(Editor's note: Montana State media release)
BOZEMAN – Montana State women’s basketball coach Tricia Binford has announced the addition of three players for the 2021-22 season. Joining the Bobcats will be Lindsey Hein, a 6-6 center from Forsyth, Mia Hughes, a 5-10 forward from Woodinville, Wash., and Casey Arden, a 5-5 guard from Wodonga, Victoria, Australia.
“We are thrilled to announce our 2021 class,” Binford said. “Although a smaller class for our program, they are a big impact class as they each bring such value to the program both on and off the court. All three are high character, high achieving student-athletes and have been very well coached at both the high school and club levels. We’re excited to have them join our Bobcat family.”
Hein is a three-time Class B all-state selection and a three-time all-conference choice, as well. Last winter, she led Forsyth High School to a co-Class B state title. At the Class B state tournament, Hein was averaging 22 points and eight rebounds, while also posting seven blocks and six assists prior to the championship game which was canceled due to COVID-19. For her efforts, she was named to the Class B First-Team All-State Tournament squad.
An outstanding student, Hein is a National Honor Society member and served on student council.
“We’re excited to have one of the best players in the state representing us in the Blue and Gold,” Binford said. “Lindsey comes from a championship team, has a champion work ethic, and will bring tremendous size and presence to our inside game. She has great versatility with the ability to post up, face up, and will excel in the hi-lo/ball screen offense.
“On the defensive end, Lindsey’s length can really disrupt shots which will help us get out quickly in our transition game,” Binford stated. “This young lady is going to be a matchup nightmare and will continue to get better and better.”
Hughes, a two-time 4A KingCo Player of the Year, garnered 2020 4A state tournament MVP honors despite her team dropping a 59-55 loss to Central Valley in the championship game. Hughes paced the Falcons with 28 points. She finished the season averaging 22.2 points, 8.4 rebounds as WHS went 28-1 overall.
Hughes is a three-time 4A First-Team All-State honoree and a three-time KingCo all-conference pick. Heading into her senior season, she has already posted 1,783 points and is looking to become one of the top 10 all-time scorers in Washington girls’ basketball history. Over the course of her career with the Falcons, Hughes has averaged 21 points and 7.6 rebounds, while shooting 51.9% from the field.
An outstanding student, she is a National Honor Society member and is a King County Sheriff’s Office explorer and volunteer.
“The best way to describe Mia is proven,” Binford said. “She competes in everything she does and is one of the most consistent and elite players in the state of Washington and has been since her freshman year. Her impact is seen everywhere from scoring to rebounding, to off the charts free throw attempts. She brings a strength and physicality to our interior and will be dangerous in our hi-lo/ball screen offense. She is the player you hate to play against as she will outwork you every possession.”
Arden, a product of Wodonga, Victoria, Australia, is a three-year member of the NBL1 Albury Wodonga Bandits. During the 2018-19 season, she played on the Wodonga Lady Wolves squad that won the Country Basketball League championship. From 2016-19, Arden was part of the National Intensive Training Program. In 2019, she was nominated for Norske Skog Young Achiever of the Year honors. Arden has also been a member of Basketball Victoria Country’s U18 and U16 state squads as well as playing in the Wodonga Basketball Association from 2010-19. She was the U18 MVP during the 2018-19 campaign. She was also selected for the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup which competed in New Zealand in 2017.
“Casey brings us great backcourt presence and skill set at point guard,” Binford commented. “She played at one of the highest levels of competition in Australia. Casey plays for Lauren Jackson, a former WNBA champion and Australia Olympian. She is a very competitive player who is just flat out tough. Casey has an endless motor. She is extremely quick and aggressive and will give opponents fits for an entire game. She has a great savviness to the game and will be terrific in our ball screen offense as a great ball handler and play maker.”