Toledo to host Detroit in first round of WNIT March 16

March 13, 2012 | Events, UToday
By Brian DeBenedictis

Toledo has received an invitation to the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) for a third consecutive season.

Yolanda Richardson and the Rockets will play Detroit in a first-round game of the WNIT Friday, March 16, at 7 p.m. in Savage Arena.

The defending WNIT Champions will serve as one of four Mid-American Conference representatives and host Horizon League member Detroit (20-13) in a first-round match-up Friday, March 16, at 7 p.m. in Savage Arena.

The winner of Friday’s game will take on the winner of the Cincinnati-Duquesne contest Saturday-Monday, March 17-19. Sites and times for the second round will be released at a later date.

This year’s tourney will feature 64 teams with all games taking place at home sites. The field includes 31 teams that earned an automatic berth, and 33 teams that are chosen at-large.

Last season, the Rockets became the first MAC basketball program to capture a national postseason tournament. UT’s historic WNIT run was capped off by a 76-68 triumph over USC in the championship game before a national television audience and league women’s basketball record 7,301 fans.

Toledo’s victims en route to its postseason title included Colonial Athletic Association member Delaware, SEC member Auburn, SEC member Alabama, Big East member Syracuse and Atlantic 10 member Charlotte.

UT became only the second school since the WNIT resurrected in 1998 as a single-elimination tournament to host every game en route to a championship. Wyoming claimed the WNIT title in 2007 with six home victories.

The Midnight Blue and Gold enter the 2012 WNIT with a 21-9 overall record and a 13-3 mark as the MAC West Division co-champions.

Last weekend at the MAC Tournament in Cleveland, Toledo advanced to the semifinals for a fifth straight season. No. 3 seed UT received a double bye and qualified for the ‘Final Four’ by beating No. 7 seed Northern Illinois, 72-62, in the quarterfinals March 8. The Rockets’ tourney run came to an end with a heartbreaking 59-57 setback to No. 2 seed and eventual tourney champion Eastern Michigan in the semifinals.

The Detroit Titans, who finished with a 14-4 mark in the Horizon League and advanced to the tourney championship game, feature an offense led by Shareta Brown’s 17.7 points per game and 8.8 rebounds per game.

Tickets for Friday’s first-round WNIT game will go on sale to season ticket holders, UT donors and contributors Wednesday, March 14, at 10 a.m.

Tickets for the general public will go on sale Thurday, March 15, at 10 a.m.

Ticket prices are $13 for reserved lower bowl seats and $11 for upper east general admission tickets. UT employees may purchase two half-price tickets.

Fans may purchase their tickets at the UT Ticket Office or by calling 419.530.4653 (GOLD) with a MasterCard or VISA.

UT students get in free, courtesy of the President’s Office, by showing their Rocket ID at the gate.

Parking will be free for the game.

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