After wrapping up the regular season last Saturday, the Urbana University basketball teams are gearing up for a quick turnaround to make a postseason run in the Mountain East Conference Tournament.
Both teams will appear in Tuesday’s first round, which will be hosted at campus sites. All 12 teams qualify for the postseason with the top four earning first-round byes.
The UU (12-14) women earned the sixth seed and will host 11th-seeded West Virginia Wesleyan (7-19) at 7 p.m. on Tuesday inside the Grimes Center. The Blue Knights upset Notre Dame College in the regular-season finale on Saturday and are riding an 11-game improvement in the wins column from a year ago.
“We just have to continue playing with the same level of excitement and energy that we’ve had recently,” UU Women’s Coach Haley Ducey said. “We’re coming off one of our best games of the year, and we will try to keep that momentum rolling into the tournament. Wesleyan is also coming off a big win and beat us on our home court earlier in the season so we can’t take them lightly. They have great size and can really rebound the basketball, so we’ll focus on competing on the glass for 40 minutes.”
“Playing at home will be a major advantage for us,” Ducey added. “I’m really looking forward to seeing our fans come out to support us Tuesday night.”
UU’s Danie Shafer and Kennedy Boggs were each voted All-MEC performers, the league office announced Monday afternoon.
On the men’s side, UU (2-25) enters the postseason as the 12th seed and will challenge fifth-seeded Charleston (15-13) at the Charleston Civic Center. Tipoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
“March is always the most exciting time of the year in college basketball,” UU Men’s Coach Rob Summers said. “We’re young and we’re embracing the underdog mentality with nothing to lose. I’ve been extremely proud of the way our guys have stuck together and the level of enthusiasm that is still being displayed. We’ll come out with energy and see what we can do. We led Charleston by 18 in our first game and lost by two, so we know we can play against them. Anything can can happen at this time of the year.”
After the first round, remaining tournament games will be played at the Charleston Civic Center on March 3-6.