ASU Women's Basketball to Participate in 2008 Preseason WNIT
July 7, 2008
TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State is one of 16 teams that will be participating in the 2008 Preseason Women's National Invitation Tournament, according to an announcement by the tournament committee on Monday.
Seventy-five percent of the field is made up of teams which advanced to the postseason last season, including ASU, Cleveland State, Illinois State, Indiana, Liberty, MTSU, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Robert Morris, VCU, Western Carolina, and Xavier. They will be joined in the WNIT field by Ball State, Lafayette, Tulane, and UC Riverside.
This will be the second time in as many seasons that the Sun Devils will be opening their campaign in one of the nation's premiere preseason events. In 2007 ASU faced North Carolina in the State Farm Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic.
'We're excited to be included in one of the most prestigious preseason events in women's college basketball,' said head coach Charli Turner Thorne, who will be entering her 13th season at ASU. 'With such a competitive field every game will pose a test for our squad that will help to prepare us for the many challenges we will face throughout the season.'
The WNIT will be played in the format introduced in 2007, where each team is guaranteed to play three games in the MTE format. Teams that lose in the first two rounds will play consolation games on the second weekend, Nov. 21-23.
The event opens Friday, Nov. 14 and Saturday, Nov. 15 with first-round games. Second-round games will be played Nov. 16-19, semifinals will be Nov. 19-21 and the championship is set for Sunday, Nov. 23. All games are played on home campuses, and are announced after each round.
The Sun Devils will open play in the WNIT on Friday, Nov. 14 when they host Cleveland State at 6 p.m. MT in Wells Fargo Arena. The winner of that contest would play the winner of the game between Tulane and Illinois State (Nov. 14 at Tulane) on a date and at site to be determined.
ASU returns three starters, including Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year Briann January and All-Pac-10 performer Lauren Lacey, and several significant contributors from last year's squad, which finished 22-11 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive season.