By FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The No. 3 Fort Hays State women’s basketball team moved to 1-1 on the year after a 45-43 win over Southern Nazarene Sunday afternoon (Nov. 6) on the final day of the 2022 D2CCA Tip-Off Classic. The Tigers built an 11-point lead midway through the second quarter and held on for the duration of the contest to hand Southern Nazarene its second loss of the weekend.
Both teams got off to a slow start, combining for seven field goals in the opening period. The Crimson Storm led by as many as three before the Tigers scored the final five points of the frame to lead by two, 11-9. SNU tied things up at 12 early in the second quarter before the Tiger offense woke up, hitting five-consecutive 3-pointers.
Whitney Brown gave the Tigers the lead for good with a triple from the left wing before Ellie Stearns poured in three-straight from behind the arc. Katie Wagner buried the final 3-pointer of the 15-4 Tiger run, putting FHSU in front 27-16 with four minutes to play before halftime.
Fort Hays State was limited to two points over the rest of the half, allowing SNU to close within five by halftime, 29-24. The Tigers continued to struggle to find the bottom of the net in the second half, hitting six field goals in the half after netting six in just over five minutes in the second quarter.
The Tiger defense picked up the slack, however, forcing eight turnovers and limiting the Crimson Storm to just 32.1 percent from the floor in the second half (9-for-28).
Southern Nazarene closed within four following the fourth-quarter media timeout before Wagner buried another 3-pointer to pad the lead to seven. The Crimson Storm later scored seven in a row to close within one, but one final defensive stop in the waning seconds helped the Tigers hold on for the win.
Stearns led the Tigers with 11 points, nine of which came in the second quarter. Wagner netted her third-consecutive double-double going back to last season and the 13th of her career, totaling 10 points and 13 rebounds. Jessie Sallach corralled 10 rebounds in the win, reaching double figures for the second time in her career as a Tiger. Emma Ruddle added six points while Sydney Golladaydished out a team-best four assists.
The Tigers were dominant on the boards, outrebounding SNU 50-37, including 18 offensive rebounds.
Next up for the Tigers is a trip to South Dakota for the Courtyard Sioux Falls Tip-Off Classic, hosted by the University of Sioux Falls November 11-12. The Tigers will take on Augustana on Friday beginning at 5:30 p.m. before battling the host Cougars on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Fort Hays State Women’s Basketball fell to West Texas A&M in its season opener at Municipal Auditorium on Saturday (Oct. 5). The No. 6 ranked Lady Buffs, knocked off the No. 3 ranked Tigers by a score of 71-58.
Fort Hays State led only for a minute and 14 seconds early in the game. Ellie Stearns buried a 3-point field goal to start the contest, but the Tigers would struggle to just three more 3-point field goals after that to finish 4-of-22 beyond the arc. The Tigers also had a rough day shooting the ball overall, finishing at just 22.4 percent (17-of-76).
West Texas A&M grabbed the lead 5-3 on a Zamorye Roberts 3-point field goal and never trailed again the remainder of the game. They held a 15-11 lead by the end of the first quarter and a 30-24 advantage at halftime.
The Lady Buffs built even more distance on their lead with an 8-0 run to open the third quarter. Their lead eventually reached 19 on their third 3-point make of the quarter, but the Tigers were able to whittle that back down to 14 before heading into the fourth quarter. At that point, WTAMU was hitting at a 50-percent clip beyond the 3-point line before missing their final four long distance attempts in the final frame.
The Tigers kept battling in the fourth quarter, getting the lead back inside 10 on a pair of Katie Wagner free throws with 4:04 to go. The lead slimmed down to seven on a Kate Dilsaver 3-point play with 2:52 to go, but the Lady Buffs managed the hold off the Tigers the rest of the way for an eventual 13-point win.
Wagner led the Tigers with a double-double effort of 16 points and 12 rebounds. She picked up half of her points at the free-throw line. Whitney Brown also reached double figures in scoring with 11. Sydney Golladay dished out a team-high three assists and matched Dilsaver for team high in steals with two each.
The Lady Buffs had five players reach double figures in scoring, led by Karley Motschenbacher with 17. Roberts had 14, Kyla Kane had 11, and Kamirah Decker and Braylyn Dollar each had 10. Jayla Burgess led WTAMU in rebounds with eight, while Decker dished out a team-high three assists.
The Tigers had plenty of second-chance opportunities, pulling down 17 offensive rebounds, but unfortunately scored just seven points on those opportunities.