Photo Courtesy: UA Athletics (Walt Beazley)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - The University of Arkansas women's basketball team faces Memphis in the first round of the Women's National Invitational Tournament, it was announced by the selection committee via email Monday.
The Razorbacks host Memphis Thursday, March 21, in a 7 p.m. tip, in Bud Walton Arena. Tickets for Thursday's game will be on sale beginning Tuesday morning. Contact the Razorback Ticket Center at 479-575-5151 or buy them on-line. Tickets will be $6 for youth, $7 for general admission, $11 for reserved seating and $1 for UA students.
Arkansas was an automatic qualifier and has been to five WNIT Tournaments and has appeared in two WNIT Tournaments under current head coach Tom Collen (2009, 2011). Arkansas is 11-3 all-time in the WNIT winning the title in 1999, reaching the semifinals in 2000 and the quarterfinals in 2001 under Collen.
Automatic bids were awarded by the WNIT to teams who were the highest-finishing teams in their conference's regular season standings and were not selected to the NCAA Tournament.
"We are excited to be participating in the postseason again this year," said Arkansas head coach Tom Collen. "We have a team that I believe is capable of beating anyone we face on any given night and we are excited about the opportunity to continue representing ourselves, our University, our state and our fans in the postseason."
The winner of the Arkansas/Memphis game meets the winner of the Tulane/Sam Houston State contest in the second round. The sight will be determined after first round games are complete.
Arkansas is one of four Southeastern Conference teams to be selected to the WNIT and join seven other conference teams who were selected to the NCAA Tournament earlier Monday night.
The Razorbacks finished the regular season last Thursday with a 63-41 defeat of SIU- Edwardsville. Arkansas is 19-12, 6-10 in the SEC. The Razorbacks are led in scoring by a pair of senior forwards, as Sarah Watkins paces the team with 13.0 points per game followed by Quistelle Williams with 10.4 points per game and a team-leading 7.0 rebounds per game. Arkansas has 12 losses, seven to ranked teams. In those 12 losses, six are by five points or less, seven are on the road and one was in overtime. Arkansas outscored its opponent in the second half in four of those losses. Arkansas out-rebounded its opponent in five of the losses.
The finals of the WNIT Tournament will air live on April 6, at 2 p.m. Central on the CBS Sports Network with Thad Anderson and Ceal Barry calling the game.