The partnership between MSN and West Virginia PBS begins on Wednesday, Nov. 21, at the Charleston Civic Center when the Mountaineer women's basketball team plays host to the defending national champion and current No.1 ranked Tennessee Lady Volunteers. Other games on the schedule include a road game at Connecticut on Jan. 9, and the Chesapeake Capital Classic against Marshall on Jan. 23.
"This is an exciting opportunity," says West Virginia Public Broadcasting executive director Dennis Adkins. "We have always carried the women's Capital Classic on West Virginia PBS and carrying these additional women's games is a great next step. It's a chance to showcase our state's top female athletes through a statewide venue."
The Mountaineers were picked third in the Big East preseason poll, their highest selection ever, and are currently ranked 19th in the nation by the Associated Press. All five starters return from last year's 21-11 NCAA tournament team, and has seven seniors on the 2008 roster, its largest senior class in school history. Entering the 2008 season, West Virginia boasted 364 career combined starts from its returning players which was tops nationally. The Mountaineers have posted three 20-win seasons in the last four years which includes two NCAA tournaments, a WNIT final and a Big East Tournament final.
"This is a great thing for our program that West Virginia PBS will be broadcasting our games," WVU coach Mike Carey says. "This is an opportunity for a lot of fans that normally would not get a chance to see us play, to watch us on television. This is also an opportunity to increase our fan base throughout the entire state of West Virginia." The complete women's basketball television package on West Virginia PBS includes: Dec. 15 vs. Presbyterian, Jan. 9 at Connecticut, Jan. 16 vs. Marquette, Jan. 23 vs. Marshall, Jan. 26 vs. Georgetown, Jan. 29 vs. Rutgers, Feb. 13 vs. Pitt and Feb. 16 vs. DePaul. West Virginia Public Broadcasting nurtures personal growth, promotes civic responsibility and inspires lifelong discovery through high-quality programming and services. West Virginia Public Radio, WV PBS, wvpubcast.org and Ready to Learn are all services of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.
"Coach Carey and his staff have worked extremely hard to bring our women's program to national prominence," WVU athletic director Ed Pastilong says. "We have a great team, and this is a nice bonus for our fans throughout the state to be able to watch our women's team regularly on television."