Bearkats Receives Invite To Pre-Season WNIT
by Cheval John
After making their first national post-season tournament appearance, the Sam Houston State Bearkat women’s basketball team will start the 2012-13 season with an invite to the Pre-Season Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT).
The Bearkats will face the University of Delaware Blue Hens in the opening round of the tournament in Newark, Delaware.
The winner of the match will advance to the second round of the tournament
The Blue Hens were the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Conference Champions last season and are looking to start their title defense in style.
“From what I know, they are a very good team coming off last year,” Bearkat women’s basketball head coach Brenda Nichols said to a representative of the SHSU’s athletic department media relations.
“We are excited for this opportunity and look forward to being able to play some intense and exciting competitors.”
The Blue Hens will be led by senior forward/guard Elena Delle Donne.
Delle Donne is an All-American who averaged 26.1 points per game, made 91.9% of her free throws and shot 38.8% from the three-point line last season.
She received honors from the Associated Press, Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), United States Writers Association, the Naismith Award and John Wooden Award.
She was named “Player of the Year” by the CAA and was a finalist for “Player of the Year” by the WBCA, Naismith and Wooden Awards.
“You can’t really measure yourself as a player without going up against the best,” Nichols said. “There is no doubt she is one of the best and will be a true challenge for our team.”
The Bearkats are looking forward to that challenge as they are returning 12 letterman from last year’s team who were the West Division Champions of the Southland Conference and made their first national post-season appearance in the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI).
They made it to the semi-final round of the tournament, where they were knocked off by the University of Northern Iowa.
Leading the charge for the Bearkats are seniors Britni Martin and Sequeena Thomas.
Martin was ranked 10th in the nation for three-pointers (2.93 per game) and scored 523 total points for the season.
She was runner-up for the Southland Conference’s “Player of the Year” that went to Central Arkansas’ Megan Herbert.
Thomas led the Southland Conference in rebounds (12.6 per game).
She averaged 14.8 points per game and had an average of 2.0 blocks which ranked her #9 and #2 in the conference, respectively.
The tournament consists of 16 teams from around the country and will be held from November 9 to November 16-17.
The Bearkats-Blue Hen match will begin at 7 p.m.
For more information on the tournament, visit www.womensnit.com.