Southern receives invite to WNIT, to face Alabama
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Southwestern Athletic Conference regular-season champion Southern is on its way to the Women's National Invitational Tournament, as the Jaguars will take on the Alabama Crimson Tide Wednesday.
Game time is 7 p.m. central time at Alabama's Coleman Coliseum.
The Jaguars (17-13, 14-4 SWAC) won the regular-season conference title outright before falling in the SWAC Women's Basketball Tournament Championship game to Grambling State. Led by SWAC Defensive Player of the Year Briana Green (17.6 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 3.0 APG, 2.5 SPG, 49.1% FG) and fellow senior Samantha Duncan (11.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG), the Jaguars boast one of the best turnover margins in the nation (+5.67; 17th-best).
The Crimson Tide, a WNIT quarterfinalist last season, posted an identical 17-13 record on the season, including a 7-9 conference record. The Tide were eliminated in the second round of the SEC tournament due to a 71-64 loss to Kentucky. Hannah Cook (11.7 PPG, 4.2 RPG) and Ashley Williams (11.2 PPG, 7.1 RPG) pace a balanced Tide offense.
This will be the fourth all-time meeting between the schools, with Alabama having won the prior three match-ups. The Tide prevailed 66-51 in the teams' most recent tilt on Dec. 29, 2005.
Southern seeks to become the second SWAC school in as many seasons to win a postseason game in the modern era. Grambling State, the 2017 SWAC Women's Tournament runner-up, defeated Ole Miss 78-75 last year in the first round of the 2017 WNIT. Like Alabama, Ole Miss entered that tournament with a 17-13 record.
First-round action begins Wednesday, March 14 and continues through Friday, March 16. Tournament play will continue through March 31, when the championship game will be held at 2 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.