ASU women basketball to play at UTEP in WNIT opening round


JONESBORO — The Arkansas State women’s basketball has accepted an invitation to play in the 2014 Women’s National Invitational Tournament. The Red Wolves will travel to the University of Texas at El Paso to take on the Miners Friday. Round 1 game times will be announced later today.

Arkansas State finished the season with a 22-11 overall record and a 14-4 Sun Belt Conference record. The squad captured the outright SBC regular-season title for the first time in school history and advanced to the final of the Sun Belt Conference Championship Tournament for just the second time in school history.

A-State is 5-1 against UTEP all time with the most recent meeting coming in the 2004-05 season, which resulted in a 67-61 setback for Arkansas State. However, the Red Wolves defeated the Miners 87-63 in the Subway Classic in Minneapolis, Minn., earlier that season.

UTEP finished the year with a 24-7 overall record and went 12-4 in Conference USA and finished third in the regular-season standings.

A-State will be making its ninth appearance all-time in the WNIT and its fifth under the guidance of Boyer. The Red Wolves last played in the post-season tournament in 2006-07 season where it advanced to the second round before falling to Wisconsin.

The Red Wolves have an overall record of 12-7 all-time in the WNIT and has advanced the championship game twice in the tournament’s history. Arkansas State captured the championship in 1992-93 when it was known as the National Women’s Invitational Tournament.

A-State-UTEP winner will play the winner of Saint Mary’s College of California and California State University, Bakersfield. The site of the Round 2 game will be determined after the conclusion of the first round.

This year’s WNIT field includes 10 teams that were regular-season conference champions and 35 of the teams had 20 or more wins.

The Women’s National Invitation Tournament is an annual tournament involving 64 of the nation’s top women’s Division I basketball teams. Participating schools host all games, including the semifinals and championship. Every round is single elimination. The WNIT offers teams an opportunity to get more practices in, to experience playoff-atmosphere games, to play in front of passionate fans, and to use their WNIT success as a springboard to the next season. The tournament started in 1998 with 16 teams, expanded to 32 schools in 1999, and then to its current 64-team field in 2010.