TOWSON, Md. — They’re still practicing and still playing in late March.
"It feels good. A lot of other teams can’t say that they are still playing," said Towson University guard Aleah Nelson. "We’re just fortunate enough to play to prove that we are as good as we are."
The Towson women’s basketball team hosts Old Dominion Friday night in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament. It’s the program’s second trip to the WNIT. The other was in 1969. This tournament punctuates an already historic season. The Tigers' 24 wins are a new single-season program record.
"We accomplished some goals that we set out to meet and it feels really good. It feels good as a coaching staff. It feels good for the young ladies to be able to experience that and to feel some pride that we’ve accomplished so many things," said head coach Diane Richardson.
While the Tigers are laser focused on Friday's game, there is still residual emotion left over from Saturday's controversial exit from the Colonial Athletic Association tournament. Up one point on Delaware, the Tigers were called for a questionable foul as the clock expired. The Blue Hens made two free throws with .4 seconds remaining in regulation. Towson was eliminated with a 56-55 loss.
"The last game, we got robbed, in our opinion, and I think that being able to play in the WNIT and trying to get that game back is just kind of exciting for us as a team," said forward Allie Kubek.
"It was tacky-tacky. Do we think we got robbed? Yes. But I think the main point is to not leave it in anybody’s hands," added Nelson.
Richardson wants her team to treat this as the ultimate learning experience
"We’ve got to get past it and the girls have got to get past it. One of the things that I was trying to teach them is that life, sometimes, is not fair. By getting this WNIT bid it will help them to move past it even more."
Tip time Friday night at SECU Arena is set for 7:00 p.m.