March 13, 2012
Boca Raton, FL - The Florida Atlantic University women's basketball team has been selected to participate in the postseason Women's National Invitational Tournament (WNIT). The Owls will play USF on Thursday, March 15, at 7 p.m. at the USF Recreation Center in Tampa.
FAU had a 17-12 regular season record and advanced to the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference (SBC) tournament after placing second in the league's East Division. The team received the SBC's automatic bid to the 64-team WNIT field by being the conference's highest ranked team after the University of Arkansas-Little Rock and Middle Tennessee State University were selected to participate in the NCAA tournament.
The Owls will be playing in a postseason national tournament for the sixth time in program history and first since an appearance in the NCAA Division I tournament in 2006. This will be FAU's first trip to the WNIT.
"We are very excited about being selected to compete in the WNIT as the league's automatic bid," said Chancellor Dugan, FAU's head women's basketball coach. "We are very proud this season's accomplishments, with our best record and finish since joining the Sun Belt Conference. The players are happy that this special season isn't over yet."
FAU's 10-win improvement over the seven wins during the 2010-11 season was the sixth-best victory turnaround among Division I teams. The team's 11-and-5 league record was the most victories in a season since joining the SBC in 2006-07.
Sophomore forward Chenise Millerearned second-team all-league honors after leading the Owls by averaging 10.8 points and 7.3 rebounds a game. She scored a career-high 21 points in the team's conference tournament victory over the University of North Texas on March 4.
Senior guard Teri Stamps was named the SBC's Defensive Player of the Year, has recorded 38 steals and is averaging 8.6 points per contest.
Senior post player April Goins was an inside presence for FAU, scoring eight points and five rebounds a game, while sophomores Kimberly Smith and Latavia Dempsey have been key contributors in the backcourt. Smith made a team-high, 36 three-point field goals, while Dempsey was close behind at 34 three-pointers.
USF went 17-15 and 8-8 in the Big East Conference. The Bulls are one of two teams in the WNIT field that have won a WNIT title, champions in 2009. The team is led by Jasmine Wynne at 15.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Inga Orekhova is averaging 13.5 points per outing.