Women's Basketball: Pack the House Winners


By Phil Caskey for MSNsportsNET.com
March 17, 2010

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University has been named the BIG EAST Conference winner in the NCAA Division I “Pack the House” Challenge and is one of only 33 schools recognized nationally.

“Pack the House” is a national effort in which conferences and institutions compete to build attendance. NCAA Division I women’s basketball marketing staffs selected a home game and designated that date as a “Pack the House” game with the goal of setting an attendance record. One winner from each of the 32 conferences and one from a group of independent institutions were named. Selections were based on marketing plan creativity and attendance criteria. The NCAA will donate $500 to the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center on behalf of the WVU Department of Intercollegiate of Athletics. More than half of the Division I membership – 181 institutions – participated in the effort that attracted more than 511,000 fans.

West Virginia hosted 6,754 fans, the fourth-largest crowd for a women’s basketball game in WVU Coliseum history, at its home game against Georgetown, on Feb. 14, which also coincided with the Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Association’s (WBCA) ‘Pink Zone’ initiative, to raise breast cancer awareness.

All told, WVU had five of the top 20 women’s basketball crowds in Coliseum history this year.

"Winning the ‘Pack The House’ contest is a great tribute to our fans and the support they have given us all season long,’ WVU Athletic Director Ed Pastilong says. “It also is a tribute to the hard work our department put into the event, and to the fine season our women's basketball team turned in. It was a great win that day against Georgetown in women's basketball, and everyone showed great support to such an important cause in breast cancer awareness."

“I want to thank our fans that came out and supported us against the Hoyas,” coach Mike Carey said. “The Pack The House and Pink Zone initiatives are very important to us and the fans that came out that day also saw a great college basketball game.”

“We believe this initiative has served as a catalyst to increase attendance, create excitement and enhance exposure for our women’s basketball programs,” said NCAA Vice President of Division I Women’s Basketball Sue Donohoe. “Institution personnel committed a great deal of time, effort and resources to this program and the results were extremely positive. This program provides great ‘best practices’ and examples of success for institutions that are seeking to ‘grow’ women’s basketball and these success stories will continue to strengthen efforts in the future.”

Winners of the 2009-10 NCAA “Pack the House” Challenge are:

CONFERENCE WINNERS

America East – Hartford

Atlantic Coast – Virginia

Atlantic Sun – Jacksonville

Atlantic 10 – Xavier

Big East – West Virginia

Big Sky – Weber State

Big South – Winthrop

Big Ten – Ohio State

Big 12 – Nebraska

Big West – Long Beach State

Colonial – Delaware

Conference USA – Tulsa

Great West – North Dakota

Horizon – Youngstown State

Ivy – Dartmouth

Metro Atlantic – Marist

Mid-American – Central Michigan

Mid-Eastern – Maryland-Eastern Shore

Missouri Valley – Illinois State

Mountain West – TCU

Northeast – Bryant

Ohio Valley – Eastern Illinois

Pacific-10 – UCLA

Patriot – Army

Southeastern – Kentucky

Southern – Appalachian State

Southland – Sam Houston State

SWAC – Prairie View A&M

Summit – Oral Roberts

Sun Belt – Middle Tennessee State

West Coast – San Francisco

WAC – Louisiana Tech

Independents – Longwood

OVERALL WINNER

Virginia – Atlantic Coast Conference




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