CHARLESTON, S.C. - The Charleston Southern women's basketball team will make history when the team plays host to Appalachian State University at 7 p.m. March 18 inside CSU Field House. The No. 8-ranked Buccaneers will be making their first-ever appearance in a postseason tournament when the No. 1-ranked Mountaineers come to town in the first round of the inaugural Women's Basketball Invitational.
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The WBI is a 16-team tournament that features an East Region and a West Region, and the Buccaneers are the lowest-ranked team in the East Region.
“We’re thrilled to be invited to play in this inaugural tournament,” CSU head coach Julie Goodenough said. “This is an opportunity to make history by being one of the 16 teams who get to play in the first ever WBI.”
Charleston Southern thought its season had come to an end with a disappointing 52-44 loss to Coastal Carolina University in the first round of the 2010 Advance Auto Parts Big South Conference Women’s Basketball Championship March 12, but the WBI has breathed new life into a Buccaneer squad that feels like they could have played better in their initial season finale.
“We were not satisfied with how we played in the conference tournament, and we’re excited that we have a second chance to play and redeem ourselves after that performance,” Goodenough said.
Charleston Southern (17-13, 9-7 Big South) finished in a tie for third place in the conference, and the 17 wins are one shy of tying the school record. The Buccaneers own a 12-4 mark inside CSU Field House this year, and they are currently on a six-game home winning streak dating back to Jan. 23. The 12 home wins are tied for the most in a single season in school history.
CSU joins Liberty University and Gardner-Webb University as the three teams from the Big South who will be representing the league in postseason action this season. LU won the postseason conference tournament and earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, and GWU earned an automatic bid into the WNIT by winning the regular-season league championship. This is the first time in conference history that three members of the Big South will be making a trip to the postseason.
Appalachian State (19-12, 14-6 SoCon) finished in a tie for second place in its conference, and the Mountaineers lost 66-53 March 7 to Samford University in the semifinals of the SoCon Tournament. They are 9-5 on the road this season.
“We have a lot of respect for the SoCon. We play a lot of members from that conference every season,” Goodenough said. “We know that Appalachian State will be a great opponent. They had a great season in their conference, and I look forward to playing them inside the Buc Dome on Thursday.”
The Mountaineers own a 2-0 record all-time against Charleston Southern, and this will be the first meeting between the schools since the 1991-92 campaign.