WashU WBB Selected as an At-Large Bid to NCAA Tournament

Photo by Danny Reise/WUSTL Photos
Photo by Danny Reise/WUSTL Photos

St. Louis, Mo., Feb. 26, 2018 –
Washington University in St. Louis received an at-large bid into the 2018 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament and will play against Wheaton (Ill.) College in the First Round on Friday, March 2 at 5:30 p.m. (ET) in Holland, Mich.

No. 5 Hope College will serve as the host of the NCAA First and Second Round set for Fri.-Sat. March 2-3. The Bears selection marks the 29th-consecutive season in which WashU advanced to the NCAA Tournament. In NCAA postseason play WashU has accumulated a 71-26 all-time record, which is the most victories in Division III history.

WashU defeated Wheaton 83-74 during the 2016-17 NCAA Second Round in the WU Field House and is 7-0 all-time against the Thunder. Three members of Wheaton's starting lineup return from last years NCAA Tournament team including senior guard Maggie Dansdill, junior forward Devin Kyler and senior guard Kelly Lawson.

WashU (18-7)

Under the direction of first year head coach Randi Henderson, the Bears were selected as an at-large bid after finishing the regular season with an 18-7 overall record and 9-5 in University Athletic Association (UAA) play. WashU's UAA leading 78.7 points per game average is the most by a Bears unit in more than 20 years.

Five Bears are listed within the UAA's top-20 scoring leaderboard led by junior forward Madeline Homoly (16 ppg). Homoly recorded a double-double during the Tournament victory over Wheaton last year with 26 points and 11 rebounds while senior guard Natalie Orr scored 12 points with six rebounds and two assists.

Wheaton (22-5)

Wheaton is making its 12th NCAA Tournament appearance, and is 6-11 in postseason play. The Thunder were an at-large bid after falling to Illinois Wesleyan in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) Championship, 62-60. Prior to the championship game Wheaton was on a 16-game winning streak.

Hope (26-1)

Hope earned its 19th NCAA Tournament appearance with a 68-62 win over Trine in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Championship game. The Flying Dutch are 34-16 all-time in postseason play including National Championships in 1990 and 2006.

If both WashU and Hope advance it would be the fourth meeting of the two teams in NCAA Tournament play. The Bears are 3-2 all-time against the Flying Dutch, most recently securing a 56-52 win during the Second Round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

Cornell (Iowa) (20-5)

Cornell earned its second NCAA Tournament berth as an automatic bid out of the Midwest Conference after posting a 14-2 record during conference play. The Rams have reached 20 wins in four of the past six seasons under head coach Brent Brase. Cornell went 1-1 during its first Tournament action in 2013. The Bears and Cornell have never previously met in school history.