Women’s basketball doubles up Newman

By FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION

The fifth-ranked Fort Hays State women’s basketball team led wire-to-wire in a 90-44 blowout victory against Newman Sunday afternoon (Dec. 19). The win was FHSU’s largest margin of victory against a Division II opponent in more than eight years (109-45 vs OPSU, 11/16/12).

The Tigers (9-1, 2-10 MIAA) hit 42.1 percent of their shots from behind the arc (8-of-19), including a lights-out 7-of-12 effort before halftime (58.3 percent). The Jets (2-10, 0-6 MIAA) struggled from the floor all afternoon, connecting on just 29.6 percent of their shots (16-of-54).

Thirteen Tigers saw the floor in the victory, with 12 finding the score sheet. Olivia Hollenbeck had a flawless day on the offensive end, hitting 8-of-8 from the floor and 5-of-5 from the charity stripe to lead the team with 21 points.

Fort Hays State led by double figures less than seven minutes into the game when a Cydney Bergmann layup gave the Tigers a 13-3 lead. A 3-pointer from Megan Earney late in the frame put the Tigers up 13 after 10 minutes, 21-8.

The Tigers doubled that lead by intermission after hitting 76.9 percent from the floor in the second quarter (10-of-13). Fort Hays State hit 5-of-6 from behind the arc in the period, including two from Lauren West, one triple from Whitney Randall and another from Earney.

After taking control in the first half, Fort Hays State put the hammer down in the third quarter, holding the Jets to just four points and a shooting percentage of 13.3 percent (2-of-15). The Tigers scored 20-straight points over an eight minute, 39 second run, the most consecutive points the Tigers have scored in more than two years (20-0 run vs Bethany, 12/12/19).

Hollenbeck did the majority of her damage during the third, hitting four shots and three free throws to singlehandedly outscore Newman by seven, 11-4.

The Tiger lead ballooned as high as 49 points midway through the fourth quarter after a layup from Sydney Golladay put the Tigers in front 84-35.

Fort Hays State hit at least half of its shots for the third time this season, finishing the game with a shooting percentage of 55.4 percent (31-of-56). After turning the ball over 21 times on Friday, FHSU matched its season low with just nine turnovers in the win over Newman.

The Tigers dominated on the boards, outrebounding Newman 41-26. FHSU scored 20 points off 15 Jet turnovers and outscored the Jets in transition by 28, 30-2.

Hollenbeck added a career-high four steals to her team-high 21 points. Katie Wagner chipped in 14 points, three assists and a team-best eight rebounds. Earney matched her season-high with 11 points after burying a trio of 3-pointers.

Jaden Hobbs had nine of FHSU’s 28 assists, while Golladay distributed a career-best seven assists.

The Tigers will wrap up the semester Monday (Dec. 20) when they host Bethel in the final non-conference contest of the season. Opening tip inside Gross Memorial Coliseum is set for 6 p.m. in the women’s-only contest.

Friday

The fifth-ranked Fort Hays State women’s basketball team used a dominant third quarter to rally and defeat Central Oklahoma Friday evening (Dec. 17) inside Gross Memorial Coliseum, 78-71. The Tigers (8-1, 3-1 MIAA) trailed by four at halftime, but a 3-pointer from Jaden Hobbs two-and-a-half minutes into the third quarter put FHSU in front for good.

The Tigers were able to overcome 21 turnovers in the contest, FHSU’s most in a game in seven years (2/8/14 at Emporia State). Central Oklahoma (7-4, 3-2 MIAA) nearly matched the Tigers with 20 turnovers of its own.

Both sides turned the ball over six times in the opening frame, leading to a low-scoring opening 10 minutes. The Tigers led by two at the end of the first, 14-12, after five first-quarter points from Katie Wagner. Fort Hays State hit 7-of-10 from the floor in the second quarter, but seven more Tiger turnovers helped UCO take a 36-32 lead into the locker room.

Wagner scored four points in the first 49 seconds of the second half to quickly tie the score before UCO momentarily went back in front with a pair of free throws. A Hobbs 3-pointer sparked a 15-4 Tiger run, helping the Tigers go in front by as many as 12, 54-42. Hollenbeck hit 5-of-7 from the free-throw line and added a pair of layups during the run for nine of her 12 points. Whitney Randall hit a pair of jumpers back-to-back to build the lead to six before Lauren West capped off the run with a driving layup.

Central Oklahoma closed within two on multiple occasions in the fourth quarter, but the Tigers had an answer each time to maintain the lead. UCO opened the quarter on a 12-5 run to narrow the gap to 61-59. Cydney Bergmann and Katie Wagner helped the Tigers bounce back with a pair of jump shots before the Bronchos again closed within two. West had the response this time, hitting a floater in the lane to give the Tigers a two-possession advantage.

The visitors hit a bucket the next trip down to again draw within one score, but a pull-up jumper from Hobbs rattled in with 1:49 to go to keep the Bronchos at bay.

Fort Hays State sealed the game at the free-throw line, hitting 9-of-12 over the final 91 seconds to secure the win.

Hobbs led the Tigers with 17 points and added five assists. Four other Tiger scored in double figures, giving FHSU five players with more than 10 points for the first time this season. Hollenbeck had her first double-double of the season with 12 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. Wagner totaled 13 points and five rebounds, while West picked up 12 points and four steals. Bergmann was the final Tiger in double figures, scoring a season-high 10 points.

Sydney Golladay scored two points in eight minutes of action in her first game back since suffering a knee injury during the final game of the regular season last February.

The Tigers finished the game shooting 45.5 percent from the floor (25-of-55) while holding UCO to a shooting percentage of 37.9 percent (25-of-66). With the teams making the same number of field goals, FHSU made up the difference at the charity stripe. The Tigers hit 24-of-34 from the free-throw line, while the Bronchos managed to make 17-of-21 from the line.

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