THE FLATS — Georgia Tech women’s basketball received an at-large bid Monday night to the 2017 Women’s National Invitation Tournament, marking the 10th postseason appearance in 11 years for the Jackets. Tech (17-14) will host Jacksonville in the first round at McCamish Pavilion on Thursday, March 16. Tip is slated for 7 p.m.
“We are a postseason tournament program,” commented head coach MaChelle Joseph. “We are excited to be playing in our 10th post-season in the last 11 years. It is important for our young team to understand what we have to do to compete at a high level in March.”
This will be just the second meeting between in program history between Georgia Tech and Jacksonville. The Jackets took the lone meeting back on Dec. 10, 2006 in McCamish Pavilion, 81-52.
Tech is making its third-straight appearance in the WNIT and its seventh overall. Through six appearances in the postseason tournament, the Jackets have posted a 7-5 mark, including advancing to the second round of the tournament last season. In 2016, Tech opened the tournament defeating Mercer before falling to Tulane, both games taking place in McCamish Pavilion.
The Yellow Jackets won the 1992 NWIT at the Cal Farley Coliseum in Amarillo, Texas, defeating Green Bay Wisconsin, Nebraska and Hawaii. This is the fifth time that the Yellow Jackets will host a first round game in the WNIT. Tech hosted first round games in 2000, 2002, 2015 and 2016. Tech took part in the WNIT/NWIT in 1992, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2015 and 2016. This is the third time under Joseph that the Jackets will play in the WNIT.
The postseason berth marks the 10th appearance in the postseason during Joseph’s 14 years as a head coach. Joseph, who is the all-time winningest coach at Georgia Tech, led the Jackets to seven NCAA Tournaments, including six-straight from the years 2007-12. In 2012, the Jackets made school history, advancing to the program’s first-ever Sweet 16. Joseph owns a 7-9 record in the postseason and is making her third appearance in the WNIT as a head coach.
Georgia Tech capped the 2016-17 season with a 17-14 overall record and went 5-11 in ACC play. The Jackets were led offensively by Zaire O’Neil who averaged 12.8 points per game through 31 games and earned the start in 20. Freshman Francesca Pan put together an impressive collegiate debut, starting 29 of the 30 games in which she appeared, ranked second in scoring on the team averaging 10.9 ppg and led all freshmen scorers in the ACC. Pan became just the second Yellow Jacket in women’s basketball history to be named the ACC Freshman of the Year. Additionally, Pan was named to the All-Freshman Team and earned five ACC Rookie of the Week honors throughout the season.
Tickets for Thursday night are available at $3 for all fans. Georgia Tech students will receive free admission with their student ID. Fans can purchase tickets by calling 1-888-TECH-TIX or through RamblinWreck.com.