The Women’s National Invitational Tournament announced that ACU will face the University of Texas-El Paso Thursday, March 17 in the first round of the tournament.
Tip off is set for 8:05 p.m. in El Paso.
“Our goal for the entire season has been to win conference and to be the Southland representative for the WNIT,” head coach Julie Goodenough said. “That’s the opportunity we have been blessed with and we’re excited to give it our best shot.”
The Wildcats are coming off one of their best seasons to date. Their .897 winning percentage is the second-best in program history, while claiming the team’s first Southland Conference Championship with a 26-3 and 17-1 conference record.
ACU received its WNIT letter on March 3 after clinching a share of the conference title with a 66-58 win over the University of Incarnate Word the day before. The Wildcats went on to become the undisputed conference champions on March 5 in their 63-52 victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
UTEP is coming off its own historic season. The Miners finished the season 26-4 and 16-2 in the Conference USA. The Miners most-recent defeat took place Friday to Old Dominion in the second round C-USA Championships, 66-54.
Much like the Wildcats, who recorded a 14-game win streak, UTEP put together multiple season defining winning streaks. The Miners won nine-straight games to start the season before losing 47-40 at Long Beach State on Dec. 18. UTEP followed the loss up with a 10-game winning streak from Dec. 19 to Jan. 30.
ACU and UTEP have not played each other since 1993, with the Miners taking the 82-72 win.
“Their a heck of a team and have had a heck of a year, but I think I speak for our entire team when I say that we’re just excited to finally know who we’re playing,” Goodenough said. “We’ve been practicing for about a week not really sure what type of playing-style to prepare for. But now we know and we look forward to the challenge.”
The winner of Thursday’s game will go on to face either Southern or Arkansas State on a date to be decided between March 19-22.