UTC Women’s Basketball Team Will Play in Preseason WNIT

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The UTC women’s basketball team will tip off the 2015-16 season with the Preseason Women’s National Invitation Tournament.

This will be the Mocs fourth appearance in the tournament. In 2011, Chattanooga opened the year with a win over UAB at home before heading to Waco, Texas to take on Baylor. The Bears defeated Notre Dame for the preseason title behind the talents of Britney Griner and went on to post a 40-0 season and win the NCAA title.

Chattanooga’s other two appearances were in 2000 and 2005. All three times under former head coach Wes Moore.

The Mocs posted its third straight 29-4 season last year under second year head coach Jim Foster. Chattanooga won its 19th Southern Conference regular season title with a second straight undefeated league season and claimed its 16th SoCon Tournament crown. UTC advanced to its 13th NCAA Tournament, falling to Pittsburgh in the first round.

Chattanooga returns starters Chelsey Shumpert, Jasmine Joyner, Keiana Gilbert and Alicia Payne. Aryanna Gilbert, a starter in both her freshman and sophomore seasons, will return to the lineup after suffering a season-ending knee injury.

The Mocs will also see action for the first time from 6-foot-5 redshirt Ashlyn Wert and transfer Queen Alford, a two-time all-Atlantic Sun Conference performer at Jacksonville University. Key reserves returning from last season include guard Moses Johnson and forwards Sydney Vanlandingham and Ansley Chilton.

The WNIT field consists of: Alabama State (SWAC); Baylor (Big 12); Chattanooga (Southern); Dartmouth (Ivy); DePaul (Big East); Drexel (Colonial); Indiana (Big Ten); Jacksonville (Atlantic Sun); McNeese State (Southland); Siena (Metro Atlantic); South Florida (American); Southern Illinois (MVC); Southern Miss (Conference USA); St. Bonaventure (Atlantic 10); Tennessee State (Ohio Valley); and UT Arlington (Sun Belt).

Ten of the 16 teams advanced to postseason play in 2015; this is the Preseason WNIT debut for Alabama State, Dartmouth, Jacksonville, Southern Miss, St. Bonaventure, Tennessee State and UT Arlington.

The 2015 Preseason WNIT features a 16-team field, formatted to guarantee three games for each team. The tournament opens November 13 with Round One. The following round will be played November 15-17 and semifinals will be November 19. The Championship is set for November 22 and will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network.

Teams that lose in the first two rounds will play consolation games on November 20-21. All games are hosted by participating schools. The official tournament bracket with first round opponents, game dates and times will be announced later this month.


Categories: College, Sports, Sports – Local Sports News, Sports – UTC Mocs

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