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STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut women's basketball team will welcome Fort Hays State for its first exhibition of the 2017-18 season on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at the XL Center in downtown Hartford. Tip off is set for 7:00 p.m.
UConn is coming off an impressive 36-1 season that included an NCAA record 10th straight trip to the Final Four, a NCAA Regional Final Championship and both The American Regular Season and Tournament titles.
Led by Hall of Fame Head Coach Geno Auriemma, the Huskies were unanimously chosen as the 2017-18 conference favorite, receiving 121 points and 11 first place votes in the Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Huskies return three All-Americans in senior Gabby Williams (Sparks, Nev.) and juniors Napheesa Collier (O'Fallon, Missouri) and Katie Lou Samuelson (Huntington Beach, Calif.), as four of the team's five starters are back for the 2017-18 season. Additionally, Williams was tabbed the 2017 WBCA National Defensive Player of the Year after dishing out 190 assists and recording 100 steals a year ago.
Voted on by the conference coaches, Collier was named the American Athletic Conference Preseason Player of the Year. Classmate Samuelson and Williams join Collier on the Preseason All-Conference First Team, while senior Kia Nurse (Hamilton, Ontario) claimed a spot on the Preseason All-Conference Second Team.
After sitting out the 2016-17 season due to NCAA transfer rules, Batouly Camara (New York, N.Y.) and Azura Stevens (Raleigh, N.C.) will begin their journey as UConn Huskies. Freshman Mikayla Coombs, Alexis Gordon, Andra Espinoza-Hunter and Megan Walker will join the Huskies for the 2017-18 season as well.
Fort Hayes State, out of Kansas and the MIAA Conference, is coming of a 22-8 clip. The Tigers fell in the second round of the MIAA conference tournament last season to No. 8 Emporia State, 78-62. Fort Hays State enter its 10th season under Head Coach Tony Hobson.