Coach Stephanie Glance and the Redbirds will host IUPUI Thursday night in the first round of the WNIT. (Photo By B Corbin/WJBC)
By WJBC Staff
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - The Illinois State women's basketball team will host IUPUI in the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) Thursday at Redbird Arena. The Redbirds received an automatic bid into the Postseason WNIT and will make their fifth-consecutive appearance in the tournament. A start time will be announced on Tuesday.
Coach Stephanie Glance said the team was disappointed with the MVC tournament final but is regrouping.
"It's always good when you are still playing in March. We were disappointed that we didn't win our conference tournament. We had a really good run and I'm really proud of the team," Glance said.
Glance said the team's first practice is Tuesday and staff are reviewing IUPUI games.
"Fortunately we're at home at Redbird Arena. Our fans have been just unbelieveable and have come out to support us each year in the WNIT and so we're going to ask them one more time to come out and support us Thursday night," Glance said.
Illinois State is making its 12th overall appearance in the WNIT (1980, 1982, 1984, 1988, 1990, 1996, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013) and sixth in the last seven seasons. The Redbirds are 19-17 all-time in the tournament, including a 12-4 mark in the last four years, and advanced to the semifinals in three-straight seasons.
Tickets for the home game will go on sale Tuesday at 9 a.m. and are $11 for adults and $8 for youth under the age of 18. Reggie's Kids Club members must purchase a ticket to get into the game. Illinois State students will receive free admission to the game. Red Alert members need to present their passes at the door and all other students should pick up a ticket prior to the game or at the door.
Tickets may be purchased in person at the Illinois State Athletic Ticket Office in Redbird Arena, over the phone by calling 309-438-8000 or online at GoRedbirds.com.
IUPUI, a member of the Summit League, is 20-11 and received an automatic bid. The Jaguars finished second in the Summit League with a record of 12-4 and lost to South Dakota, 82-72, in the conference tournament.
Illinois State leads the all-time series with IUPUI, 2-0. ISU won the only two games in series history in back-to-back seasons. The Redbirds defeated the Jaguars at Redbird Arena on Nov. 29, 2002 by 17 points, 77-60, before facing IUPUI in Indianapolis the next season on Dec. 16, 2003. ISU won that game by a margin of 14 points, 81-67.
The WNIT awards an automatic berth to each of the nation's 31 conferences. The spot goes to the team that finishes the highest in the regular-season conference standings that does not advance to the NCAA Tournament. If there is a tie, the WNIT abides by the conference tiebreaker. To be considered for a WNIT automatic or at-large berth, a team must have an overall record of .500 or better.