Lady Pirates Earn 2010 WNIT At-Large Bid
March 15, 2010
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina women's basketball team's season will continue in the 2010 Women's National Invitation Tournament as the Lady Pirates have earned an at-large berth, according to an announcement late Monday night by the event's selection committee. The selection marks the fourth postseason bid in program history.
"We are of course extremely excited about earning our first-ever bid to the WNIT," head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener stated. "I think it is a testament to the many great things our team has accomplished this season. I feel we are deserving and it is nice to know that people outside of Greenville think highly enough of our program to grant us the privilege of playing in the postseason. We are very grateful and look forward to preparing for our first opponent."
ECU (22-10) will travel to Philadelphia Friday March 19 to face the Drexel Dragons, an at-large selection from the Colonial Athletic Association. Game time will be announced by the host institution tomorrow. The winner of the contest will square off against the winner of the first-round tilt between Maryland and Iona.
Drexel garnered an overall record of 17-13 this season and fell to Delaware 76-71 in overtime in the 2010 CAA Tournament quarterfinals. East Carolina has played the Dragons just once in program history, picking up a 66-54 win in the 2005 Lady Pirate Invitational at Minges Coliseum Dec. 4.
The Lady Pirates have participated in the 1973 Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) national tournament as well as the 1982 and 2007 NCAA Tournaments. East Carolina earned automatic bids in 1973 and 2007 by winning the AIAW regionals and the Conference USA Tournament, respectively. The Lady Pirates' lone win in five postseason games is a 60-49 win over Indiana State March 23, 1973 in the AIAW consolation round. Most recently, ECU fell to eventual NCAA national runner-up Rutgers March 18 of the 2007 tourney.
Houston (17-14), by virtue of its second-place finish in the C-USA standings, clinched the league's automatic berth into the WNIT field when regular season champion Tulane knocked off UAB 62-54 to earn the NCAA automatic bid. The Cougars hit the road to face Texas Tech Thursday. SMU (20-10), which finished third in the standings, also received an at-large berth into the 64-team event and will travel to New Mexico Wednesday.
In reaching the semifinals of the 2010 C-USA Tournament, East Carolina matched the second-most wins in a single season in program history, matching the 1980-81 squad with 22 victories. The Lady Pirates have also set new season standards for points (2,300) and three-point field goals made (175), heading into postseason play.
Tickets can be purchased for $8 and are available through the Drexel Ticket Office by calling 866-4-DREXEL or online at www.drexeltickets.com.