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WBK: SDSU Prepares For WNIT Championships

March 18, 2014, 10:45 PM by Travis Fossing

WBK: SDSU Prepares For WNIT Championships
BROOKINGS, SD -

A longshot to earn an invitation to the NCAA Tournament, the SDSU Women's Basketball team watched as the bracket was unveiled region-by-region, without the Jacks.  Hours later, the WNIT came calling, offering SDSU an invite and an opening round home game against Butler.

"The value of the WNIT is you don't have those top ten, twelve programs in the country that are probably just so difficult, it's going to be hard to beat them, in this tournament.  Everybody in this tournament could win a championship.  There's nobody in here that can't compete with the other teams.  So, you're really playing a bunch of like-minded schools that have had similar years.  It's going to be difficult, because they're all very good, but nobody is just unbeatable," SDSU Head Coach Aaron Johnston said.

"There's a good opportunity for us to win.  We get a home game.  We play well at Frost, and it's just more chances to win," SDSU Senior Steph Paluch said.

After five consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament, SDSU's reign as the Summit League's representative ended at the hands of rival USD.  But, the Jacks' run of postseason appearances will stretch to eight straight seasons, as State meets Butler in the WNIT.

"Butler's tough.  They've got a really good inside game.  Both post players for that group can score inside and outside.  They pound it inside, they rebound, they defend well...they're just a team that knows how to win," Johnston said.

But, will the Bulldogs, one of five Big East teams in the WNIT, figure out how to win at Frost Arena?

"They're is nothing like playing at Frost.  Our fans are the best, and to get a postseason game at home is even more exciting," SDSU Freshman Chynna Stevens said.

"We play well at Frost.  We always draw a good crowd.  I know people are excited.  I've gotten lots of comments since it was announced last night that people are excited.  It's just another chance to see us play, and another chance to be at home," Paluch said.

The Jacks and Bulldogs will open WNIT play Thursday night at 7:00 at Frost Arena.  The winner will play either Creighton or Missouri in round two, at a site, date, and time to be determined.

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