March Madness: Wright State to face Texas A&M in NCAA women’s tournament

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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The Horizon League champions will play Texas A&M Friday

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Next up in a historic season for Wright State women’s basketball is a trip to College Station, Texas.

That is where the 13th-seeded Raiders will take on No. 4 Texas A&M at 4 p.m. on the Aggies home floor Friday

The game will be shown on ESPN2.

>>RELATED: Raider men excited for opportunity to make some history of their own

The winner will play No. 5 Marquette or No. 12 Rice two days later in College Station with the winner of that game headed to the regional tournament at Wintrust Arena in Chicago the following weekend.

The Final Four will be held April 5 and 7 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla.

The Aggies (24-7) were ranked 14th in the final Associated Press poll of the season after finishing third in the SEC. They are 13-3 at home and led by Chennedy Carter, a 5-foot-7 sophomore guard who led the SEC in scoring at 22.5 points per game.

Carter missed the SEC tournament with a hand injury, but the school announced Monday she will play in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

The Raiders (27-6) earned the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament with a 55-52 win over Green Bay last Tuesday night in the Horizon League tournament championship in Detroit.

The Wright State women’s basketball team, including seniors (center) Mackenzie Taylor and Emily Vogelpohl, celebrate a win over Green Bay in the Horizon League championship game at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. Jose Juarez/CONTRIBUTED
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The Wright State women’s basketball team, including seniors (center) Mackenzie Taylor and Emily Vogelpohl, celebrate a win over Green Bay in the Horizon League championship game at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. Jose Juarez/CONTRIBUTED

They will enter the Big Dance on an eight-game winning streak and carrying a 9-5 road record. They were 6-0 on neutral courts.

Wright State is headed to the NCAA tournament for the second time.

Third-year head coach Katrina Merriweather was an assistant on head coach Mike Bradbury’s staff in 2014 when the Raiders were a 14 seed and lost 106-60 at No. 3 seed Kentucky.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Raiders beat Green Bay in Horizon League tournament championship game.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Though they have not been to the Big Dance since, the Raiders are riding a six-year postseason streak thanks to four straight WNIT appearances following that 2014 breakthrough.

>>RELATED: Seven players, one coach representing Dayton area in 2019 NCAA tournament 

None of the current Raiders were on the 2014 team, but two assistant coaches were players on that squad — Abby Jump and Kim Demmings — and Merriweather hired them in hopes they can impart some wisdom on the current squad via their first-hand experience.

Wright State won the 2019 Horizon League tournament for the second time and an outright regular season championship for the first time despite losing HL Player of the Year Chelsea Welch to graduation.

Without the Fairmont grad’s 20.6 points per game, the Raiders were a more balanced bunch, getting 9.0 points per game or more from five different players.

Mackenzie Taylor led that group at 11.8, and she was followed closely by Michal Miller, who tallied 11.6 points per game.

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