 227 points shy of hitting the 1,000 mark for her career. McQuain was named the 2013 NEC Tournament MVP and All-NEC Second Team. She led the Bobcats with 8.3 rpg and was third on the team with 11.2 ppg.
-The reigning Atlantic 10 champion Saint Joseph''s was picked to finish second in the conference race this season, according to a poll of the Atlantic 10''s head coaches. Senior guard Erin Shields and junior guard Natasha Cloud were selected to the Atlantic 10 Preseason All-Conference Second Team, with Cloud also being named to the Preseason All-Defensive Team.
-The Hawks return three starters and eight letterwinners from last year’s A-10 championship team. St. Joseph’s posted a 23-9 record in 2012-13 and appeared in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2000. The Hawks’ previous appearance in the Preseason WNIT was in 2004 where they finished 1-1, losing to Ohio State in the second round.
Stephen F. Austin
-Junior center Porsha Roberts and senior forward Antionette Carter were each named to the preseason All-Southland Conference teams. Roberts led the league in blocks last season while ranking third in field goal percentage, fifth in rebounding and eighth in scoring.
-The Ladyjacks are the preseason favorite to win the Southland Conference. They enter the 2013-14 season as the consensus selection to win their 16th league crown in program history and first since 2007. SFA returns five starters from a season ago and returns nine letterwinners.
-Stetson was picked to finish second in the Atlantic Sun Conference preseason coaches poll. Senior Sasha Sims was tabbed as the Atlantic Sun Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, and was also selected to the preseason all-conference team. Sims averaged 12.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg, and 1.6 bpg in 2012-13. She is only 16 blocks shy of breaking the all-time school record.
-The Hatters are fresh off a school-record 24-win season, a second conference championship in three years, and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament as the No. 14 seed. Stetson returns three starters and three letterwinners and adds seven newcomers to their roster.
-UT Martin was selected to win the Ohio Valley Conference West Division; the second time in as many years the Skyhawks have been picked to finish first. Jasmine Newsome and Heather Butler both earned preseason All-OVC honors for UT Martin. Newsome, a senior guard, was tabbed Preseason All-OVC after leading the league and ranking fifth in the nation with 22.6 ppg. Butler, a senior guard, was selected Preseason All-OVC after becoming UT Martin’s all-time leading scorer with 2,111, trailing the all-time OVC mark by just 415 points.
-UT Martin went 11-5 in the OVC and 19-15 overall last year to claim the program’s third straight league tournament title as it defeated Tennessee Tech, 87-80 in double overtime, in the championship game. UT Martin earned the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive season before falling to Notre Dame, 97-64.
-Wichita State was picked to finish second in the Missouri Valley Conference preseason poll and junior Alex Harden becomes the program’s first-ever preseason Player of the Year. Harden was the 2012-13 MVC Defensive Play of the Year and earned the MVC Tournament MVP. She led the Shockers in points, rebounds, assists, blocked shots, and steals in 2012-13.
-Last season the Shockers set the school record for wins (24) and earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. They return two starters, four letterwinners, and add seven newcomers this year.