BY CORA TASSET
Men’s Basketball was back at Gross Memorial Coliseum against the Lincoln Blue Tigers on Thursday. Fort Hays beat Lincoln 84-67 and moved their record to 10-9.
With no seniors celebrating senior night Tiger fans can expect Jared Vitztum, Alvin Thompson, and Jackson Miller back next season, thanks to an NCAA waiver, granting another season of playing time due to last season being cut short because of COVID-19.
“Lincoln has got some good players, there are guys that are very hard to guard and they shot well in the first half,” Coach Mark Johnson said. “The big message at halftime was whichever team digs deep and starts guarding is going to win this game.”
Jared Vitztum led the Tigers with his eleventh double-double on the season with 24 points and 14 rebounds. He also added four assists, one block, and one steal.
“They had some really tough guys, so it was a good win that we really had to battle for,” said Vitztum. “Alvin was huge for us tonight, it seemed like he was just rattling them off right in a row.”
Alvin Thompson was another top scorer for Fort Hays with 18 points, going 5-5 from the three point line. He also had three assists and one steal. Quintin Rock put up 14 points for the Tigers along with two rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
“Alvin really got us off to a good start and he went 5-5 at the three point line and kept us up with them,” Johnson said. “Jared was tough out there as well and he really had a great second half.”
The Tigers battled back and forth with Lincoln and held the lead at halftime 48-43. After 11 lead changes Fort Hays finally pulled ahead during the second half and beat the Blue Tigers 84-67.
“We kept them off the glass in the second half and kept making our shots, so it was a good game for us,” Vitzum said. “Coach really emphasized in the pregame that we had to keep them off the glass and limit their second-chance points and I think we did a good job of that.”
The Men’s basketball team will be playing Central Missouri (6-13) at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday after the women’s game inside Gross Memorial Coliseum.