Boise State Learns WNIT First Round Opponent
The pairings have been set for the 2019 WNIT women's basketball tournament and Boise State will open against Big Sky Champion Portland State in Boise November 8th at 7 p.m.
Here now a complete look at the first round pairings of all 16 teams as released today by Boise State:
The Broncos will be matched up in one of four quadrants of the 16-team field with Missouri State and Texas A&M Corpus-Christi, the winner of which Boise State would face Nov. 10 should the Broncos defeat Portland State.
Boise State is coming off of a 2018-19 campaign in which it won a school-record 28 games and made its third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The Broncos, under the guidance of 2018-19 Mountain West Coach of the Year Gordy Presnell, have claimed consecutive Mountain West regular-season titles (2018-19) and three-straight conference tournament titles (2017-19) while reaching the NCAA Tournament in four of the past five seasons (2015, 2017-19).
The Broncos will return three of their top four scorers from a season ago, highlighted by All-Mountain West selection and Mountain West Tournament MVP Braydey Hodgins. Hodgins, a guard who will enter her senior season in 2019-20, led the Broncos in scoring (13.2 ppg), 3-pointers made (70), and free throws made (96) last season, with fellow rising senior guard Riley Lupfer also being named to the All-Mountain West Team after averaging 11.1 points per game with 67 made 3-pointers and a team-high 87.2 free-throw percentage.
Also returning for their final seasons are a pair of redshirt seniors in point guard Jayde Christopher and forward A’Shanti Coleman. Christopher, in her debut season with the Broncos in 2018-19, passed out 182 assists, the second-highest single-season figure in program history, while scoring 6.3 points per game. Coleman shot 51.5 percent from the field while averaging 9.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game with team bests in steals (54) and blocks (28).
Portland State went 25-8 overall and 14-6 in Big Sky play last season. The Vikings captured the Big Sky Tournament title in March, defeating No. 6 seed Eastern Washington in the final before getting a No. 15 seed in the NCAA Tournament and falling, 78-40, at No. 2 Oregon in the first round.
The Vikings return seven players from last season’s roster, led by rising junior Kylie Jimenez, the team’s third-leading scorer (11.5 ppg) and leader in assists (4.72 apg) and 3-pointers made (59). Rising sophomore guard Desirae Hansen (7.6 ppg, 35 3-pointers made) is the only other returning Viking to average at least seven points per game last season.
Rounding out the four matchups on Boise State’s half of the bracket are Prairie View A&M at Oklahoma (Nov. 8, 6 p.m. MT) and South Alabama at UAB (Nov. 8, 4:30 p.m. MT).
Pairing up on the opposite side of the bracket are: UC Irvine at Oregon State (Nov. 9, time TBA) and UMKC at Pacific (Nov. 8, 8 p.m. MT) in one quadrant, and Miami (OH) at DePaul (Nov. 8, 6 p.m. MT) and Davidson at Drexel (Nov. 9, noon MT) in the other.
Each team will be guaranteed three games in the 2019 Preseason WNIT. All games take place at campus sites, with the championship game slated for broadcast Sunday, Nov. 17 at 1 p.m. MT on CBS Sports Network.
Twelve of the 16 teams participating in the Preseason WNIT reached the postseason in 2018-19, with five, the Broncos and Portland State included, playing in the NCAA Tournament. That number includes Sweet 16 participants Missouri State and Oregon State, along with first-round participant DePaul.
Recent Preseason WNIT champions include Iowa State (2018), Louisville (2017), and Notre Dame (2016).