After a heartbreaking loss in the final seconds of the Mid-American Conference tournament semi-finals, the women’s basketball team will compete in the National Invitational Tournament tomorrow night. The RedHawks will host Duquesne University at Millett Hall for the first round of the NIT.
This will be the RedHawks’ first post-season appearance in five years. The NIT is a 64-team single-elimination tournament and all games are played at campus sites. Round One begins today and continues through Friday.
First-year head coach Megan Duffy is one of three first-year head coaches to coach her team to more than 20 wins — the ’Hawks finished 21-10 on the year and 12-6 in the MAC. Duffy also experienced the biggest turnaround of any first-year head coach, logging 10 more wins than last year’s 11-21 overall record with a 5-13 mark in the MAC.
Last week in the MAC tournament, Miami earned a first-round bye and defeated Ohio University 69-66 in the quarterfinals before losing 61-58 to No. 1 Central Michigan in the semi-finals.
The Duquesne Dukes finished 23-7 overall and 13-3 in the Atlantic-10 conference. The No. 2 seeded Dukes lost 71-65 in the A-10 quarterfinals to the No. 7 seed. The Dukes also beat MAC competitors Toledo, Akron and Central Michigan before their conference season began.
Even without considering the “win or go home” post-season pressure, the game will be likely be fast-paced and close. The Dukes average 70.4 points per game and holds their opponents to 63.4. On the other side of the court, Miami averages 69.7 points per game and their opponents average 63.9.
Duquesne boasts three players who log more than 10 points per game. The Dukes are led by junior guard Chassidy Omogrosso who averages 16.8 ppg. Defensively, junior forward Kadri-Ann Lass rebounds the ball an average of 6.6 times per game.
The RedHawks will look to counter with sophomore guard Lauren Dickerson who averages 19.8 points per game and junior forward Kendall McCoy on defense who averages 5.9 rebounds per game.
Tip-off between the RedHawks and the Dukes is at 7 p.m. tomorrow night at Millett and will be broadcast on ESPN3.