UC Davis To Travel To Face Cal In WNIT

UC Davis Women's Basketball
UC Davis Women's Basketball

March 15, 2010

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DAVIS, Calif. - The UC Davis women's basketball team will open up play in the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) on Wednesday when the Aggies travel to face the California Golden Bears in a first-round matchup at Haas Pavilion at 7 p.m..

The Aggies enter the postseason with a 21-10 record while Cal is 18-13. Ticket prices are $12 for adults, $7 for youth/seniors/students and $3 each for groups of 10 or more.

UC Davis, which won the Big West Conference regular-season championship with a 12-4 record, will be making its second appearance in three years in the WNIT after also participating in 2008 when it lost an opening-round matchup at Gonzaga. The winner of Wednesday's game will face either Utah or Saint Mary's who play a first-round game in Moraga on Sunday.

Cal is making its fifth straight appearance in the postseason after earning berths into the NCAA Tournament from 2006-09. The Bears are in their first WNIT since 1987.

"I think it'll be a big challenge for us," said UC Davis head coach Sandy Simpson. "The Pac-10 is one of the power conferences and any team that comes out of that conference into the postseason is a strong team. Cal has a recent winning tradition under Coach (Joanne) Boyle. It will be formidable challenge."

Cal holds a 6-2 all-time series lead against UC Davis. The teams last met Nov. 25, 2007 in Berkeley with the Bears winning 67-58.

The Aggies were bidding for their first-ever NCAA Division I Tournament berth this season but fell to UC Riverside 71-67 in Saturday's championship at the Big West Tournament in Anaheim. Simspon, however, said the opportunity to continue playing in the postseason is important. The Aggies are in just their third year at the Div. I level.

"I think any postseason experience is valuable for our present players and also for the future," he said.

The WNIT expanded this year from 48 to 64 teams with 31 conference receiving automatic berths into the event and the remaining 33 earning at-large bids. As the highest finishing team during the Big West regular-season, UC Davis was guaranteed a spot in the WNIT if it did not receive a berth into the NCAA Tournament.

Seven games on Wednesday begin the WNIT with the remaining first-round matchups scheduled for Thursday through Sunday. All games are played on home sites.

The Big Ten, Big East, Atlantic-10 and Colonial Athletic Conferences each sent five teams to the WNIT while the Mountain West has four. The Pac-10, Missouri Valley, Mid-American, Conference USA and ACC are each represented by three teams.