Women’s basketball enters NCAA tournament

The North Alabama women’s basketball team is preparing to compete in the NCAA tournament March 9 at noon against sixth-seeded Lee.

This will be the team’s first appearance since the 2012-13 campaign.

The team is the No. 3 seat in the tournament. The region is made up of eight teams, three of which are automatic qualifiers and five at-large bids.

The team ended their season with a record of 24-4, winning the most regular season games in the school’s history. This ending led to their placement.

Head basketball coach Missy Tiber said she and the team had high expectations coming into this year.

“A team doesn’t get to be 24-4 without a lot of quality players and people of high character,” Tiber said.

She said thanks to her players and the coaching staff, this year has been enjoyable.

“I think it’s just a testimate to a lot of hard work by a lot of people,” Tiber said.

Tiber said because of all the work the team put in all year, they locked themselves into the third position.

“I think as a whole, we achieved maybe greater achievements than some people expected out of us,” Tiber said.

She said she is very pleased with what the team has done.

“We’re not finished yet, I feel like this team still has some wins left in us,” Tiber said.

She said the game plan for the tournament is to be competitive. She does not anticipate for the games to be anything less than battles for the win.

“We all have the same goal in mind and we all have good chemistry when it comes to the court,” said sophomore forward Brittany Panetti.

Sophomore guard Ansley Eubank said there are cliques on the team, but in the locker room and on the court, they are united because they all know the team means something important to every player.

Eubank said the motto they live by during playing season is, “We’re all in.”

Panetti said the game plan for the tournament is to win and play strong.

“I think this team embodies the word ‘team,’” Tiber said.

Tiber said when working together, there are many individual sacrifices the players have to make, and her girls do that.