For its second straight WNIT appearance and for the third time in 10 overall showings in the event, the Hawaii women’s basketball team has been dispatched to Moraga, Calif., to face Saint Mary’s in the opening round.
UH (15-16) and the Gaels of the West Coast Conference (20-11) will meet on Friday at a time to be announced. The winner of that game will face Cal Baptist or Pepperdine in the second round.
BREAKING: 2019 Postseason #WNIT first-round matchups released!
— WNIT (@WomensNIT) March 19, 2019
Coach Laura Beeman and her team were sent to Moraga in the 2015 WNIT, resulting in a 92-88 loss in overtime. UH also played there in the 2000 WNIT first round, losing 75-60.
UH, fresh off its difficult 58-50 loss to UC Davis in the Big West championship game, arrived back home on Sunday for some quick rest before preparing to fly back out this week. The Gaels, meanwhile, dropped a 78-77 decision to No. 14 Gonzaga in the WCC tournament semifinals.
UPDATE: “We’ll have our hands full, but I know we’re playing really good basketball right now,” Beeman said. “I was excited for these kids that they have the opportunity to continue to play. That’s what everyone wants this time of year, and I’m just really excited about that.
“They’re a very good team. They have a very good record,” Beeman added of SMC. “We definitely will have a great competitor. I’ve known their head coach, Paul (Thomas), since my Mount SAC days, and he just does an amazing job with his program.”
The Wahine, the only Big West team in the WNIT field, had a pretty good idea that they’d be sent somewhere in the West region to minimize the tournament’s travel costs.
Other West region schools in the field are Cal Baptist (WAC); Denver (Summit League); Idaho (Big Sky); New Mexico (Mountain West); Pepperdine (West Coast); Arizona (Pac-12); Fresno State (Mountain West); Idaho State (Big Sky); Loyola Marymount (West Coast); Northern Colorado (Big Sky); Pacific (West Coast); and Wyoming (Mountain West).
It took longer than expected for the WNIT to put out its bracket pairings on Monday afternoon. Everyone started to get a little impatient.
— Denver Women's Hoops (@DU_WHoops) March 19, 2019
Anyway, here’s UH all-time WNIT appearances. UH is 3-0 in WNIT home games, 0-7 in WNIT road games and 2-4 in WNIT neutral site games. That’s 5-11 overall.
2019 — at Saint Mary’s, ??
2015 — at Saint Mary’s, 92-88 OT L
2014 — at Washington, 67-50 L
2013 — at San Diego, 61-49 L
2003 — at Arizona State, 57-44 L
2002 — at Oregon State, 62-50 L
2001 — Santa Clara, 73-57 W; BYU, 77-73 OT W; Oklahoma State, 52-51 W; at New Mexico, 68-43 L
2000 — at Saint Mary’s, 75-60 L
1992 — vs. Florida International, 83-73 W; vs. Arkansas State, 83-73 W; vs. Georgia Tech, 90-72 L
1983 — vs. Oral Roberts, 69-60 L; vs. Southern Illinois, 84-68 L; vs. Temple, 76-65 L