ATLANTA -- Georgia State’s women's basketball team will open its 2013-14 season on Friday, Nov. 8 in the Preseason WNIT at Tennessee-Martin, it was announced by tournament organizers, Triple Crown Sports, in Fort Collins, Colo. Tip time on the campus of UT-Martin is 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. CT).
This marks the first time in the WNIT's history that Georgia State has been included in the preseason tournament field. A maximum of one team per conference can participate in the same year and no more than once in a four-year period. Georgia State did earn a bid to the WNIT postseason tournament in 2000.
The Preseason WNIT features a three-game guarantee format. The eight winners of the first round advance on in bracket format. The other eight teams move into consolation brackets with two four-team quad brackets set up. Second round games will be played November 10-11. Those four winners advance in the main bracket and the four others move into another consolation bracket. Semifinal games will then be played Nov. 14 and the championship is set for Sunday, Nov. 17 on CBS. Teams that fall to the consolation bracket after round one will play again on Nov. 15 or 16.
Here is the complete 16-team first-round WNIT schedule:
First-Round Games (2012-13 records in parentheses)
Friday, Nov. 8, 2013
IPFW (13-17) at Wichita State (24-10), 1:05 p.m. ET
North Carolina A&T (22-10) at Quinnipiac (30-2), 5 p.m. ET
Mount St. Mary’s (15-16) at Saint Joseph’s (23-8), 7 p.m. ET
Stetson (24-9) at Oklahoma (24-11), 8 p.m. ET
Stephen F. Austin (14-17) at LSU (22-12), 8 p.m. ET
Georgia State (13-16) at UT-Martin (19-15), 8 p.m. ET
Idaho (17-16) at Gonzaga (27-6), 9 p.m. ET
Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013
Loyola Chicago (17-15) at Louisville (29-9), time TBA
UT-Martin won the OVC for a third consecutive year and advanced to a third consecutive NCAA Tournament last year. The Skyhawks lost to Notre Dame in the opening round. UT-Martin’s challenging schedule last year included games with Baylor, Stanford, Missouri, Purdue, Louisville, Hawaii and Northwestern. They defeated the Sun Belt’s Arkansas State, as well as Southern Miss and Saint Louis outside the OVC. UT-Martin had two scorers finish in the top 10 in the NCAA last year with averages of 22 points per game and both return for this season to lead the Skyhawks bid for another OVC title and NCAA bid.
Martin, Tenn. is located north of I-40 about 150 northwest of Nashville, making the school about 400 miles from Atlanta and Georgia State.
“It certainly will be a real challenge for our basketball team to go on the road and face a veteran team that has earned its way to three straight NCAA Tournament,” coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener said. “This will give us a focus through the summer workouts. We welcome the WNIT to our schedule and the opportunity to face a quality opponent.”
All games in the WNIT are hosted by participating schools.
In last year's Preseason WNIT, North Carolina of the ACC beat Iowa of the Big Ten. The 29-7 and No.13-ranked Tar Heels were upset by Delaware in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, while the 21-win Hawkeyes lost in the second round to Notre Dame. The previous year, No. 1 Baylor defeated No. 2 Notre Dame in a preview of the eventual national championship game.
Georgia State returns eight letterwinners from last year's squad, plus all-conference transfer guard Alisha Andrews to go with the new recruiting class as the team begins play in the Sun Belt Conference. All 12 players are currently in summer school for classes and doing conditioning work for the fall.