Fort Hays State (2-0, 0-0 MIAA)
vs. Colorado Mesa (5-0, 0-0 RMAC)
Lakewood, Colo. • CCU Event Center
Sunday, November 19 • 3 p.m. (2 p.m. MST)
Radio: KJLS (103.3) CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
Fort Hays State
at MSU Denver (0-2, 0-0 RMAC)
Denver, Colo. • Auraria Event Center
Monday, November 20 • 3 p.m. (2 p.m. MST)
The Fort Hays State women's basketball team will head to Colorado for the first time in nearly 14 years for a pair of non-conference matchups next week (Nov. 19-20). The Tigers will first take on Colorado Mesa on Sunday afternoon (3 p.m./2 p.m. MT) on the campus of Colorado Christian in Lakewood before battling MSU Denver on the road on Monday (3 p.m./2 p.m. MT).The Tigers (2-0) and Mavericks (5-0) are both undefeated entering the weekend, while the Roadrunners (0-2) are still in search of their first win of the 2023-24 season.
Fort Hays State jumped from 10th to sixth in the D2CSC Central Region Media Poll after a pair of wins last weekend in St. Joseph, Mo., including a 16-point win over second-ranked Minnesota State. Katie Wagner was named the first MIAA Women's Basketball Athlete of the Week after averaging 21 points, eight rebounds and 3.5 assists per game in the two wins, including a career-best 32 points against MSU.
Sophomores Ellie Stearns and Brooke Loewe both contributed 15 points in the win over Minnesota State, with Loewe also setting a new career high and Stearns missing her personal best by just one point.
Five Tigers are averaging at least seven points per game so far this year, including Wagner, Stearns (12.5 ppg), Loewe (9.5 ppg), Olivia Hollenbeck (8.5 ppg) and Emma Ruddle (7.5 ppg).
Fort Hays State shot 46.3 percent from the floor as a team last week, 33rd-best in Division II, while the Tigers lead the MIAA and rank 22nd in field goal percentage defense at 32.1 percent.
The Tigers and Mavericks are playing on November 19 for a second-consecutive season, with FHSU cruising to a 75-50 win over CMU exactly one year ago in Hays.
Fort Hays State has traveled to the Centennial State just once since the Tigers transitioned to the MIAA in 2006, with FHSU picking up a pair of wins over Colorado School of Mines and Regis in the 2009 Colorado Mines Thanksgiving Classic.
Colorado Mesa is off to a 5-0 start after opening up three wins in Canada in early November and two regional victories at home last weekend. The Mavericks rank 14th in the country with an assist/turnover ratio of 1.37 while their defense leads the RMAC with an opposing scoring average of 54.8 points per night. Olivia Reed leads all Division II with four double-doubles in those five wins, averaging 19.4 points per game and ranking third in the country with 14.6 rebounds per game. Kylie Kravig's 27 assists are the most by any DII player so far this season.
The Tigers are 15-12 all-time against Colorado Mesa, including a 2-2 record in neutral site matchups. Fort Hays State beat the Mavericks by 25 points exactly one year ago in Hays, 75-50 (11/19/22). Olivia Hollenbeck led the team with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, with Ellie Stearns adding 13 points thanks to a trio of 3-pointers. FHSU forced 19 turnovers while turning the ball over just eight times on its own. Colorado Mesa led by six during the early going before a 12-0 Tiger run in the second quarter gave FHSU the lead for good.
MSU Denver lost to a pair of ranked regional opponents during the opening weekend of the season, falling to No. 19 Angelo State and No. 24 Texas Woman's. The Roadrunners averaged 37.5 points per game while holding its opponents to 65.0 points per night. MSU Denver averaged just 10 team fouls per game, second-fewest in all Division II. Brianna Sealy grabs 9.5 defensive rebounds per game, 11th-most in DII, while ranking 27th in total rebounds with 11.0 per night.
The Tigers hold a narrow 14-13 edge in the all-time series with MSU Denver, while the Roadrunners are 11-4 at home against FHSU. Then referred to as Metro State, the Roadrunners forced 24 Tiger turnovers to secure a 68-60 win in the final RMAC battle between the teams on February 18, 2006 in Denver. Tiya Tatum led the Tigers with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting off the bench, with Laura Cowan adding eight points and 10 rebounds. FHSU hit 45.3 percent from the floor (24-of-53) and attempted just nine 3-pointers on the night (2-for-9).