The University of Iowa women’s basketball team (17-13; 8-8) will host Missouri State in the first round of the 2017 WNIT inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, March 16. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. (CT). The Hawkeyes have made 10 consecutive postseason appearances (8 NCAA Tournaments, 2 WNIT).
Missouri State, a member of the Missouri Valley Conference, ended the regular season with a 16-14 overall record and a 12-6 mark in MVC action. Junior guard Liza Fruendt, a first team All-MVC selection, leads the Bears in scoring, averaging 16.9 points per game. Senior Lisa Hughes (9.5 ppg) earned honorable mention All-MVC honors, while freshman Alexa Willard (8.2 ppg) was named to the All-Freshman Team.
“We are really excited to continue our season, especially because we have the opportunity to participate in Carver-Hawkeye Arena in front of our tremendous fans,” said UI head coach Lisa Bluder. “We know that Missouri State is a tremendous basketball team, and we are very excited to get back on the floor again.”
The winner of the Iowa and Missouri State matchup will advance to face the winner of South Dakota and North Dakota in WNIT Second Round action March 18-21. Location, date, and tip time is TBA.
The Hawkeyes have made a postseason tournament in 16 of the last 17 seasons under head coach Lisa Bluder, appearing in the NCAA Tournament 12 times and the WNIT four times (2003, 2005, 2016, 2017). Iowa is 7-3 all-time in the WNIT and 3-1 in games played in Iowa City.
Iowa is one of four Big Ten Conference teams (Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, and Penn State) to be included in the field of 64 this season.
“Our fans have been amazing all season long,” said Bluder. “I expect they will come out and support us in the WNIT. This could be a really great opportunity for growth for a young team such as ours. I know this is going to really help us for the future.”