BALTIMORE—The UMBC women's basketball team (20-11) will continue its historic 2010-11 season with a Women's National Invitation Tournament first-round matchup with the University of Florida (18-14) Friday in Gainesville, Fla., at 7 p.m. As America East regular-season champions, the Retrievers received the conference's automatic bid to the WNIT.
UMBC matched a school record with 20 wins in 2010-11 and posted its best-ever conference mark at 13-3. After starting the season 1-5, the Retrievers won 19 of their next 24 games before falling to Hartford in the America East semifinals. As the top-seeded squad in the America East tournament, UMBC was guaranteed a spot in the WNIT pool as the highest-finishing team in the regular season.
Florida earned an at-large bid into the WNIT after finishing 18-14 on the season and falling to eventual conference championTennessee in the SEC quarterfinals.
The Retrievers and Gators have only met once previously and have not faced off since Dec. 31, 1986, a 71-52 Florida victory at the Florida International Holiday Classic.
It will be the Retrievers' first-ever appearance in the WNIT and the program's second berth into postseason play, as the 2007 squad advanced to the NCAA Tournament after upsetting the top three seeds in the America East Championship that year to earn the conference title.
The winner of Friday's contest will face the winner of the first-round game between Florida GulfCoast and Drexel.