FORT MYERS, Fla. - The FGCU-USF women's basketball contest on Friday will tip at 7 p.m. ET in Alico Arena in the first round of the WNIT.
Tickets are now on sale for $12 apiece and will be first come, first served. Fans can purchase tickets by visiting the FGCU ticket office in person, by calling the ticket office at 1-239-590-7145 or by ordering online at FGCUAthletics.com.
All FGCU students will be admitted free of charge at the student gate with a student ID, courtesy of FGCU Athletics. USF students will be charged $5 with their student ID. Parking at the game will also be free of charge.
Online video streaming of Friday's game can be found on ASun.TV.
The Eagles, who posted a 21-8 overall record to date, earned the automatic bid to the WNIT after finishing second in the A-Sun regular season and will participate in the tournament for the first time in program history.
By earning a spot in the WNIT, the Eagles became the first team in history to play in the WNIT in their first year as a Division I program. No current A-Sun team has won a post-season game as a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference. The last A-Sun team to win a post-season game was FIU in the first round of the 1998 NCAA Tournament, where the Panthers defeated Marquette 59-45. FIU was also the last A-Sun team to win a game in the WNIT. The Panthers defeated Butler 79-75 (OT) in the first round of the 1993 WNIT.
USF, FGCU’s first round opponent, holds a 16-15 record, a 5-11 league record and a 3-7 road record. The Bulls fell in the quarterfinals of Big East Conference to NCAA Tournament participant, West Virginia. The Eagles have never faced USF in women’s basketball.
Smesko and the Eagles are currently 9-5 (.643) in non-conference play and 11-2 (.846) overall at home this season.
The Women's National Invitation Tournament is an annual tournament involving 48 of the nation's top women's Division I basketball teams. All games, including the semifinals and championship, are hosted by participating schools at their home facility. Every round is single elimination.
The Postseason WNIT features 16 first-round games, followed by 16 second-round games, eight third-round games, four quarterfinal games, two semifinal games, and the championship. The championship game is televised. The event offers 31 automatic berths, one to each conference, and 17 at-large berths. The WNIT field and bracket is announced late on the evening of the NCAA Tournament selections.
The 48-team tournament is a single-elimination event with all games played at sites of host schools. The WNIT is committed to offering deserved opportunities to women's basketball programs, and the tournament expanded to 48 teams in 2007. For the first time in history, each of the nation's 31 conferences was guaranteed a spot in the Postseason WNIT. At the same time, those automatic berths did not affect the number of deserving at-large teams, which has stayed around 17 throughout the years.
WNIT Parking Information for Friday’s 1ST Round Game vs. USF
With a highly anticipated crowd, parking will be at a premium for fans attending this Friday night’s WNIT 1st Round FGCU women’s basketball game vs. USF. Alico Arena Management and the FGCU Police Department encourage fans to arrive early. Game time is 7:00pm and Alico Arena will open its doors at 5:30pm.
Fans are strongly encouraged to use the main entrance of the FGCU campus (located on Ben Hill Griffin Pkwy.) and will be directed to the best available parking lot upon their arrival. Once the arena lots are full, fans will be directed to park in lots 4 and 5 just near the Student Union Building and will have to walk approximately 10 minutes to the arena. There will be no shuttle transportation available. For tickets or directions to Friday’s game, please call the Alico Arena box office at 239-590-7145 or visit www.fgcuathletics.com and click on Tickets/Arena.