ORONO, Maine — The season is not over, after all, for the University of Maine women’s basketball team.
The Black Bears learned late Monday night that they will be among 16 teams competing in the Women’s Basketball Invitational postseason tournament. Coach Richard Barron’s team (16-14) is the No. 7 seed in the East Region and will host Patriot League representative and No. 2 seed Bucknell (16-13) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
According to the WBI website, teams that bid to host games must pay $10,000 for first- and second-round games and $12,000 for the semifinal and final rounds. The tournament has been in existence since 2009.
Since host teams keep all game-related revenue, UMaine can recoup the money with ticket sales and related concessions.
Should the Black Bears win on Wednesday, they would take on the winner of Wednesday’s game between No. 3 Bryant and No. 6 Fairfield on Saturday or Sunday.
UMaine’s season appeared to have come to a close on March 7 when the Bears dropped a 63-62 overtime decision to Hartford in the quarterfinals of the America East tournament at Albany, N.Y.
This represents UMaine’s first appearance in a postseason game since the Black Bears faced West Virginia in the 2005 Women’s National Invitational Tournament. It is the program’s 11th postseason tournament appearance.
UMaine is coming off its best season since the 2004-2005 campaign, when the team went 20-10, and posted one of the best turnarounds in Division I women’s basketball this season. The Bears improved their win total by 12 games over the 2012-2013 campaign.
The Bears finished in fourth place in the America East standings this winter. The Bears’ 16 wins, and their 10 conference victories, equaled the program’s total for the previous three seasons combined.
Tickets for Wednesday’s opening-round game go on sale Tuesday morning. Fans can buy tickets by visiting Ticketmaster.com or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. For more ticket information, contact the Cross Insurance Center box office at (207) 561-8333.
Stay tuned to GoBlackBears.com for additional information as it is made available.
For more information on the Women’s Basketball Invitational tournament, click here.