Ryan Prickett, Sports Information Director
INDIANAPOLIS – The Fort Hays State women’s basketball team ranked second in NCAA Division II in attendance for the fifth consecutive season in 2018-19. An average of 2,518 Tiger fans filed through the gates at Gross Memorial Coliseum each night, setting a new program record. FHSU totaled 47,848 fans over its 19 home games last year, the second-highest total attendance in NCAA DII history.
A regular at the top of the attendance charts, Fort Hays State has now been in the top 10 in average attendance for 10 straight seasons. Included in those 10 years are eight seasons in the top five and six seasons in second place. Northern State topped the list for the 12th consecutive season in 2018-19, averaging 2,609 fans over 13 home dates.
The large crowds have helped Fort Hays State create one of the best home court advantages in the nation, as the Tigers have lost one or fewer home game each of the last seven seasons. FHSU is an astounding 109-6 inside the Coliseum during that span (.948 winning percentage). The Tigers were 18-1 at home a year ago, matching their program record with a 25-game home winning streak dating back to January 2018.
The Tigers regularly played in front of large crowds on the road as well, with seven other MIAA programs ranking in the top 20 in Division II. The MIAA was the top conference in attendance for the 11th-straight season, averaging 1,053 fans through 204 games to account for a grand total of 214,907. Last season was the sixth-straight year in which the Tigers have led the league in average home attendance.
The record-setting attendance would slot the Tigers just outside the top 50 among the 349 NCAA Division I programs sponsoring women’s basketball in 2018-19, outdrawing the likes of Kansas and Wichita State. FHSU would rank the top 15 percent of D-I programs with 50 schools averaging a higher attendance.