(Editor’s note: Montana State University press release)
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – It’s official: The Montana State women’s basketball team will face Marquette University in the first-round of the WNIT on Friday, Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. (MT) in Milwaukee, Wisc.
The 2018 Preseason WNIT announced the Round 1 matchups for the 25th edition of the event, which begins Thursday, Nov. 8, Tuesday afternoon. The 16-team field includes nine schools playing in the event for the first time and features a three-game guarantee for all teams.
The Bobcats, who went 16-16 overall and 9-9 in Big Sky Conference play last winter, return two starters and six letterwinners, along with transfers Claire Lundberg and Martha Kuderer. Both Lundberg and Kuderer are familiar with the Golden Eagles, having faced Marquette when they were members of the Seton Hall women’s basketball program. Lundberg scored a career-high 18 points against MU, all coming from behind the three-point line.
Marquette, who went 24-10 overall and 15-3 in Big East action, lost to Louisville in Round 2 of NCAA Tournament last season. MU is primed for another move up the charts with all five starters returning, led by Big East player of the year Allazia Blockton, who averaged 19.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. The Golden Eagle offense finished 17th in the nation scoring more than 80 points per contest.
The winner of the Montana State – Marquette game will face the winner of Northern Iowa – Delaware on Nov. 11. All games are hosted by participating schools, with the championship game televised on CBS Sports Network at 4:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 18.
Here is the Round 1 schedule for the 2018 Preseason WNIT (all times ET):
Thursday, Nov. 8
Yale at Northern Illinois, 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 9
Niagara at Iowa State, 1 p.m.
Stephen F. Austin at Miami, 5 p.m.
Morgan State at Hartford, 7 p.m.
Nicholls State at Auburn, 7 p.m.
Montana State at Marquette, 8 p.m.
Texas State at New Mexico, 9 p.m.
Delaware at Northern Iowa, 9:30 p.m.
The consolation round schedule will be determined after Round 1; in the winner’s bracket, Round 2 is set for Nov. 11, with the semifinals running Nov. 13/15.
This is the first time in the Preseason WNIT for nine programs: Auburn, Iowa State, Miami, Montana State, Morgan State, Niagara, Nicholls State, Texas State and Yale. It’s the second time around for Marquette and Northern Iowa, with Hartford, Northern Illinois and Stephen F. Austin playing for the third time. Delaware is in the mix for the fourth time, and this will mark the fifth WNIT for New Mexico.