Missouri women's basketball selected to play in WNIT

Monday, March 17, 2014 | 11:02 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — For the second consecutive year, the Missouri women’s basketball team is headed to the postseason, despite missing out on the NCAA tournament.

Missouri received a berth to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament on Monday night. The Tigers play at Creighton in the first round on Thursday. The time of the game has not been announced.

This will be Missouri’s sixth appearance in the WNIT. Missouri’s loss to Eastern Illinois in the first round of last year’s WNIT dropped the Tigers to 3-5 in WNIT games.

The WNIT committee chooses 32 teams on top of the 32 automatic berths that are earned by being the team in each conference that finishes the highest but does not make the NCAA Tournament. Any Division I team that has an overall record of .500 or better is eligible to receive an at-large berth.

This is the first time the Tigers have made back-to-back postseason appearances since 2006 and 2007. The last time Missouri made the NCAA Tournament was 2006.

The Tigers finished this season 17-13 overall and 6-11 in Southeastern Conference play. Missouri scored wins against then-No. 25 Georgia and then-No. 16 Vanderbilt but couldn’t make it past Mississippi State in the first round of the SEC tournament. Their absence from the NCAA tournament, also announced Monday, was not a surprise.

Creighton received an automatic berth into the WNIT as the top team from the Big East Conference that did not make it into the NCAA tournament. Creighton finished the season 19-13 overall and 12-6 in conference play.

Creighton is led by sophomore Marissa Janning, who averages 17.8 points per game. The Bluejays lost to St. John's in double overtime of the second round of the Big East Tournament on March 10.

The winner of Thursday's game will play either South Dakota State or Butler.

Of the 14 SEC teams, eight made the NCAA Tournament, with Tennessee and South Carolina earning No. 1 seeds. Auburn and Mississippi State made the WNIT.

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