Women's Basketball Hosts North Texas in WNIT

March 10, 2002

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Seattle - The Washington women's basketball team (17-11) will host the University of North Texas (21-8) in the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) at 7 p.m., Thurs., March 14 at Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

The winner of the game will face either Southern California or University of San Francisco in the second round. The Huskies swept USC during the Pac-10 regular season, winning 80-79 in overtime in Seattle Jan. 6 and again in Los Angeles, 69-63, back on Feb. 1. USF handed Washington a 72-68 non-conference loss in the Bay Area Dec. 2.

Washington tied for second place in the Pac-10 Conference this year, with a record of 12-6 along with NCAA Tournament-bound Arizona State. The Huskies, who have won seven of their last 10 games, are coming off a 78-64 loss to Oregon in the second round of the inaugural Pac-10 Tournament in Eugene, Ore. last week.

The Lady Eagles advanced to the championship game of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament where they lost to 25th-ranked Florida International, 66-49. The Lady Eagles are led by conference player of the year Jalie Mitchell, who averages 19.6 points per game. North Texas recorded a school-record 21 wins this season, with six of its eight losses coming to opponents currently ranked among the top-25 teams nationally.

Washington and North Texas have met just once before, back in the 1985-86 season, with the Huskies winning, 69-54, in a first round NCAA Tournament game at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

Washington's last appearance in the WNIT was in 1999. The Huskies posted a first-round win over Portland, 67-63, at Hec Edmundson Pavilion in Seattle and then lost at New Mexico, 68-63, at the Pit in Albuquerque.

'I am proud of our team,' Husky coach June Daugherty said. 'Throughout the season we improved a tremendous amount as individuals and as a team. We really stepped up, especially in the Pac-10, and finished second in the league with the same conference record as we had the year before. We played well down the stretch. I look forward to extending our season. We're really going to use this WNIT opportunity to get us back into the NCAA Tournament next year. It's an opportunity to practice more and compete in another do-or-die tournament. We look forward to that opportunity.'

Tournament action continues with the second round March 16-18 and the third round March 19-21. Semi-final games are set for March 23-24 with the championship March 26, 27 or 28. Washington could potentially host second and third round games.

For ticket information, contact the Husky Ticket Office at (206) 543-220 or check the internet at www.gohuskies.com.

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