Penguins to Play at Cincinnati on Thursday in First Round of WNIT

YSU Women's Basketball (Photo by David Dermer)
YSU Women's Basketball (Photo by David Dermer)

The Youngstown State women's basketball team will play at Cincinnati on Thursday in the first round of the 2019 Postseason Women's NIT. Tip time and broadcast information will be announced on Tuesday.

The Penguins will be playing in the WNIT for the third time in program history, and all three times have come in the last seven seasons.

"We are extremely excited to be invited to participate in the WNIT," YSU head coach John Barnes said. "The team has worked very hard to earn this opportunity to play against some of the best teams in the country. Sarah Cash, Alison Smolinski and Melinda Trimmer, our three seniors, have done an outstanding job leading us to this postseason berth, and I couldn't be happier for them to get another opportunity to represent YSU in this national tournament."

Youngstown State was last in the WNIT as an at-large selection in 2015 when it lost an opening round contest to Duquesne, 72-54, at Beeghly Center. The Penguins earned the Horizon League's automatic bid in 2013, and they went on to beat Indiana State 63-51 at Beeghly Center in the first round. YSU's run ended at Toledo in the round of 32 with a 61-43 loss at Savage Arena.

Youngstown State is 22-9 this season, and it has set program records with 13 Horizon League victories and 16 home wins. YSU lost 55-53 in the semifinals of the Little Caesars Horizon League Women's Basketball Championship to Green Bay, which earned the conference's automatic bid to the WNIT.

Cincinnati earned the American Athletic Conference's automatic bid into the WNIT after going 21-10 overall and 12-4 in conference play. The Bearcats finished third in the standings behind UConn and UCF, which are both headed to the NCAA Tournament. YSU will play at Cincinnati for the first time since the 2012-13 season and will take on the Bearcats for the first time since 2013-14.

The winner between Youngstown State and Cincinnati will play either Northern Iowa or Minnesota.

YSU is playing in a postseason tournament for the fifth time in the last seven seasons. In addition to playing the WNIT in 2013 and 2015, the Penguins played in the Women's Basketball Invitational in 2016 and 2018.