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Women's Basketball Meets Notre Dame
"The more things change, the more they remain the same," reads a portion of the Notre Dame website devoted to tradition.
The University of Hartford women's basketball team is taking in plenty of history and tradition, having arrived in South Bend, Indiana, Wednesday in preparation for Thursday evening's preseason WNIT semfinal game with the Fighting Irish.
The Hawks earned the trip to Notre Dame via a pair of home victories over the weekend to tip off the season.
On Friday night, after a new banner was hung at Chase Arena in Reich Family Pavilion to celebrate last season's conference crown and NCAA Tournament appearance, the Hawks downed Manhattan, 64-45.
Less than 48 hours later, Jen Rizzotti's crew was back on its home floor, and the Hawks downed Long Island University, 54-45.
Junior Ruthanne Doherty followed a 19-point performance on Friday night with an 18-point, 12-rebound effort in Sunday's contest.
Notre Dame, ranked second in the nation, is also 2-0 after a dominating 99-34 win over Indiana State on Sunday night.
The Women’s National Invitation Tournament is an annual invitation-only tournament involving 16 of the nation’s top women’s Division I basketball teams. A team may participate no more than once in a four-year period. Additionally, only one institution per conference may play in the tournament in the same year.
Teams are selected for the Preseason WNIT based on their program’s expected success for that season, their relevant past, their conference standings, fan base, and geographical location. The teams that compete well in the Preseason WNIT typically go on to finish very strong and advance to postseason play.
Notre Dame and Hartford have never played one another in basketball. The Hawks and Fighting Irish have squared off off in athletics competition five previous times, three in women's soccer (2001-03) and twice in lacrosse (1989 and 2003).
Thursday night's game tips off at 7 p.m. and can be heard live on WWUH (91.3 FM and wwuh.org). The game can also be viewed live and free of charge on und.com.