UTEP Earns NCAA Automatic Berth to NCAA Championship
March 12, 2012
IRVING, Texas - Conference USA regular season and tournament champion UTEP was awarded an automatic berth to the 2012 NCAA Women's Basketball Championship.
The Miners, who will be making their second trip to the NCAA Championship, are the No. 13 seed in the Kingston Region. UTEP will face No. 4 seed Penn State in Baton Rouge, La., on Sunday, March 18 at 4:15 p.m. CT on ESPN2.
UTEP also appeared in the 2008 NCAA Championship when the Miners advanced to the second round, beating Western Kentucky, 92-60, before falling to host Stanford, 88-54.
C-USA Coach of the Year Keitha Adams guided UTEP to a C-USA-best 29-3 overall record and a 15-1 finish in league play. The Miners are lead by All-C-USA first team pick in senior Gloria Brown, who averages 11.9 points and 8.8 rebounds and post a league-best .538 field goal percentage. The power forward was named Most Valuable Player of the 2012 C-USA Tournament after contributing 15.3 points and 9.0 rebounds over the three games. Directing traffic for the Miners is sophomore guard Kelli Willingham. She averages nearly three assists and shoots nearly 40 percent from the 3-point line, second best in C-USA.
Penn State (No. 11 AP / No. 12 ESPN/USA Today) sports an overall record of 24-6 on the season and won its sixth Big Ten regular-season crown by forging a 13-3 mark in league play.
PSU guards Maggie Lucas and Alex Bentley were both named to the All-Big Ten first team after averaging 19.1 and 14.2 ppg, respectively. Lucas rates second in the Big Ten in scoring and is among the top-25 in the NCAA in scoring, three-point field goal percentage (.411) and free throw percentage (.887).
All NCAA games will be televised on the ESPN family.