A week after the announcement the Sam Houston State women’s basketball team would be taking part in the Preseason WNIT, the Bearkats now know who the opening opponent will be.

On November 9, the Kats will travel to Delaware to take on the Blue Hens. The game will tip off at 7 p.m.

“From what I know, they are a very good team coming off last year,” SHSU head coach Brenda Nichols said. “We are excited for this opportunity and look forward to being able to play some intense and exciting competitors.”

Delaware is the hands-on favorite to repeat as Colonial champs and make a postseason run with All-American Elena Delle Donne returning for her final season with the starting lineup intact. Delle Donne led the nation last year in scoring, averaging 28.1 points a game for the 31-2 Blue Hens, who finished the season ranked 14th in the country.

 Delle Donne, was a consensus first team All-American this past season, earning honors from the Associated Press, Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), United States Basketball Writers Association, Naismith Award, and John Wooden Award. She was a national Player of the Year finalist for the WBCA, Naismith, and Wooden awards as well. She also earned the CAA Player of the Year Award this season for the second time in the last three years.

“You can’t really measure yourself as a player without going up against the best,” Nichols said. “There is no doubt she is one of the best and will be a true challenge for our team.”

The Preseason WNIT features a three-game guarantee format. The event opens Nov. 9 with first-round games. Second-round games will be played Nov. 11 and sites will be announced following the first round results; semifinals will be Nov. 14-15; and the championship is set for Sunday, Nov. 18.  Teams that lose in the first two rounds will play consolation games on the second weekend, Nov. 16-17. All games are hosted by participating schools.

The winner of the SHSU-Delaware game will play the winner of the Georgetown-Sacred Heart game.

Eleven of the 16 teams are coming off of postseason berths. The remaining field features Davidson, Duquesne, Grambling State, Illinois State, Iowa, Kennesaw State, Liberty, Memphis, Middle Tennessee, Morehead State, North Carolina and Northern Illinois.