RALEIGH, Nc. (WDVM) – Mount St. Mary’s women’s basketball will face Longwood University Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the inaugural First Four round of the women’s NCAA Tournament.

“It’s all about taking in the moment,” said Mount graduate student guard, Kayla Agentowicz. “It’s not something that every team gets to experience.”

This is Mount’s second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament after winning back-to-back Northeast Conference titles – a championship that earns an automatic bid to the dance.

Last season the Mountaineers were a 15-seed and traveled to San Antonio, Texas where they faced, and fell, to top-seeded Maryland in the first round.

“It’s night and day from last year’s tournament,” said Kendall Bresee who leads the team in points, rebounds, and assists per game. “Last year, we were just kind of in like a village with everyone else and it was completely different. We were playing the number one seed right off the bat, where this is the first time for a play-in game, so, I don’t want to say that we know what to expect but, maybe a [we have] a little bit more experience.”

While this is Mount’s fourth trip to the Tournament in program history, it is Longwood’s first in the Division I era. The Lancers come into the Tournament on a nine-game winning streak and as Champions of the Big South.

“Obviously, it’s the different level of competition [from last year], right? But Longwood’s a really really good ball club,” said Mount first-year head coach, Antoine White. “They’re playing some really good basketball, especially on the offensive side [but] our defense is really locked in as of late so something’s gotta give.”

The Lancers have averaged 77.8 points per game during that nine-game stretch, while the Mountaineers, currently on a six-game winning streak, have averaged just 63.2 points per game, but have held teams to 53 points or less during that time.

“It’s going to be one of those game, especially early on, [where it’s] ‘who can impose their will and really take over this game.”

Mount and Longwood have a little bit of history as there have been 11 prior meetings between the two teams, with most of those games occurring when both program’s were Division II.

The Mountaineers won eight straight games against the Lancers from 1985-88 when both programs were a member of the Mason-Dixon Conference. The two teams last met in 2009, and then in 2007 before that, with the Lancers taking both of the matchups.

The winner of Thursday’s game takes on #1 seed N.C. State at 2 p.m. Saturday (Mar. 19) in Raleigh.