St. Joe's opens WNIT with Coppin St.

St. Joseph's, which made a surprising run in the Atlantic Ten Conference tourney, received a bid to the Women's National Invitation Tournament late Monday night.

The Hawks (19-13) will host a first-round game at 7 tomorrow night against Coppin State (24-7), the regular-season champion in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

St. Joseph's upset regular-season champion George Washington before falling to Xavier in the A-10 tournament title game in Cincinnati.

Coppin State, in Baltimore, had a 49-game MEAC win streak that Morgan State ended in overtime of the conference tourney semifinals.

The Eagles' coach, Derek Brown, is a Camden native. Players with local ties are Shalamar Oakley, a graduate of Woodrow Wilson in Camden; Central High's Danielle Anders; and Engineering and Science's Racquel Green.

Coppin State's top player is Reading High graduate Rashida Suber, who averages 18.9 points.

The winner will play South Florida, which beat St. Joseph's, 80-76, in overtime, in the title game of the Hawks' tournament in December.

The WNIT game gives Hawks seniors Ayahna Cornish, Whitney Ffrench, Erica Pollock, and Zoya Pavlovskaya at least one more home appearance. St. Joseph's has played in the WNIT in four of the last five years.

Contact staff writer Mel Greenberg at 215-854-5725 or