PEORIA, Ill. -- Bradley will host an on-campus postseason basketball game for the first time since the 1982 Men's NIT, when the women's basketball team welcomes Ohio Valley Conference member Tennessee Tech to Renaissance Coliseum Wednesday for a 7 p.m. Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI) first round game.
The Braves (17-15 overall) will be in postseason play for the second time in three years, after receiving the #3 seed in the WBI's East Region. The winner of Wednesday's matchup will advance to the quarterfinals to face the winner of Friday's matchup between #2 seed Minnesota and #7 Charleston Southern.
Tickets for Wednesday's game are available at the Bradley Athletics Ticket Office in Renaissance Coliseum and are $8 for adults and $4 for children (K-12). BradleyBraves.com will provide a subscription video stream in addition to an interactive live chat on the live stats feed.
Bradley will be taking part in the WBI for the second time in three years after advancing to the 2010 WBI quarterfinals with a 69-59 victory against 2009 NCAA Tournament runner-up Louisville in the Cardinals' final game at Freedom Hall. In addition to being the first home postseason game in program history, Wednesday's contest will be the 15th home tilt of the year; marking the most home games for the Braves since the 1984-85 season.
Tennessee Tech (17-16 overall) finished fourth in the OVC with an 11-5 league record and will be Bradley's third OVC opponent this season. Bradley fell to WNIT participant Eastern Illinois 58-59 at home on Nov. 15 and defeated fellow WBI participant SIU Edwardsville (66-60) on Dec. 6 in the final non-conference road game of the year.
The Golden Eagles have won 11 of 14 games heading into the first-ever meeting between Bradley and Tennessee Tech. In the postseason for the second consecutive year, Tennessee Tech was in the WNIT in 2010-11 after claiming the Ohio Valley Conference regular-season title last year. This season, the Golden Eagles fell in the OVC championship game to UT-Martin.
Senior Leah Kassing (Mt. Sterling, Ill./Brown County) scored a game-high 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting in last Friday's narrow loss (54-58) to Missouri Valley Conference regular-season champion Missouri State. The first BU player to score in double figures in 26 games or more in a season since Carrie Coffman had 28 in 1994-95, Kassing's 448 points this year are the most by a Brave since 2001-02 and her 250 rebounds rank as the seventh-best season total in school history.
Fellow senior MacKenzie Westcott (Williamsburg, Iowa/Williamsburg) looks to continue her strong play at home after turning in double-doubles in three of her last seven games at Renaissance Coliseum. Westcott is averaging 9.3 points and 10.1 rebounds per outing over her last seven home games.
Sophomore Catie O'Leary (Janesville, Wis./Parker/Wisconsin) has averaged 14.4 points and nearly five rebounds per game over the last seven games to push her season scoring average 10.4 per contest. Freshman Shronda Butts (Des Moines, Iowa/East) earned a spot on the Valley's All-Freshman Team and is averaging 13.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and three assists per tilt over the last seven.