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BYU basketball: Cougars in WNIT, host Idaho State

By Rachel Hawks

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, March 18 2013 10:41 p.m. MDT

PROVO, Utah - With a 21-10 record, BYU women’s basketball has been invited to participate in the 64-team single-elimination 2013 Women’s National Invitational Tournament. In their seventh appearance in the tournament, the Cougars will host Idaho State (18-12) Wednesday. Tipoff time and ticket prices will be announced Tuesday.

"I'm glad that our team has the opportunity to play in a postseason tournament and that we get a game at home in front of our fans," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "Idaho State is a very good team, they have a great coach and are a very disciplined team."

In the WNIT, the Cougars have compiled an 8-6 overall record in six appearances. The team’s last appearance in the WNIT was during the 2010-11 campaign when BYU advanced to the third round with wins over Denver and Utah State before falling to runner-up USC.

BYU along with San Diego and Saint Mary’s are the three teams from the West Coast Conference that received invitations to play in this year’s WNIT. The Toreros were one of 31 automatic qualifiers, while the Cougars and the Gaels received at-large berths. In this year’s field, BYU has played six of the 64 teams competing and has a 6-2 record against them.

Junior center Jennifer Hamson leads the team in scoring and rebounding averaging 10.6 points and pulling down 8.2 boards per game. Haley Steed, who ranks second nationally in assists, dishes out 7.4 assists per contest while contributing 10.3 points. Under head coach Jeff Judkins, the women’s basketball program has participated in four postseason WNIT tourneys and five NCAA tournaments.

About the 2013 WNIT The Women’s National Invitation Tournament consists of 64 Division I women’s basketball teams that compete at participating schools including the semifinals and the championships. Every round is single elimination. This year's field features 36 teams with 20 or more wins.

First-round action tips off on Wednesday, March 20, and concludes on Friday, March 22. Second-round games begin March 23-25, round three March 27-29, quarterfinals March 30-April 1, and semifinals April 3-4. The championship game will be played on Saturday, April 6, and will be televised live and in HD at 3 p.m. EDT on CBS Sports Network. All games are hosted by participating schools.

Rachel Hawks is a sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.

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