GREENVILLE, N.C. – For the first time since the 2009-10 season, the East Carolina women’s basketball team will head to the postseason after accepting an at-large bid to compete in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament. The announcement was made Monday night by the WNIT.
Prior to tonight’s announcement, the Pirates’ only other appearance in the WNIT came in 2010 when they defeated Drexel, 78-76, in overtime in the first round before falling to Maryland, 87-52. This season, ECU will battle it out with Western Kentucky at E.A. Diddle Arena on Thursday, March 21, in Bowling Green, Ky. Game times will be announced on the WNIT website on Tuesday, March 19.
“I am so thrilled to coach this team another day,” Head Coach Heather Macy said. “These girls have worked so hard, they deserve success.”
First Round WNIT games will take place between March 20-22, while Second Round games will be held March 23-25, and Third Round games will be played March 27-29. The WNIT Quarterfinals will begin on March 30 and run through April 1, while the Semifinals are slated for April 3-4. The WNIT Championship game is set for Saturday, April 6, at 3 p.m. (ET). The Championship game will be broadcast by CBS Sports Network.
The Pirates concluded the regular season with a 22-9 overall record and finished second in Conference USA with an 11-5 record, tying the most C-USA victories ever by an ECU women’s basketball program. ECU’s 22 victories marked the most wins under head coach Heather Macy and the most by a Lady Pirate program since the 2009-10 season when the Pirates finished the year with a 23-11 record.
Western Kentucky earned an at-large bid after concluding the regular season with a 21-10 overall record and a 13-7 mark in the Sunbelt Conference. The Hilltoppers are coached by first-year head coach Michelle Clark-Heard. WKU has three double-figure scorers in Alexis Govan (20.1 ppg), Chastity Gooch (15.7 ppg), and Bianca McGee (12.2 ppg).
“We are up for the challenge,” Coach Macy stated. “We are looking forward to taking on Western Kentucky. They’ll be a tough opponent, but we will be ready for them on Thursday. We have four seniors and want to extend their season as long as possible.”
The Pirates and Hilltoppers will meet for the third time in program history and the series is evened at 1-1. ECU and WKU will face off for the first time since 1983, when Western Kentucky defeated the East Carolina 76-44. The Pirates were last victorious over the Hilltoppers on February 21, 1982 when they hosted Western Kentucky at the Pirate Classic. In that contest, ECU rolled past Western Kentucky, 108-54.