By McNeese Assistant SID Pam LaFosse
LAKE CHARLES-- After advancing to the Women's Basketball (WBI) championship game a year ago, the McNeese State Cowgirls have earned their second consecutive WBI bid and will travel to face Northern Kentucky at 6 p.m. on Thursday in first round action.
The Cowgirls, the No. 6 seed in the West Region, are one of 16 teams selected to the field and will play the winner out of No. 2 seed College of Charleston and 7th-seeded USC Upstate game on Saturday should they advance to the next round. A possible matchup with 4th-seeded Stephen F. Austin awaits in the semifinals should both teams continue to advance. SFA knocked the Cowgirls out of the Southland Conference Tournament in the semifinals three days ago.
Grand Canyon is the No. 1 seed in the West Region while Eastern Michigan is the No. 1 seed in the East Division.
McNeese (19-13) will be making its fourth consecutive national postseason appearance (NCAA 2011 and 2012) and WBI (2013 and 2014) and are coming off its 15th Southland Conference appearance, including a fourth straight semifinal setting.
"We are looking forward to be able to continue our season. Our girls were not ready to be done. We had such a strong week at the conference tournament and we were all disappointed with the way it ended," said head coach Brooks Donald Williams.
Northern Kentucky, located in Highland Heights, Kentucky, posted an overall 17-12 record and a 13-5 in its inaugural season in the Division I ranks. The Norse are members of the Atlantic Sun Conference where they finished third in the league behind Florida Gulf coast and Stetson.
"We had such an incredible experience in the WBI last year playing for a championship. We are honored to be back in their field of teams. I am so proud for this team to continue this special tradition and make Cowgirl history making our fourth consecutive postseason tournament. I am just thrilled for our girls and for McNeese."