ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Despite falling just short of an NCAA Tournament bid with last Friday’s two-point loss to the University of Vermont in the America East championship game, there’s still some basketball to be played for the University at Albany women’s team.
The Great Danes are set for a road tilt at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the opening round of the WNIT. This will be UAlbany’s first-ever meeting with the Minutewomen. A formidable opponent, UMass also lost its conference championship game before qualifying for the WNIT.
UMass won the regular season Atlantic 10 title, but fell 91-85 in the tournament final to third-seeded Saint Louis. The Minutewomen boast a 26-6 record, and the top scoring offense in their conference, averaging 76 points per game this season.
The WNIT isn’t the exact destination the Danes – a team that’s eyed The Big Dance all season – had hoped to be at at this point in March, but the players welcome any opportunity they have to continue playing together.
“The WNIT is something to be extremely proud about,” said senior guard Grace Heeps, who is also a UMass transfer. “A lot of teams don’t get to play (in the) postseason. Like, every other team in the America East, except Vermont, is not playing. I mean, it’s very rare that you even get to play in (the) postseason, especially at the mid-major level. So, we’re really taking this…with excitement. And it’s another opportunity to show how resilient we are, how great of a team we are and how special this group of girls really is.”
Opening tip from Amherst is set for 7:00 p.m. The game will air on ESPN3, and if you can’t stream it, be sure to tune into NEWS10 at 10:30 and 11:00 for highlights.