Miami to play in WNIT for second straight season

Megan Duffy is 2-for-2 — two seasons as Miami’s women’s basketball coach, two postseason appearances.

For the first time since the early 1980s, the RedHawks are making back-to-back tournament appearances after receiving their second straight Women’s National Invitational Tournament bid on Monday night.

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Miami (23-8) will host Western Kentucky of Conference USA at 7 p.m. on Thursday. The Hilltoppers are 18-14.

Led by Duffy, a Chaminade Julienne graduate, and Mid-American Conference first-team pick Lauren Dickerson, the RedHawks won at least 20 games in a second consecutive season for the first time since the 1981-1982 and 1982-1983 seasons. They haven’t received postseason tournament berths in consecutive seasons since qualifying for three straight Midwest Association of Intercollege Athletics for Women (MAIAW) tournaments from the 1979-1980 through 1981-1982 seasons.

Tickets for Thursday’s game went on sale Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. at Fans also can buy tickets at Millett Hall or by calling (513) 529-4295.

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The RedHawks went 13-5 in MAC play to earn the third seed in the conference tournament. After a first-round bye, they beat Toledo, 72-54, before losing, 74-48, in the semifinals to second-seeded Ohio at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

“We’re really optimistic, really excited,” senior guard-forward Kendall McCoy said after the Ohio game about Miami’s postseason prospects. “Just looking back overall how this season has gone, hopefully we’ll get some type of postseason.”

“The way this program is going, we deserve to keep playing in March,” Duffy said.

After losing in the MAC Tournament semifinals last season, the RedHawks lost at home to Duquesne, 69-56, in a WNIT first-round game.

The Miami-Western Kentucky winner is scheduled to meet Wednesday’s Ohio State-Morehead State winner in the second round, due to be played sometime between March 23-26.

Dayton and Cincinnati also reached the 64-team field.

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