The Missouri State women’s basketball team will be returning to the postseason for the second consecutive year after receiving an at-large bid to the 2011 Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) Monday evening. To kick off the 17th post-season tournament trip in school history, the Lady Bears will host a first-round game against Rice, Thursday (March 17) at JQH Arena.

Game time will be 7:05 pm.

Missouri State (23-10) saw its bid to capture the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title fall short with Sunday’s loss to UNI in the championship game. Under the direction of fourth-year head coach Nyla Milleson, the Lady Bears concluded the regular season in a three-way tie for second place in the MVC standings.

Rice (18-13) enters the WNIT after finishing third in Conference USA during the regular season. Thursday’s game will be the first-ever meeting between the Lady Bears and Owls.