FGCU Hosts First Round of the WNIT on Friday
Senior Chelsea Dermyer and the 2008 Eagles are the first team in school history to participate in the WNIT. <br><i>Photo courtesy of FGCUAthletics.com</i>
Senior Chelsea Dermyer and the 2008 Eagles are the first team in school history to participate in the WNIT.
Photo courtesy of FGCUAthletics.com

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles will face the University of South Florida of the Big East Conference in the first round of the Postseason Women's National Invitational Tournament on March 21 at Alico Arena. The announcement was made late on Monday, March 17. Fans can watch the game via live video streaming on ASun.TV.

The Eagles, who posted a 21-8 overall record to date, earned the automatic bid to the WNIT after finishing second in the A-Sun regular season and will participate in the tournament for the first time in program history.

By earning a spot in the WNIT, the Eagles became the first team in history to play in the WNIT in their first year as a Division I program. No current A-Sun team has won a post-season game as a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference. The last A-Sun team to win a post-season game was FIU in the first round of the 1998 NCAA Tournament, where the Panthers defeated Marquette 59-45. FIU was also the last A-Sun team to win a game in the WNIT. The Panthers defeated Butler 79-75 (OT) in the first round of the 1993 WNIT.

USF, FGCU’s first round opponent, holds a 16-15 record, a 5-11 league record and a 3-7 road record. The Bulls fell in the quarterfinals of Big East Conference to NCAA Tournament participant, West Virginia. The Eagles have never faced USF in women’s basketball.

Smesko and the Eagles are currently 9-5 (.643) in non-conference play and 11-2 (.846) overall at home this season.