GW Women's Hoops to Host East Carolina in WNIT First Round on Wednesday
Colonials to Make First Postseason Appearance Since 2009
March 17, 2014
WASHINGTON - The George Washington women's basketball team will make its first postseason appearance since 2009, hosting East Carolina in the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) on Wednesday after receiving an at-large bid to the 64-team tournament.
GW (21-10) finished in a tie for second place in the Atlantic 10 standings with an 11-5 league record under second-year head coach Jonathan Tsipis. The Colonials defeated two top-25 opponents on the season in No. 10/11 California (Nov. 15) and No. 21 Dayton (March 1) and advanced to the A-10 semifinals for the first time since 2008 after knocking off defending champion Saint Joseph's in overtime in the quarterfinals.
"We are very excited that we have a chance to continue our season with a berth in the WNIT," said Coach Tsipis. "We have been preparing all season to have an opportunity to play deep into March. The hard work this team has put in all season has shown in beating top teams like Cal, Dayton and Saint Joseph's, and our players are very excited about the chance to continue playing against some of the best teams in the country. We look forward to writing the next chapter in GW Women's Basketball's long tradition of postseason success."
The Colonials' selection into the 64-team field marks the program's fourth WNIT appearance (1993, 2002, 2009) and 19th postseason berth overall.
GW joins A-10 programs Duquesne, St. Bonaventure and VCU in the WNIT field, which along with NCAA Tournament-bound Dayton, Fordham and Saint Joseph's gives the A-10 seven teams in the postseason.
The Colonials faced 11 teams which qualified for the 2014 postseason, going 8-7 against a combined six NCAA and five WNIT squads.
GW collected six A-10 postseason honors among four players, headlined by Rookie of the Year and All-Conference Third Team selection Caira Washington, who is averaging 11.2 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. Sophomore Jonquel Jones leads the Colonials in both scoring (14.9 ppg) and rebounding (11.2 rpg) and was named to the Second Team Jackson joined Washington on the Third Team; she is averaging 12.9 points per game and her 185 assists on the year are the third-highest single-season total in program history. In addition, junior Chakecia Miller was tabbed to the A-10 All-Defensive Team.
East Carolina (22-8) earned an at-large bid to the WNIT after placing fifth in Conference USA. The Pirates, who fell to Florida International in the second round of the C-USA Championship, started the season 21-3 before dropping five of their final six games. ECU is led by All-Conference First Team selection Jada Payne, who is averaging 18.4 points and 7.3 rebounds on the season.
GW is 2-1 all-time against ECU, but the teams have not met since 2004, a 67-34 rout for the host Colonials.
With a win over East Carolina, GW would face the winner of Wednesday's first-round game between Villanova (22-8) and Quinnipiac (21-12). Both teams earned at-large bids out of the BIG EAST and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, respectively. The second round of the WNIT will take place Saturday-Tuesday, March 22-25.
The 64-team WNIT field includes 32 automatic berths and 32 at-large selections. An automatic bid is offered to each conference to the team that finished highest during the regular season and did not receive a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Postseason WNIT will open with first-round games Wednesday-Friday, March 19-21. The event culminates Saturday, April 5, with the championship game, which will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network. All games in the single-elimination tournament are hosted by participating schools.
WNIT Dates by Round
Round 1 - March 19-21
Round 2 - March 22-25
Round 3 - March 26-28
Quarterfinals - March 29-31
Semifinals - April 2-3
Championship - April 5, 3 p.m.
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