FHSU women roll to easy win


CLAREMORE, Okla. – A quick start and a strong finish helped the fifth-ranked Fort Hays State women’s basketball team defeat Rogers State Monday afternoon (Jan. 3) on the road, 74-48. The Tiger defense held its opponent to fewer than 50 points for the third-straight game.

The Tigers (11-1, 5-1 MIAA) never trailed in the contest after scoring the first eight points, including 3-pointers from Jaden Hobbs and Lauren West. Fort Hays State hit 53.3 percent from the floor in the opening quarter (8-of-15) while holding RSU (4-10, 0-8 MIAA) to just 35.7 percent shooting (5-of-14) to open up an 11-point lead by the end of the first quarter, 21-10.

Rogers State kept things close over the second and third quarters, with the Tigers leading by 10 at halftime (37-27) and by 11 at the end of the third stanza (52-41). Whitney Randall and Katie Wagner combined to score 13 of FHSU’s 16 points in the second quarter before tallying 10 of 15 Tiger points in the third frame.

Randall fueled FHSU’s big fourth quarter with eight more points, giving the senior a season-high 23 points for the ninth 20-point outing in her career. She opened a 13-0 Tiger run in the final frame with back-to-back buckets before West buried consecutive 3-pointers. Jessie Sallach finished the run with a pair of free throws, giving her 11 points thanks to a 7-of-8 effort from the free-throw line.

Wagner recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds, with all 12 points coming in the second and third quarters. The second-year freshman also led the Tigers with five assists and tied for the team lead with two steals.

Wagner and West both scored nine points with a trio of 3-pointers, while Randall and Megan Earney also added buckets from behind the arc for the Tigers. Cydney Bergmann contributed five points, seven rebounds and three assists.

The Tigers finished the game shooting 45.9 percent from the floor (28-of-61) and 83.3 percent from the free-throw line (10-of-12). FHSU distributed assists on 21 of 28 buckets, the fourth time this season the Tigers have recorded more than 20 assists. The Tigers turned the ball over only eight times while forcing 19 Rogers State turnovers. FHSU outscored the Hillcats 22-9 off turnovers.

Chloe Martin led the Hillcats with 10 points, with all 10 points coming in less than five minutes in the third quarter.

Fort Hays State returns to Gross Memorial Coliseum to host three games in a seven-day span beginning Thursday (Jan. 6) when Central Missouri comes to town. Opening tip between the Tigers and Jennies is set for 5:30 p.m.

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