March 12, 2012
DAVIS, Calif. - The UC Davis women's basketball team will open play in the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) on Thursday when the Aggies travel to face the Oregon State Beavers in a first-round matchup at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis.
Game time will be announced on Tuesday.
UC Davis earned an at large berth to the WNIT after tying for third in the Big West Conference with an overall record of 17-12 and a league record of 9-7. The Aggies were the No. 4 seed in the Big West Tournament, dropping a 59-51 decision to Pacific in the quarterfinals on Mar. 6 at The Pavilion in Davis.
The Aggies return to the WNIT for the third time in five years after also participating in 2008 and 2010. The winner of Thursday's game will face either UNLV or Saint Mary's who play a first-round game in Moraga on Thursday as well.
Head coach Jennifer Gross will lead the Aggies to a postseason appearance in her first year at the helm of the program.
"We are thrilled to be competing in the WNIT and are looking forward to playing a talented Oregon State team," said Gross. "I am really excited for our team. We have a wonderful group of student-athletes who have worked hard all year long and stayed together through it all. We are thankful for the opportunity to be playing together again."
Oregon State advances to the WNIT for the ninth time in program history and owns a 12-6 record in the postseason tournament, winning the title in 1980 and 1982. The Beavers' last trip was in 2009 and this marks the first time in the WNIT under the guidance of second-year head coach Scott Rueck.
The only other meeting between UC Davis and Oregon State took place during the 2006-07 regular season. The Beavers claimed a 66-56 win in Corvallis.
Of the 64 teams selected to the 2012 Postseason WNIT, which is celebrating its 15th season, 36 teams own records with 20 or more wins this season. First-round action tips off on Wednesday, Mar. 14 with six teams competing and concludes Friday, Mar. 16. Second-round games begin March 17-19. All games are played on home sites.
The Big West Conference sent four teams to the WNIT as UC Davis, Cal Poly, Cal State Northridge and Pacific each earned bids. The Pac-12, Colonial and Atlantic 10 led all conferences with five teams.
Tickets will be available beginning Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. at the Gill Coliseum Ticket Office by calling 1-800-GOBEAVS. Reserved tickets are $11, and adult general admission seats are $8. Senior/youth tickets are $6.
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(Friday: 12 p.m.; ESPN3)