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Women's Basketball
Seahawks Open WNIT Thursday

Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications  
Release: 03/16/2011
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The UNCW women's basketball team makes its first postseason appearance Thursday with a 7 p.m. contest at former CAA foe Richmond
View larger Courtesy: UNCWSports.com

The UNCW women's basketball team makes its first postseason appearance Thursday with a 7 p.m. contest at former CAA foe Richmond

WILMINGTON, North Carolina - The UNC Wilmington women's basketball team makes its first postseason appearance Thursday when it faces Richmond in the first round of the Postseason Women's National Invitation Tournament.

Tip-off for the Seahawks and the Spiders is set for 7 p.m. at the Robins Center. Live stats are available for the game and can be accessed by clicking on the link above. Audio of the game will be carried for free on the Seahawk Sports Network through the Yahoo! Sports Broadcast service. The broadcast can be accessed by clicking on the Seahawks Sports Network link at the top of the page.

UNCW is making its first appearance in the Postseason WNIT as it received an at-large invitation to the 64-team event after establishing a new program mark for wins in a season with a 23-8 overall mark and posted its highest regular-season finish since joining the CAA with a tie for second at 14-4.

The Seahawks feature a pair of major award winners from league play as Head Coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke was named the Colonial Athletic Association's Coach-of-the-Year in her first season with the program. Freshman playmaker Alisha Andrews was tabbed the league's Rookie-of-the-Year after ranking among the circuit's leaders in assists (4.9) and steals (2.9) while contributing more than 10 points per contest (10.8).

First-Team All-CAA selection senior Brittany Blackwell enters the postseason as UNCW's leader in scoring (15.5), rebounding (7.7) and steals (3.1). Senior Martha White, a Second-Team All-CAA selection, is second on the squad in both scoring (12.8) and rebounding (7.1) while leading the league in blocked shots (1.8). Andrews, Blackwell and White were all named to the CAA All-Defensive Team.

Richmond is making its third straight Postseason WNIT appearance as coach Michael Schafer's squad brings an 18-11 mark into the postseason following a fourth-place in the Atlantic 10 regular season. First-Team All-Atlantic 10 selection senior Brittani Shells leads the league in scoring (19.1) and ranks third on the circuit in steals (2.3) to earn her third straight All-Defensive Team selection. Junior Abby Oliver, the 2010 Atlantic 10 Sixth Player-of-the-Year, is second on the team in scoring (14.1) and senior Crystal Goring is third (10.4) to go along with her team-high 8.9 rebounds and blocked shots (1.4) per contest.

Thursday's game marks the 39th meeting between UNCW and Richmond and will serve as the first meeting between the two programs since the 2000-01 season. Richmond holds a 29-9 overall record against UNCW in a matchup of former conference foes as the two sides were both part of the Colonial Athletic Association from 1984-2001 until the Spiders left for the Atlantic 10.

The winner of Thursday's contest advances to the second round, where it will face the winner of the Michigan versus Eastern Michigan matchup.  Date and location of the contest will be announced once the matchup is determined.

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