SDSU USD College basketball
The University of San Diego hosts a first-round WNIT game Thursday. Photo credit: Thomas Christensen via

Two local women’s college basketball teams, playing in the WNIT, are on a collision course to meet each other as action opens in San Diego Thursday.

First up, the University of San Diego (17-13) hosts an opening-round contest in the post-season tournament at 6 p.m. Thursday against Long Beach State (23-9), which finished second in the Big West.

San Diego State (23-10), enjoying their first postseason appearance in 10 years, hosts UC Irvine (24-6) at 6 p.m. Friday. The Anteaters (24-6) claimed the Big West regular season championship.

If both teams win, they will meet in the WNIT’s next round.

San Diego, which finished third in the West Coast Conference, is 10-6 all-time against Long Beach, in an all-time series that features a 2015 WNIT first-round victory for the Toreros. The two teams last met on Dec. 6, 2018, when San Diego logged a 60-56 victory.

The Toreros will compete in the WNIT for the second consecutive season and for the eighth time under head coach Cindy Fisher. The selection is the ninth postseason appearance under Fisher and the 11th in program history.

Behind the best defense in the Mountain West, SDSU, under head coach Stacie Terry-Hutson, tied for third in the conference. Their record and finish are the program’s best since the 2012-13 season.

SDSU is 21-8 all-time vs. UC Irvine, but the teams have split their last four meetings. They last played Nov. 14, 2021, a 68-60 Aztec win in Irvine.

This is the 13th time that SDSU has played in the postseason and third time they have played in the WNIT.

The Aztecs’ last WNIT appearance was in 2013 when they beat UC Santa Barbara 69-46 at home before losing at BYU 69-58.

SDSU advanced to the 1989 WNIT championship game after wins over Radford (99-92, 2 OT) and Murray State (97-81), but lost the title to Oregon 67-64.

There are 35 teams in the 2023 WNIT that won at least 20 games and 17 teams that either won or tied for first place in their conference’s regular-season slate.

The opening round begins Wednesday and concludes Friday. The second round opens Saturday and the third March 22. The quarterfinals begin March 25 and the semifinals on March 28, with the title game to follow April 1.