The University of New Mexico Women's Basketball Team returns to Dreamstyle Arena — The Pit on Thursday night at 7 p.m. against the University of Denver Pioneers in their first round match up in the Women's National Invitational Tournament. 

The Pioneers (17-13, 10-6 Summit) are lead by second-year head coach Jim Turgeon, who is getting his first opportunity as head coach of a Division I program at Denver. DU finished third in the Summit league and received the conference's automatic bid into the WNIT. Madison Nelson leads the Pioneers in scoring, averaging 16 points per game. She is also the team's leading rebounder, pulling down 8.9 boards per game. 

Host sites in the WNIT are determined by the team's attendance, which gives the Lobos a good opportunity to host as long as they remain in the field, with every game in the tournament coming on campus sites. Denver averages 80 points per game, one of the top offenses in the country. The deep attack is potent for the Pioneers, shooting 39.2 percent from three. 



As was the case in the Lobos Mountain West Tournament loss, Jaedyn De La Cerda and Jayla Everett will split duties at point guard with Aisia Robertson out for the season with a torn ACL. 

This is UNM's second straight appearance in the WNIT with last year's squad losing in the third round to TCU. Tickets for the game are $10 for the general public, $4 for students and children and free for kids under two. 

Cameron Goeldner is a senior reporter and photographer for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers men’s soccer, women’s basketball, softball and the Albuquerque Isotopes, but also contributes content for all other sports. He can be reached at sports@dailylobo.com or on Twitter  @goeldfinger.