by Missouri State Athletics
Missouri State’s 2019-20 women’s basketball schedule began to take shape Thursday with the announcement
of the Lady Bears’ inclusion in the 16-team Preseason Women’s National Invitation Tournament field.
The November event features a three-game guarantee for all teams, with first-round matchups and the bracket to be announced later this spring. All games are hosted by participating schools, with the championship game televised on CBS Sports Network.
“We’ve got a solid group of established programs from conferences with a national presence, but our mid-major teams have a proven ability to make noise and be very tough to handle,” said WNIT director Renee Carlson. “While everyone wants to eventually have a memorable postseason, teams realize they better bring their best from the very beginning of the campaign.”
The 26th annual Preseason WNIT field includes Boise State, Davidson, DePaul, Drexel, Miami (Ohio), Missouri State, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Pacific, Portland State, Prairie View A&M, South Alabama, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, UAB, UC Irvine and UMKC. All told, 12 of the 16 teams reached the postseason in 2018-19.
Missouri State previously appeared in the Preseason WNIT field in 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010.
The Lady Bears return 12 players from a 2018-19 squad that finished 25-10 overall and 16-2 in the Missouri Valley Conference. MSU won the MVC Tournament and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in school history after defeating DePaul and Iowa State in the Big Dance. The Lady Bears ended the year ranked 24th in the final USA Today Coaches Poll.
The remainder of MSU’s non-conference schedule will be completed at a later date, while the MVC slate is released in September.