Women’s Basketball Tournament Champions | Horizon League
After earning the first seed in the Horizon League tournament due to finishing as regular-season champions, the Wright State Women’s basketball team beat IUPUI 53-41 in the finals of the Horizon League tournament, winning the League post-season and a ticket to the NCAA Championships.
The team battled through Northern Kentucky, Cleveland State, and League Player of the Year Macee Williams with IUPUI to claim the Horizon League title for the second time in three seasons.
“I’m so proud of this group,” Head Coach Katrina Merriweather said. “We knew that [IUPUI] would come out and compete… it means a lot of us to be here right now.”
Angel Baker led the scoring for the Raiders in all three games, averaging 25 PPG on 53 percent shooting to earn the All-Tournament MVP. For Baker and Merriweather, being from Indianapolis made this a homecoming victory.
“It means a lot to represent this city,” Baker said. “It’s even more special when you’re at home.”
Baker was backed up by senior Tyler Frierson, whose points in the paint and offensive rebounds through all three games earned her a spot on the All-Tournament team. The All-Tournament team was rounded out by IUPUI’s Macee Williams and Rachel McLimore, as well as Cleveland State’s Mariah White.
Throughout the season, players had to sacrifice a lot in order to make the season happen. They weren’t able to travel or see family members when they normally would have. For Merriweather and Baker, it means everything for the team.
“We had to sacrifice a lot… not seeing family, not being able to go places,” Baker said. “That moment is like… ‘We really did it. We did it.’… the hard work paid off.”
“It means everything to me for them,” Merriweather said. “It just is a testament to them being able to stay focused, locked in, and realize that this experience was worth it.”
Who are they playing?
With middle-to-lower seeds in the NCAA tournament reserved for winners of mid-major leagues, the Lady Raiders will most likely earn a 14-11 spot for the games in Texas.
The most likely matchups there for the Raiders would be Georgia, Mississippi State, Indiana, or Arizona, based off of NCAA predictions.
However, Wright State may not be the only Horizon League Representative in this year’s NCAA tournament. With how well IUPUI played in the postseason against the Raiders, star player Macee Williams may have earned the Jags enough respect to steal a sixteenth spot.
Williams and McLimore could earn enough respect for the committee to be one of the last four in, though they would face some of the toughest teams in the country in the first round.
However, with the Jags winning the Horizon League last year but being denied an NCAA berth due to the tournament being cancelled, any game in Texas would mean the world to this team.