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Courtesy: Clay Bailey

Texas Southern to play in Women's Basketball Invitational

Courtesy: SWAC.org
Release: 03/12/2018

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - For the second-straight season, Texas Southern will be involved in postseason play as the Lady Tigers have accepted an invite to the Women's Basketball Invitational.

Texas Southern (19-12, 13-5 SWAC) will host Weber State (20-10, 12-6 Big Sky) Thursday at 7 P.M. in round one of the tournament.

Joyce Kennerson is the straw that stirs the drink for Texas Southern, as the 2017-18 SWAC Player of the Year averaged 24.2 points per game, good for fourth-best in the nation. Senior gunner Kaitlyn Palmer (13.5 PPG, 35.7% 3-PT) teams with Kennerson to form an explosive scoring backcourt.

Weber State features four players that average double-figures in scoring, led by Larryn Brooks. Brooks led the team with 20.1 points per game to go with 4.5 rebounds per night while shooting 43 percent from the field and 38.8 percent from deep. Jaiamoni Welch-Coleman (11.9 PPG, 4.3 APG, 3.8 RPG), Emily Drake (11.3 PPG, 4.9 RPG) and Kailie Quinn (10.6 PPG, 4.3 RPG) flesh out an offense that ranks top 30 nationally in scoring at 76.8 points per game.

The Lady Wildcats are no stranger to the WBI, having advanced to the finals in 2016 with Welch-Coleman, Drake and Quinn in two. However, Weber State lost that game to Louisiana-Lafayette in an 87-85 double-overtime thriller.

Created in 2009, the WBI is a 16-team tournament arranged by Sport Tours International. Open to teams that did not make the field of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament and the Women's National Invitational Tournament, it has featured champions from the Horizon League, Big 10 and Conference USA. Games are played on campus sites, with the higher-seeded team hosting.

Teams are chosen based on RPI, record, conference standing, end of year performance and quality wins and losses. The 2017 champion was Rice.