Marshall women to play Davidson in WBI tourney
HUNTINGTON - It has been a long five days for Marshall University’s women’s basketball team.
After falling in the opening round of the Conference USA Tournament, the Herd did not know if it would be selected for a postseason berth.
That answer came late Monday when the Thundering Herd (16-14) learned it was, indeed, selected for the postseason. Marshall travels to Davidson College (17-14) out of the Atlantic-10 Conference in the first round of the Women’s Basketball Invitational for a 7 p.m. Wednesday game in John M. Belk Arena in Davidson, North Carolina.
“To get the call (at 9:15 p.m., Monday) to let us know that we were in, it’s a huge relief,” Marshall head coach Tony Kemper said. “We won 10 games in C-USA and this is another great accomplishment. I’m excited for the girls and the program. From where it was last year to being able to do this is pretty neat.”
The one-year turnaround for the Herd was impressive.
Marshall went from not even making its own conference tournament to making the postseason in just one year’s time under Kemper, with one of the nation’s top turnarounds in terms of win total for women’s basketball.
Furthermore, Marshall travels for the first round of the WBI, but with a win, the Herd could get another home game in Cam Henderson Center. The winner of Wednesday’s contest will host the winner between UNC Asheville and Appalachian State at a date to be determined.
The WBI sends contracts in late February to potential schools who sign and return them. Part of Marshall’s contract was providing the necessities to host a contest, should the opportunity arise, which Kemper credited Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick for.
Kemper said the potential for another home game is exciting for several players in their final weeks as a member of the program.
“Mike agreed to do that and it’s a really cool opportunity for our kids,” Kemper said. “We get to play a really good team against Davidson and, if we would win, we would get the possibility of one more home game, which is something i know our kids care about.”
In all, C-USA sent nine women’s teams to the postseason. Rice is representing the league in the NCAA Tournament while five other teams -- Middle Tennessee, UAB, Western Kentucky, Old Dominion and Charlotte -- are in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT).
Marshall is joined by Southern Miss and North Texas in the WBI.