By Brad Blume, Sports Information Director
RAPID CITY --- The South Dakota School of Mines women's basketball team has returned from Christmas break and the Lady Hardrockers are preparing for a tough road trip, playing four games against some solid opponents in a week's time.
The Hardrockers open the road trip Saturday in Kansas against the Fort Hays State Lady Tigers followed by a visit to Nebraska and a rematch against the University and Nebraska-Kearney Lopers.
Fort Hays is undefeated so far this season with a 9-0 record, are currently ranked 10th in the latest NCAA Div. II Top 25 Coaches' Poll and are outscoring their opponents by 32 points a game. The Lopers are 3-5 on the season, but have not lost on their home floor yet this season. The Hardrockers defeated UNK back on Nov.11 in Rapid City, 68-60.
If that wasn't difficult enough, the Lady Hardrockers follow that up with a double dose of NCAA Div. I competition, facing the University of Wyoming Jan. 3, in Laramie, Wyo., and then a trip to Fort Collins, Colo., to square off against the Colorado State Lady Rams.
Wyoming, a team renowned to be an extremely accurate perimeter-shooting team, also has some height on this year's squad with eight women 6-feet or taller. The Cowgirls are currently 9-2 on the season and undefeated at home. The game will be an exhibition bout for the Lady Hardrockers.
The Rams are 3-7 thus far on the season and will play host to the Hardrockers after a long trip of their own in New York, N.Y., at the Fordham Holiday Classic. Colorado State is a strong defensive unit holding opponents to under 60 points a game.
It will be an interesting challenge for SD Mines who is averaging just over 70 points each time out. The Lady Hardrockers are 9-3 on the season and fresh off a pair of road wins over Arizona Christian Dec. 14 and 15 in Phoenix.
"It's going to be a challenge for us," said Lady Hardrocker women's basketball coach Barb Felderman. "Obviously our goal is to get four wins, but we will have to see how our ladies perform. We would have like to do this road trip at the end of the semester rather than after the Christmas break. It will all depend on how the team responses with just three practices to prepare."