Women’s basketball will play Missouri in opening game of WNIT

Wytalla Motta shoots the ball during the second quarter of the Mountain West tournament championship against Wyoming in Las Vegas. (Jesus Cano/The Collegian)

The Fresno State women’s basketball team season will continue in Texas.

The Bulldogs received a bid in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT), the team’s ninth appearance in the tournament. Fresno State (16-10) will play in the Fort Worth Regional and face Missouri (9-11) on Friday, March 19 at 12 p.m. It will be the first time these programs ever play each other.

Last season, the Bulldogs also qualified for the WNIT, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancelation of the tournament. After Wednesday night’s Mountain West championship loss against Wyoming, Fresno State head coach Jaime White said playing in the WNIT was something the team was interested in participating in.

“I really like the NIT. I really appreciate what they’ve done in this year. It’s looking a little bit more like an NCAA tournament as far as going to a site and being able to play at one site, maybe getting a couple games or having a consolation bracket,” White said. “So I think that’s a cool thing they’re trying to do.”

The women’s basketball team getting ready to play their Mountain West tournament championship game versus Wyoming in Las Vegas. (Jesus Cano/The Collegian)

Since 2015, the Bulldogs have appeared in four WNITs, all under the direction of White.

If the Bulldogs beat Missouri, they will play the winner of Arizona State versus Rice. However, every participant in the tournament is guaranteed to play two games, because there will be consolation games for each site.

The second round will take place March 20 and the third round will be on March 22. All regional champions will play in Memphis, Tennessee. Semifinals will start March 26 and the championship game will culminate on March 28.

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