LYNCHBURG, Va. - The Liberty women's basketball team will tip off its fourth appearance in the Preseason Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) and its 2012-13 season Nov. 9 at 7 p.m., when the Lady Flames play at Duquesne.
The Lady Flames' first-ever matchup against the Dukes will feature two teams which both won 20 or more games and participated in postseason tournaments in 2011-12. Liberty went 24-9 and made its 14th NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship appearance, while Duquesne finished 20-12, earning its fourth straight trip to the Postseason WNIT.
The winner of the Liberty-Duquesne clash at the A.J. Palumbo Center will face the victor of a first-round meeting between Davidson and North Carolina in the Preseason WNIT second round on Nov. 11. Meanwhile, the losing team will play a pair of consolation games the weekend of Nov. 16-17.
The 16-team tournament will culminate with the championship game, Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. Last year, the Preseason WNIT championship game foreshadowed the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship title contest, with Baylor defeating Notre Dame, 94-81.
Liberty returns three starters from the 2011-12 season, highlighted by first team All-Big South honoree Devon Brown and Big South All-Freshman Team member Reagan Miller. Meanwhile, Duquesne has four starters back in the fold, including second team All-Atlantic 10 pick Wumi Agunbiade and Atlantic 10 All-Defensive Team member Jocelyn Floyd.
Duquesne, of the Atlantic 10 Conference, is located in Pittsburgh, Pa. The Dukes are coached by Suzie McConnell-Serio, who was an Olympic gold medalist and WNBA standout during her playing career.
Liberty is making its fourth Preseason WNIT appearance, after previously taking part in the tournament in 1999, 2003 and 2008. In 2008, the Lady Flames picked up their first Preseason WNIT victory, edging UC Riverside 45-44 in a consolation contest.
The remainder of Liberty's 2012-13 schedule will be announced later this summer.