The Lady Lions are heading to the postseason — albeit not to the “Big Dance” in the NCAA tournament.
The Penn State women’s basketball team learned Monday evening that it earned a spot in the 2017 Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT), a 64-team tournament that runs through April 1. Coach Coquese Washington is expected to address the media on Tuesday or Wednesday about her team’s playoff spot.
The first round of the WNIT will take place between Wednesday and Friday.
As of press time Monday night, the Lady Lions did yet know their opponent, where they would be playing or when they would be competing. But a spokesperson confirmed they had already accepted an invitation to the tournament, which they last won back in 1998.
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The Lady Lions (19-10, 9-7) had an outside chance at the NCAA tournament when they entered the Big Ten tournament in early March. Two tourney wins were expected to launch them into that conversation — but a 70-64, first-round loss to Minnesota put an end to that.
Still, Penn State ended its regular season by winning five of its last six games. Sophomore guard Teniya Page also earned first-team All-Big Ten honors, and senior Kaliyah Mitchell was an honorable mention.
“We’re competitors,” Washington said after the loss to Minnesota. “And the opportunity to continue to play is something that we’ll look forward to.”