Expectations were not high for Alabama’s women’s basketball going into the 2015-16 season with the Crimson Tide having one of the youngest teams in the Southeastern Conference and losing star forward Ashley Williams, a two-year starter who missed the season for medical reasons.
But the Crimson Tide performed above those expectations, and has been rewarded with a trip to New Orleans for the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament. Bama will play Tulane in the first round Wednesday.
The Alabama women’s basketball team earned a spot in the 2016 Women’s National Invitation Tournament and will travel to New Orleans to face Tulane in the first round on Wednesday, March 16. Game time will be announced on Tuesday.
“We are excited for the opportunity for postseason play,” said Alabama Coach Kristy Curry. “It is a step forward in our process with one of the youngest teams in the SEC. Out players have already benefitted from the additional practice days and time together, and we look forward to Wednesday.”
The Crimson Tide (15-15) is one of 34 teams that was awarded an at-large bid, joining the 30 automatic berths to make up the 64-team field. The Green Wave also earned an at-large bid by virtue of its 21-11 overall record and run to the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament.
Alabama is led by Hannah Cook, averaging 12 points and 5.8 rebounds per game; Meoshonti Knight, 10.1 ppg; Qjuanetria Bolton, 9.2 ppg; Karyla Middlebrook, 8.7; and Nikki Hegstetter, 6.7 ppg and 6.3 rebounds per game.
Alabama and Tulane will be meeting for the 11th time in program history and for the first time since the 2007 regular season opener. The Tide leads the series, 7-3, but the Green Wave has won the last two matchups, once in Tuscaloosa and once in New Orleans.
The Crimson Tide was a poor road team this season, 0-10, compared to a 13-4 record in Foster Auditorium. Bama did have a 2-1 record in neutral court games.
Alabama is making its fifth appearance in the WNIT and first since 2011 when it advanced to the round of 16. The Tide also competed in the tournament three consecutive seasons from 2000-02. UA holds an overall record of 5-4 in WNIT games.