Retrievers host first round of Women’s Basketball Invitational Tournament

The UMBC women’s basketball team will head to a postseason tournament for the third time in program history, competing in the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI) Tournament. UMBC, the No. 3 seed, will host No. 6 Fairfield on Thursday, March 17 at the Retriever Athletics Center (RAC).

“I am excited for our women’s basketball student-athletes and coaching staff on their selection to the WBI,” says UMBC Director of Athletics Tim Hall. “This honor speaks to the dedication they have had throughout this season.”

“I’m thrilled for our players and especially our seniors to continue our season,” said head coach Phil Stern, about the team’s selection into the tournament. Assistant coaches include Rich Conover, Carlee Cassidy, and Chelsea Barker.

The WBI includes 16 NCAA Division 1 teams and is now in its seventh season. WBI Tournament selection was announced on Monday, March 14, and the final championship round of competition will conclude on Sunday, March 27, with all games being played on campus courts.

Prior to the WBI Tournament, UMBC Womens Basketball competed in postseason at the 2011 Women’s National Invitational Tournament and in 2007, when UMBC took the America East Tournament crown and battled top-ranked UConn in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

UMBC has a 17-13 record entering the WBI Tournament. Although UMBC fell to Binghamton in the America East Tournament quarterfinal, Pandora Wilson ’17, health administration and public policy, scored an impressive 19 points and Taylor McCarley ’17, psychology, chipped in 13. Wilson earned a spot on the America East All-Conference Second Team. McCarley garnered All-Conference First Team and All-Defensive Team honors.

“This is a true testament to both our accomplishments and struggles that we’ve overcome throughout the season,” says Wilson. “Playing in the WBI will give us the opportunity to end the season on a high note, leaving us with great hope for next season.”

Emily Russo ’17, biology, shares, “The WBI is another chance for us to finish off the season on a positive note, and we want to give our seniors some great memories to carry with them forever.”

UMBC and Fairfield will tip-off at 7 p.m. in the RAC.

See the UMBC Women’s Basketball website for more details on the team and 2015-16 season, and UMBC Athletics’s “Postseason Bound” press release for information on the Retrievers’ participation in the WBI Tournament.

Image: UMBC Women’s Basketball player Taylor McCarley, photo courtesy of UMBC Athletic Communications.