ALBANY, N.Y. – The University at Albany women’s basketball team will open up play in the First Round of the Women’s Postseason National Invitational Tournament on Friday, March 17 at the University of Pennsylvania. The Great Danes, who have played in the NCAA Tournament in each of the last six seasons, will be making their first-ever WNIT appearance.
UAlbany last played in the America East Tournament in their quest for a seventh-consecutive conference championship. After defeating Vermont in the quarterfinals for the fourth straight season, the Great Danes met Hartford in the semifinals the following day. The Hawks had split the regular-season series with UAlbany, handing the Danes a loss in West Hartford in the conference-opening matchup.
In the semifinals, the Great Danes held a seven-point lead with three minutes to go, but were unable to hold the lead as Hartford mounted a comeback to earn a two-point, 58-56 victory. In a mirror of the semifinal matchup between the two teams a year ago, where Hartford missed a potential game-winning three at the buzzer trailing by two, UAlbany had a chance to either win or force overtime but came up just short.
Penn last played in the Ivy League Championship game against Princeton. The Quakers lost big to the Tigers, falling by a final score of 63-34. In three games against Princeton this season, Penn has lost by an average of 21.3 points.
The Quakers won the inaugural Ivy League Tournament last season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament where they lost 63-61 to five-seed Texas A&M in the First Round.
The winner of Friday’s game will play the winner of St. John’s and Marist, which will be played Thursday, March 15 in Queens, N.Y. The WNIT Second Round will be played from March 17-19.
The game can be streamed for free on the Ivy League Network.
THE OUTLOOK: PENN (21-8, 11-3 Ivy League) │ Friday, March 16, 7:00 p.m. │ Philadelphia, Pa.
Last we met: L, 64-51, January 8, 2001, Albany, N.Y. Tale of the Tape
Penn is 10-3 at home this season
UAlbany is 9-5 on the road
UAlbany is 5-4 in its last nine
Penn is 6-2 in its last eight
Against common opponents, UAlbany is 3-0 and Penn is 2-1
UAlbany leads the America East in scoring offense (68.9 ppg)
Penn leads the Ivy League in FG% defense (.351), rebounding offense (42.5 rpg), assist/turnover ratio (1.23), and blocked shots (5.93)
Penn’s Anna Ross leads the Ivy League in assist/turnover ratio (2.2)
KEYBANK KEYS TO VICTORY (#KEYBANKKEYS):
Course Correction: UAlbany is 6-0 following a loss
60: UAlbany and Penn are both 19-1 when holding opponents under 60 points
Halftime Lead: UAlbany is 18-2 when leading at the half but 6-5 when trailing
Series History: Penn leads 1-0 2016-17 Record: 22-8, (13-1 Ivy); First place Ivy League, Ivy League Champion, NCAA First Round Top Offensive Player: Michelle Nwokedi, Sr., F, (12.0 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 2.5 apg)