RICHMOND, Va. – The outstanding turnaround season of the VCU Women's Basketball team isn't over yet. The Rams learned late Monday night they had been invited to the 2014 Women's National Invitation Tournament.
VCU (22-9) will take on Ivy League runner-up Princeton (20-8)in the first round on Thursday, March 20 at Jadwin Gym in Princeton, N.J. The start time of Thursday's game will be announced on Tuesday. The winner will advance to face the victor of a contest between Seton Hall and American.
For the Rams, it's a return to postseason play following a one-year hiatus. It's the sixth WNIT berth (1995, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014) in program history and seventh postseason appearance overall for VCU.
Under second-year Coach Marlene Stollings, VCU has improved by 11 wins over the 2012-13 season. Led by All-Atlantic 10 Conference First Team and All-Defensive Team selection Robyn Parks and A-10 All-Rookie pick Keira Robinson, the Rams have showcased one of the nation's most entertaining styles of play.
Parks is the A-10's leading scorer and rebounder, while Robinson is second nationally among freshmen in assists. The Rams, who average nearly 76 points per game, also feature one of the most productive freshmen classes in the country. Nearly 43-percent of VCU's scoring has been generated by true freshmen.
Princeton finished a game behind Ivy League Champion Penn this season. The Tigers are led by a trio of All-League players in Blake Dietrick, Kristen Helmstetter and Alex Wheatley. Dietrick averages a team-best 14.4 points per game.
This season, the Tigers scored top-100 RPI wins over Marist, Navy, Alabama, Penn and Harvard. The Rams and Tigers share one common opponent, Saint Joseph's. VCU split a pair of meetings with the Hawks, while Princeton fell to Saint Joseph's 74-65 on Nov. 26.
Thursday's contest will be just the second ever between these two programs. Princeton earned a 78-76 decision over VCU on Jan. 3, 1987 in Princeton.