Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Manhattan Women Face Familiar Coach in WBI

And, one more MAAC team headed to the post season, although this one was reported on a little bit earlier.

The Manhattan women have officially accepted a bid to play in the Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI) for the second straight season, and will host a first-round game with 18-13 Robert Morris Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Jaspers' on-campus Draddy Gymnasium.

Manhattan head coach John Olenowski revealed, in the post-game discussions with media after the Jaspers lost their quarterfinal-round MAAC tournament game to Siena, that his team would be playing in the event.

Late Monday night, though, that became official for Manhattan and its 16-15 overall record.

The Manhattan women are the seventh team from the conference -- four men's teams, three women's -- participating in some level of national post-season play.

The Jaspers finished third in the MAAC during regular-season play with a 10-8 record. Their top players are 6-foot-0 post player Lindsey Loutsenhizer (11.9 points, 6.0 rebounds per game) and 5-10 Schyanne Halfkenny (10.9 points, 4.8 rebounds.

Robert Morris finished fourth in the Northeast Conference this season, losing to eventual conference champion Sacred Heart in the semifinal round of the NEC tournament. The Colonials are led by forward Artemis Spanou, who averages a double-double (17.0 points, 10.8 rebounds).

In a nice subplot, Robert Morris head coach Sal Buscaglia coached Manhattan for five seasons, and guilded that program to its most-recent NCAA tournament appearance (at the end of the 2002-03 season). After that season he moved over to Robert Morris.

The game's winner will advance to meet the winner of a matchup between New Hampshire and Holi Cross in the quarterfinal round of the event either on March 17 or 18.

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