No. 5 Women's Basketball Travels to Wisconsin-Oshkosh for NCAA First, Second Rounds

BRACKET | INTERVIEW

St. Louis, Mo., March 3, 2014 – The No. 5-ranked Washington University in St. Louis will travel to Oshkosh, Wis., for 2014 NCAA Division III First and Second Round action Friday-Saturday, March 7-8. The Bears face the University of Northwestern-St. Paul at 4:30 p.m. Friday in the First Round.

Host and No. 14 University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh faces No. 17 Saint Mary's University of Minnesota in the second regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Friday. The winners of Friday's games will square off in the Second Round at 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $9 for adults, $7 for senior citizens and $5 for students and college students with IDs, while children ages two and under get in free. The ticket window opens 90 minutes before the first game.

Washington University (23-2, 13-1 UAA) earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament after winning the 20th University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship in program history. The Bears are making their 26th overall and 25th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance under 28-year head coach Nancy Fahey. Washington U. owns a Division III-best 62-22 record in its previous 25 appearances, including 10 Final Fours and five National Championships.

The Bears' first-round opponent, Northwestern-St. Paul, is making its first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history. The Eagles (20-7, 10-4 UMAC) earned an automatic bid by defeating top-seeded University of Minnesota Morris 71-33 in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) title game Saturday. Northwestern-St. Paul ranks fourth in NCAA Division III averaging 9.3 three-pointers per game, and is 15th with a team free-throw percentage of .755.

Three players average double figures for the Eagles, led by senior guard Mollie Sir, who averages 14.8 points, 2.8 three-pointers and 3.9 assists per game while shooting .357 from beyond the arc. Junior guard Chanel Madson adds 14.2 points and 2.6 three-pointers made per game. Senior forward Jessica Fife, the UMAC Tournament Most Valuable Player, averages 12.1 points, 3.0 assists and a team-best 9.4 rebounds per game, including 3.5 per game on the offensive glass. As a team, the Eagles have made at least three three-pointers in every game this season, while shooting .349 from three-point range, but average 15.8 turnovers per game and have a turnover margin of -0.48.

Wisconsin-Oshkosh (24-3, 13-3 WIAC) earned a 75-69 win over the University of Wisconsin-Superior Saturday in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Tournament Championship. The Titans earned the league's automatic bid and will make their 11th NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2000. UW-Oshkosh is 21-9 in its previous 10 trips, including a Runner-Up finish in 1995 and the NCAA Championship in 1996. Washington U. and Wisconsin-Oshkosh have played six times, including four times in the NCAA Tournament. The Bears lead the all-time series 4-2 and are 3-1 in NCAA Tournament games against the Titans.

Saint Mary's (24-3, 20-2 MIAC) received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament after falling to No. 15 University of St. Thomas 71-58 in the tournament championship of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Saturday. The Cardinals claimed the regular-season MIAC title and tied the school record for most wins in a season with 24. SMU will make its third NCAA Tournament appearance, and first since 1986. The Cardinals are 2-2 in their previous two trips to the NCAA Tournament.