first_img Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 12, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: [email protected]center_img For the fourth straight season, Syracuse will compete in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament after failing to earn a bid to the NCAA tournament. The Orange will go on the road to take on Hartford in its first-round matchup on Friday.Syracuse (18-14) fell short of its goal to reach the NCAA tournament, struggling through an up-and-down season and going just 6-10 in Big East play. The Orange has not made the NCAA tournament since 2007-08. SU begins play against Hartford (19-12) in the WNIT on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Chase Family Arena in Hartford, Conn.The two schools have met once before, in Syracuse’s last trip to the NCAA tournament in 2008. The Orange lost to the Hawks 59-55 in the first round.Syracuse has fared well in the WNIT recently, winning three games to advance to the quarterfinals in each the last two years. Last year, the Orange’s season came to an end against Toledo on the road after it won three straight games at home.In 2011-12, after opening the season with six consecutive wins, the Orange never won more than three games in a row the rest of the way. Head coach Quentin Hillsman’s group showed flashes of its potential when it upset No. 21 DePaul on Feb. 21. But the Orange lost three of its last four games following that marquee victory to finish the season a mediocre 18-14.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse is led by All-Big East second-team selections Kayla Alexander and Iasia Hemingway. The veterans key SU’s high-low offense and their play will be crucial in the postseason. Alexander is second on the team with 14.6 points per game and also grabs 7.3 rebounds per game. The senior Hemingway paces the Orange with 15.3 points per game and pulls down 6.4 rebounds per game.This season will be the eighth straight that Hartford has made it to the postseason, going to the WNIT three times and the NCAA tournament five times. The Hawks played three Big East schools during the season, losing to Notre Dame, St. John’s and Providence.The winner of the SU-Hartford game will move on to play the winner of Fairfield and Drexel in the second [email protected]last_img

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