The WNIT pushed it about as close as they could with their “late Monday night” guarantee, but we can now begin to take a closer look at what the 2010 tournament field has in store.
As we said before, the Lady Toppers will meet Illinois on Friday in Diddle Arena. According to Western media relations, game time is tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. but will be officially announced Tuesday.
Western hasn’t played the Fighting Illini since the 2001-2002 season, when the Lady Toppers lost 91-84 in the first round of the WNIT at Illinois.
Illinois began its season 11-4 but has lost 10 of its last 15 games. The Illini are led by 6-3 senior center Jenna Smith, who averages 18.1 points and 11.3 points per game.
Freshman forward Karisma Penn (10.6 ppg) and senior forward Lacey Simpson (9.7 ppg) are also viable scoring threats.
According to media relations, tickets will become available at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, both in person at the WKU Ticket Office and by phone at 1-800-5 BIG RED. Season ticket holders have until noon Friday to secure their same season seats, and other tickets will be available for $6-13.
Students can purchase tickets for $5.
If Western beats Illinois, the Lady Toppers will meet the winner of Marquette/Eastern Illinois sometime between March 20-23.
Western could be in the running to host that game. If Eastern Illinois wins, the Lady Toppers should get to host as the Panthers drew just over 700 fans for a home game in the Ohio Valley Championship on March 2.
Marquette could give Western a run for its money in the hosting race, averaging 1,565 fans per home game. The Lady Toppers average 1,418 fans at home.