First Round Women’s National Invitation Tournemant(WNIT)
Welsh-Ryan Arena (Capacity 8,117)
Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 8 p.m. (EST)
• Radio WERK 104.9 (Jay Garrison), WCRD 91.3
• Internet www.nusports.com
The Cardinals Nest
- After a thrilling run to the 2014 Mid-American Conference Tournament championship game, the Ball State women’s basketball team (18-16) learned its season would continue Monday, as it was extended an at-large invitation to play in the 64-team Women’s National Invitation Tournament. The Cardinals will play at Northwestern Thursday at 8 p.m. EST.
- The Ball State women’s basketball team will be making its second-straight WNIT appearance, and fifth overall, after winning two WNIT games for the first time in program history last season to advance to the Final 16. During its 2013 WNIT run, the Cardinals knocked off Big Ten foe Minnesota 54-51 on the road and scored a 53-48 win over Northern Iowa at Worthen Arena. In the Final 16 game, the Cardinals suffered a 60-48 loss at Kansas State.
- The Cardinals had a seven-game winning streak heading into Saturday’s MAC Tournament championship game, including tournament wins over No. 12 seed Kent State, No. 9 Northern Illinois, No. 4 Buffalo and No. 1 Bowling Green. Ball State is only the third team to ever win four games and the first team to ever play five in a single MAC Tournament. The Cardinals were also just the third No. 5 seed in league history to compete in the MAC Tournament title game.
- The game Thursday marks the first-ever meeting between these two schools in women’s basketball. Northwestern is a member of the Big Ten Conference. The Wildcats enter the game with a 15-15 overall record and went 5-11 in league action. The winner advances to face either fellow Mid-American Conference opponent Central Michigan or IUPUI for round two of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament, March 22-25. Ball State has faced one Big Ten team this season when it opened the 2013-14 season at Purdue (Nov. 11) which resulted in a 63-57 loss for the Cardinals. The Wildcats went 1-1 against the Boilermakers this season, winning at home 71-68, Jan. 9 and then suffering a 90-65 setback in West Lafayette, Jan. 23.