Peter Collin / Managing Editor
The CCSU women’s basketball team was awarded their first ever trip to the National Invitational Tournament on Monday. The trip to the NIT is the women’s first trip to postseason play beyond the Northeast Conference Tournament.
The Blue Devils (18-13) were automatically awarded a spot in the tournament after the Sacred Heart Pioneers won the NEC championship over the St. Francis (PA) on Sunday. As the second seed during the regular season, the Blue Devils gained the automatic bid.
Their first match up will be against Boston University on Thursday, March 19, time has yet to be announced.
“Playing in the postseason will be a great experience for our players,” head coach Beryl Piper said in an interview with CCSUBlueDevils.com.
The Blue Devils finished last during the 2007-08 season and were picked to finish there again this season by the NEC Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
But the Blue Devils completed the largest turnaround in NCAA women’s basketball this season, improving by 14 wins from the ‘07-‘08 when they won four games.
It was the Blue Devils first trip to the NEC Tournament since 2005 when Robert Morris defeated CCSU 72-39 in the quarterfinals. The Blue Devils come up short in this year’s NEC Tournament, falling in the semifinals against the Red Flash 73-62.
The Blue Devils are lead by a talented core of young players including sophomore Kerrianne Dugan who was named to the All-NEC second team and freshman Shontice Simmons who was a selection for the NEC All-Rookie team.