March 8, 1999
KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University's women's basketball team will host the University of Michigan in a first round contest of the Women's National Invitational Tournament. The game will be played in University Arena beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday (March 11).
Thursday's contest will be the first NIT game hosted by WMU in either men's or women's basketball. Limited reserved seating tickets are available for $7. General admission seats will cost $5.
WMU is 19-9 overall and finished third in the MAC with an 11-5 conference record. The Broncos had only seven wins the previous season. The season-to-season improvement was one of the two best ever in WMU and Mid-American Conference women's basketball.
Michigan is 17-11 overall and was 8-8 in the Big 10 Conference regular season. The winner of the WMU-Michigan game will play the winner of Michigan State versus Akron in the second round.
In the MAC tournament, WMU defeated Eastern Michigan, 95-68, in a quarterfinal contest played in Kalamazoo and lost to Kent State, 60-50, in the conference semifinals played in Toledo.
Three Broncos selected to All-MAC teams
Junior Shelsea Erving was named to the All-MAC first team, WMU's first such selection in three years. Senior Kelly DeLong earned all-conference honorable mention accolades, and rookie Brooke Gallert picked up MAC all-freshman team honors.
MAC Semifinals: Kent State 60 Western Michigan 50
Kent State University outscored the Broncos, 17-8, in the final six minutes of the MAC women's basketball semifinals to break open a close game and post a 60-50 win. The Mid-American Conference semifinals were played Feb. 28 at the SeaGate Centre in Toledo, Ohio.
WMU shot just 26 percent from the field in the first half, but trailed by only two points, 25-23, at the intermission. Kent State was held to only 31 percent shooting in the first half, but improved to 56 percent from the field in the second half. The Broncos were able to keep the game close by hitting 15 of 17 free throw attempts. WMU also led the taller Kent team in rebounds, 36-35, for the contest.
WMU senior Kelly DeLong opened the scoring in the second half to tie the contest at 25. Neither team was able to gain a significant advantage through the first 14 minutes of the second half. The Broncos took the lead, 41-40, with 6:45 remaining to play before Kent pulled away on a 17-6 run.
WMU junior Shelsea Erving, who was named to the All-MAC first team, led all scorers with 24 points. She also had a game-high 11 rebounds. Senior Star Harris scored 10 points and had seven rebounds for WMU.
MAC Quarterfinals: Western Michigan 95 Eastern Michigan 68
The Broncos led by as many as 33 points en route to a 95-68 victory over Eastern Michigan in the quarterfinal round of the Mid-American Conference tournament.
The game was played Feb. 26 in Kalamazoo in front of 1,249 fans. WMU scored the first seven points in the contest and led the entire game.
Senior Kelly DeLong led the Broncos with 26 points, one shy of her career high. Shelsea Erving added 20 points and 12 rebounds. Brooke Gallert had 15 points, and Star Harris had 11 rebounds. Brianne Gallert had 12 assists, and Danielle Meuller came off the bench to score eight points.
Media contact: Geoff Brown; 616 387-4138; email@example.com
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