Fort Hays State Women’s Basketball enters conference play this week, hosting No. 21 Central Missouri on Thursday, Dec. 4 at Gross Memorial Coliseum. Tip off for the MIAA opener is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the 21st meeting in history between the two schools.
FHSU and UCM have put together matching 5-1 records on the season, both dropping contests to NSIC opponents earlier in the year. UCM fell in its season opener to Minnesota State-Mankato, 70-68, while the Tigers dropped a 70-68 matchup to then-No. 10 Concordia-St. Paul. The Jennies have played spoiler to FHSU’s postseason hopes the past three seasons, knocking the Tigers out of the MIAA Tournament in 2012, 2013 and 2014, with the two most recent matchups coming the MIAA Semifinals. The last time UCM came to Hays, FHSU knocked off the then-23rd ranked team, 95-50, after starting the game on a 34-1 run. UCM, however, has won the last three contests, including a 21-point victory (72-51) in last season’s MIAA opener in Warrensburg, Mo.
The Tigers have featured the same starting five in all six contests this year, led by Kate Lehman‘s double-double average of 20.8 points and 10.5 rebounds per game so far on the year, while Jill Faxon is second on the team with 13.3 tallies per game. Beth Bohuslavsky (25 assists), Paige Lunsford (4.2 rebounds per game) and Keriann Shaw (4.5 rebounds per game) round out the starting five, while Chelsea Mason is averaging 9.3 points per game in a reserve role.
UCM knocked off West Florida, 64-58, its last time out as head coach Dave Slifer picked up his 200th career victory. For the year, Jasmine Thompson leads the Jennies with 15.7 points per game, while Shelby Winkelmann and Justine Prairie Chief are each averaging 15 points per contest. On the boards, Revonnia Howard has a team-high 48 rebounds (8.0 per game) for the season while Thompson has grabbed 39 (6.5 per game).
Prior to Thursday’s game, 250 black FHSU Game Day shirts will be handed out to fans, who are encouraged to wear black as part of the night’s “Blackout the Coliseum” promotion.