The women’s basketball team started the season participating in the 2012 Preseason Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT). The annual, invitation only tournament includes some of the nation’s top women’s Division I basketball teams.

Invitations are based on the team’s expected success in the upcoming season, relevant past performance, conference standings, fan base, and geographical location. Only one institution per conference is allowed in the tournament in a given year.

This year’s teams included Davidson, Delaware, Duquesne, Georgetown, Grambling State, Iowa, Kennesaw State, Liberty, Memphis, Middle Tennessee, Morehead State, North Carolina, Northern Illinois, Sacred Heart, and Sam Houston State.

Eleven of the teams are coming off of postseason play, including Illinois State. ISU’s berth in the 2012 Postseason WNIT put the Redbirds in the postseason for the sixth-consecutive season, with five WNIT appearances and NCAA Tournament action in 2008. Illinois State finished last season 19-13 and took second in the Missouri Valley Conference after being picked to finish sixth. Head coach Stephanie Glance was named the 2012 Valley Coach of the Year, while Jamie Russell was named the Newcomer of the Year.

There are four starters returning to this year’s team, which hosted Morehead State in the first round of the Preseason WNIT this month. Follow the team’s at Tickets can be purchased at the site or by calling (309) 438-8000.