CARBONDALE — SIU's women's basketball season isn't over, after all.

The Salukis (16-14) accepted a bid to compete in the 16-team Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI) late Monday night, and will play Wednesday at Wisconsin-Milwaukee (20-11). Tipoff at the Klotsche Center in Milwaukee is set for 7 p.m.

The contest will mark the first-ever meeting between the Salukis and the Panthers. Wisconsin-Milwaukee has a postseason resume that includes wins over the University of Wisconsin, Loyola and Illinois State. The winner of Wednesday's game will face the winner of Campbell (21-9) and St. Francis (Pennsylvania) (16-14) on Saturday or Sunday.

"We proudly accepted an invite to the WBI tournament," fourth-year coach Cindy Stein said in a release from the school. "Postseason tournament experience is invaluable especially with eight underclassmen. It also is a reward to our three seniors who have been outstanding leaders in the development of this program. Postseason wins take tremendous heart and work ethic and we want to make Saluki Nation proud."

SIU competed in the WBI last season, falling at Western Illinois on a last-second shot. The Salukis could return nine of their top 12 players next season.

It will be only the second back-to-back postseason appearances for the program in school history, and the first in 30 years. SIU made the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance under legendary coach Cindy Scott following the 1985-86 season, and followed that up by going 28-3 during the 1986-87 season, advancing to the NCAA Tournament for a second-straight season and winning the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament game, a 70-56 win over Louisiana Tech.

Wisconsin-Milwaukee last played in the postseason in 2016, when it lost 87-80 to Minnesota in the WNIT. The Panthers also played in the 2006 and 2001 NCAA Tournaments.

The Salukis come off a 73-60 loss to Wichita State at the Missouri Valley Conference tournament in Moline Friday. Wisconsin-Milwaukee last played March 6 in Detroit at the Horizon League tournament, where it fell 66-59 to Wisconsin-Green Bay in the semifinals. 

SIU is 11-11 all-time against current Horizon League opponents, with its last win Nov. 18, 2000, over Illinois-Chicago 57-40. 

todd.hefferman@thesouthern.com

618-351-5087

On Twitter: @THefferman

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Sports reporter

Todd Hefferman has covered SIU athletics since 2008. A University of Iowa grad, he is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and a Heisman Trophy voter.

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