Courtesy of FHSU Athletics
HAYS, Kan. – Fort Hays State Women’s Basketball will head to Storrs, Connecticut to face perennial NCAA Division I powerhouse University of Connecticut in exhibition play on Wednesday, November 1, 2017. The Huskies have won 11 national championships (10 since 2000) under head coach Geno Auriemma, who enters his 33rd season and closed 2016-17 with his overall record at 991-135 (.880).
Connecticut has made an NCAA record 10-straight Final Four appearances and had its NCAA record 111-game win streak snapped in the national semifinals last year against Mississippi State. The Huskies finished 36-1 last year and over the last four years hold a record of 152-2, with two undefeated campaigns and one other one-loss season in that run. Prior to last year’s national semifinal loss, the Huskies had won four consecutive national championships.
Fort Hays State is coming off another successful season under head coach Tony Hobson, who enters his 10th season at FHSU and 26th overall with a record of 592-191 (.756). The Tigers went 22-8 overall last year, reaching the 20-win plateau for the sixth straight season. This exhibition contest with UCONN will feature 14 national championships won between the two head coaches at four-year institutions, as Hobson collected three national titles while coaching at Hastings College, a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Both coaches seek major milestones for wins during the 2017-18 regular season, Hobson just eight wins from 600 in his career and Auriemma just nine away from 1,000 in his career.
Fort Hays State faces another solid NCAA Division I opponent in exhibition play on Monday, November 6 when it heads to Manhattan, Kansas to take on Kansas State University. The Wildcats went 23-11 last year, advancing to the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament before falling to Stanford University. Jeff Mittie, father of Fort Hays State sophomore Madison Mittie, enters his fourth year guiding the Wildcats in 2017-18. He has put together a record of 61-38 at K-State and has an overall record of 515-273, also entering his 26th year overall like Hobson.
The Tigers return 11 players from last year’s team, which saw the graduation of four seniors. Two All-MIAA performers return in juniors Tatyana Legette and Carly Heim. Legette is the top returning scorer and rebounder on the team, averaging 9.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game last year. Heim averaged 7.8 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game last year. The Tigers are still young this year, but experienced, with Emma Stroyan as the only senior on the team. Stroyan will return to the state where she started her collegiate career, a two-year player at Central Connecticut State before transferring to Fort Hays State prior to the 2016-17 season.
Between Hobson, Auriemma, and Mittie, Fort Hays State’s exhibition contests in 2017-18 will feature head coaches combining for 2,098 wins over 82 seasons of experience. Game times of the exhibition contests will be announced on a later date.