Women's Hoops Selected to WBI, Headed to Eastern Michigan
March 18, 2014HOOSIER SPORTS 365
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – For the first time since 2009, the University of Evansville women's basketball team is headed to the postseason, as the Purple Aces were selected as a No. 8 seed for the upcoming Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI). UE will open the WBI Thursday, March 20, in Ypsilanti, Mich., when it plays Eastern Michigan at 4 p.m.
Evansville enters the postseason with a 15-15 record, after going 10-8 in the Missouri Valley Conference to place fourth in the MVC regular-season standings, marking the Aces' best Valley finish since the 2007-08 campaign.
Eastern Michigan finished the regular season with an overall record of 17-13 and placed fifth in the Mid-American Conference West Division with a 7-12 mark in league play. The Eagles' regular season came to an end in the first round of the MAC Tournament, when they were defeated by Northern Illinois, 81-76, in overtime.
Evansville and Eastern Michigan have played two common opponents in Ball State and Loyola (Ill.). The Aces defeated the Cardinals, 80-69, in non-conference play on Nov. 20 and swept the Ramblers in a pair of Valley contests, 75-57 and 77-63. The Eagles split a pair of MAC matchups with Ball State, falling to the Cardinals, 70-66, in Ypsilanti, before avenging the defeat with a 62-60 win in Muncie, Ind. Against Loyola, EMU traveled to Gentile Arena in Chicago and came away with an 82-64 triumph.
The Aces and Eagles have met two previous times, with each side posting a victory, but have not met since the 1994-95 season. UE defeated EMU, 74-70, during the 1988-89 campaign, but Eastern Michigan won the most recent meeting, 72-66.
The WBI begins its fifth year of providing a choice for postseason worthy Division I women's teams who wish to continue their season, but who do not qualify for the NCAA Tournament. The 16-team event will take place over two weeks with all games being played on campus sites.
The first round of WBI games will be held March 19-20 and the highest seeded team will host each game unless otherwise agreed upon. WBI second round contests will take place March 22-23 and the semifinals are set for March 26-27. The WBI championship game will take place March 29 or 30 and the team with the best end of season RPI will serve as the host for the title contest.