YSU Women To Host Duquesne In First Round of WNIT

Indiya Benjamin and the Penguins were invited to play in the WNIT
Indiya Benjamin and the Penguins were invited to play in the WNIT

The Youngstown State women's basketball team will play host to Duquesne, which finished third in the Atlantic 10 Conference, in the first round of the Women's NIT on Thursday at the Beeghly Center.

The game is presented locally by Medical Mutual of Ohio, the official healthcare provider of Youngstown State University.

The official game time for the contest will be announced on Tuesday.

Tickets for the contest are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 3-12. The YSU Athletic Ticket Office will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday. Tickets will be available at the Beeghly Center one hour prior to game time on Thursday.

Both teams finished with identical 21-10 records for the 2014-15 campaign. ESPN.com has the Dukes as one of the first four out of this year's NCAA Tournament field which was announced earlier this evening.

The winner of the YSU-Duquesne game will play the winner of the Stetson-Richmond game in the round of 32. The contest between the Spiders and Hatters is Friday at Stetson.

YSU last played Duquesne in Wilmington, N.C., on Nov. 25, 2006. The Penguins lead the all-time series 8-5, including a 6-0 mark at home. The last contest in Youngstown between the programs was on Jan. 5, 1991. The 2006 meeting was the lone matchup between the two team's in that span.

It marks the second time in three years that Youngstown State will play in the Women's National Invitational Tournament.

Youngstown State joins fellow conference members Wright State and Cleveland State in the field of 64. YSU and Cleveland State are the first Horizon League programs to earn an at-large berth since the tournament starting awarding automatic bids to each conference in 2007. 

"I'm so proud of our team for the work they put in to clinch our second postseason appearance in the last three years," Coach John Barnes said. "I'm thrilled for Heidi (Schlegel) and Tish (Latisha Walker) that their careers will continue, and they were the driving force behind our push toward the end of the year."

YSU is 1-0 in home WNIT contests having defeated Indiana State in the opening round in 2013. The Penguins beat the Sycamores, 63-51.

Thursday's game will be carried live on 570 WKBN. TV and video streaming information will be released in the near future.