June 7, 2018
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) -
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The Duel In The Desert women's basketball tournament returns to the Cox Pavilion for the seventh time, as the field for this upcoming season's version, co-hosted by UNLV and Basketball Travelers Inc., was announced Thursday. This year's event will feature eight teams in two four-team divisions and will run over a span of three days, from Dec. 19-21 on the UNLV campus.
Highlighting this year's field are a pair of teams that reached the postseason in 2017-18, in the host UNLV Lady Rebels and the Utah Utes of the Pac-12. The two squads played each other in the 2018 Postseason WNIT, with Utah claiming a first-round victory in Salt Lake City. Both are also in the Rebel Division of the Duel In The Desert, as UNLV will open the tournament on Dec. 19 against Hawaii. Utah will face SEC member Florida in the first game of the day Dec. 20, with the two winners set to meet Dec. 21.
This is Utah's second appearance in the tournament after reaching the championship game of the Scarlet Division in 2015. Hawaii returns for a second straight year and third overall, while Florida makes its first appearance.
"Basketball Travelers takes so much pride in putting on one of the TOP women's basketball tournaments every season at UNLV," said UNLV head coach Kathy Olivier. "It’s another great field of teams this year. We open with Hawaii, a physical and tough team, and then turn around and play a Power Five team (Florida/Utah). It’s definitely going to get us ready for Mountain West play."
The Desert Division features three Power Five schools as Kansas and Washington State will face off in the second game Dec. 19, followed by Northwestern and Wichita State. The consolation and championship game for the Desert Division will be held Dec. 20, following the Rebel Division game between the Gators and the Utes.
Big Ten member Northwestern is playing in the Duel In The Desert for the first time, though the Wildcats did appear in the 2011 tournament when it was a MTE event called the BTI Invitational. For Kansas, Washington State and Wichita State, it will mark the first appearance for all three teams.
FloHoops will stream all of the tournament games live at www.FloHoops.com for the second straight year.
“We’re very excited about the field we’ve put together for this tournament,” said tournament director Becky Adams. “This event offers strong competition to all the teams and gives them the chance to enjoy Las Vegas. We’re excited to work with UNLV in hosting this event and showcasing their incredible campus.”
2018 Duel In The Desert Complete Schedule
Dec. 19, 2018
Hawaii vs. UNLV at Noon
Dec. 20, 2018
Florida vs. Utah at Noon
Dec. 21, 2018
Loser #1 vs. Loser #2 at Noon
Winner #1 vs. Winner #2 at 2:30 p.m.
Dec. 19, 2018
Kansas vs. Washington State at 2:30 p.m.
Northwestern vs. Wichita State at 5 p.m.
Dec. 20, 2018
Loser #1 vs. Loser #2 at 2:30 p.m.
Winner #1 vs. Winner #2 at 5 p.m.
All game times subject to change
All times Pacific Standard Time