The Dukes are led by Nadine Morgan and Shanna Price. Morgan averaged 13.6 points and 7.2 rebounds a game this season. She led the team in both categories scoring 395 points and pulling down 208 rebounds.
The team has very balanced scoring with three players averaging double figures for the season.
James Madison nearly earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament but they fell to Old Dominion 66-62 in the Colonial Athletic Association’s championship game. It was Old Dominion’s 10th straight conference title.
32 teams made the WNIT including New Mexico who beat Temple 78-59 at the Lady Lobo Classic on Dec. 22. New Mexico faces Houston in the first round of the tournament, which is played at the home sites of the team with the higher RPI.
Staley sees that New Mexico game as a turning point in the season and her young coaching career.
“Since that game we know what it’s like,” Staley said. “We’ve familiarized ourselves with that atmosphere. I think we’re more mature.”
A rematch against New Mexico would have to come in the championship of the tournament. The Lady Lobos are on the opposite side of the bracket as Temple.
The western bracket is a tougher bracket with their 16 teams averaging an RPI of 70. By comparison, the eastern bracket has an average RPI of 80.
The west is led by Loyola-Marymount (44) and the SEC’s Alabama (45). Indiana (52) is the top-ranked team in the eastern bracket. Illinois, another Big 10 school, is 66th. Mississippi State (76), also of the SEC, would meet Illinois in the second round if both teams win.
If Temple gets into the third round, they would meet the winner of that game for a chance at the WNIT Final Four from March 23-25. The championship is on either the 27th or 28th.