Bearkat Women's Basketball invited to preseason WNIT
Published: Monday, July 9, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 16:07
The WNIT preseason field has been announced: Sam Houston State Women's Basketball joins the field of 16 that includes: Davidson, Delaware, Duquesne, Georgetown, Grambling State, Illinois State, Iowa, Kennessaw State, Liberty, Memphis, Middle Tennessee, Morehead State, North Carolina, Northern Illinois, and Sacred Heart. The bracket will be announced on July 17.
For the first time in program history, the Sam Houston State University women’s basketball team has been invited to participate in the preseason National Invitation Tournament (WNIT).
The invitation comes after a 2011-12 season that ended with the Bearkats compiling an overall record of 18-12 (12-4 in SLC) and making the first postseason tournament in school history.
“We are extremely honored to be asked to be a part of the tournament,” head coach Brenda Welch-Nichols said. “I am so excited about where our program has come from and where it is headed.”
According to the WNIT website, 16 collegiate teams are selected from across the country to participate, based on several different factors. The website states that teams are chosen in part due to a program’s expected success for the upcoming season, their relevant past and conference standings.
The Bearkats learned Friday that they would be participating in the tournament and many of the players were overjoyed.
“I was very excited,” junior Jasmine Johnson said. “It’s another step in the right direction for the program we’ve been building.”
Opening day of the tournament is scheduled for November 9 and each team is guaranteed to at least participate in three games.
“It will be a great experience,” post Angela Beadle said. “I hope it will show other schools what our team is capable of.”
The 2012-13 season looks bright for the Bearkats as they’ll return all five starters from last season, including All-Southland Conference Team members Sequeena Thomas and Britni Martin.
Last season, Thomas and Martin combined for 958 points and 519 rebounds, with Thomas ranking second in the nation for rebounding.
Also returning next season, will be senior guard Chanice Smith, juniors Johnson, Zoe Tucker and Nyha Carter, alongside sophomores Sally Clavelle, Beadle and Jazmin Wiley.
The Kats team will also feature the return of red-shirt senior Clarke Davis and the introduction of last year’s red-shirt transfer Victoria Gonzalez, and incoming transfer Summer Fife and true freshman Jasmin Anderson.
“Our program is on the rise,” Nichols said. “Playing in pre and postseason tournaments will give our ladies the confidence to continue growing in the right direction.”
The rest of the 16-team field will be announced today with the bracket being revealed July 17.