Women's Basketball Receives WNIT Bid; Will Make Back-to-Back Postseason Appearances for First Time in Program History

Women's Basketball Receives WNIT Bid; Will Make Back-to-Back Postseason Appearances for First Time in Program History

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WASHINGTON - The American University women's basketball team has earned a bid to the upcoming WNIT Tournament. The Eagles will face James Madison on Friday, March 20, in Harrisonburg, Va., at 7 p.m. This is one of the 16 first round matchups in the 48-team WNIT field.

American (19-11, 9-5 Patriot League) will be making its second-consecutive postseason appearance. This marks the first time in program history that AU has earned postseason bids in back-to-back years. Last season, the Eagles fell 53-52 to Villanova in the first round of the WNIT.

"We're thrilled to be able to compete in postseason play for the second straight year," said AU Head Coach Matt Corkery. "Competing against a high caliber program like James Madison is a great opportunity for us, and we're excited for the challenge."

This is the third time AU has reached postseason play in program history. The Eagles also made WNIT appearances in 1998 and 2008.

The Eagles are led by First Team All-Patriot League selection Michelle Kirk, who averages 13.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Junior Nicole Ryan scores 11.5 points per game, while sophomore Liz Leer chips in 11.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per contest. The freshmen duo of Ebony Edwards and Lisa Strack were both named to the Patriot League All-Rookie Team.

James Madison finished with a 23-9 regular season record, including a 14-4 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Dukes were the third seed in the recent CAA Tournament, and lost 64-58 in the finals to top-seeded Drexel.

The Eagles and Dukes have met on 47 previous occasions, and James Madison holds a 37-10 advantage. The Dukes have won the last eight meetings, with the most recent matchup taking place on December 28, 2004 (a 63-61 James Madison victory). AU recorded its last win against the Dukes on January 1, 1999 by the score of 61-59.

The winner of the American-James Madison first round matchup will play at Richmond on Sunday, March 22 at 4 p.m.

Tickets are available for the American-James Madison game by visiting JMUSports.com or by calling 540-568-DUKE. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for AU students, youth 17 years of age and younger, and senior citizens 62 years of age and older.