Women’s basketball rolls by Northeastern State


The Fort Hays State women’s basketball team never trailed in a 36-point victory against Northeastern State Thursday evening (Dec. 1) inside Gross Memorial Coliseum, 88-52. The Tigers knocked down 55.2 percent (32-of-58) from the floor, their best shooting effort in a game since last December (12/19 vs. Newman, 55.4 percent).

The Tigers (5-3, 1-0 MIAA) were just as impressive on defense, forcing 17 turnovers with nine steals while blocking four shots and limiting the RiverHawks (4-2, 1-1 MIAA) to their lowest shooting percentage of the season at 39.1 percent (18-of-46).

Olivia Hollenbeck opened the game with a block, one of three on the night by the sophomore to bring her career total to 99. Katie Wagner got the scoring started with a layup on the other end before adding another bucket following a RiverHawk turnover. Fort Hays State ultimately scored on five of its first six possessions while holding NSU scoreless for more than four minutes, helping the Tigers race out to an 11-0 lead.

Northeastern State clawed back within six late in the first quarter before Megan Earney buried a buzzer-beater from half-court to give the Tigers an 18-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. The home team continued to build its lead throughout the second quarter after hitting 8-of-16 from the floor in the period. The Tigers were credited with assists on seven of the eight makes in the frame. Sydney Golladay punctuated the first half with another buzzer-beater, swishing in a 3-pointer of her own from well behind the arc on the left wing to put the Tigers up 39-22 at the break.

Hollenbeck took control in the third quarter, scoring eight points while adding two steals and one block on the defensive end. Northeastern State started to find some rhythm on offense in the second half, but the Tigers had an answer for each RiverHawk run to keep the lead above 20 points.

The Tigers saved the best for last, scoring a season-high 26 points in the fourth quarter to secure the victory. FHSU hit 75 percent of its shots in the final stanza, knocking down 9-of-12 from the floor and 3-of-3 from behind the arc. Whitney Brown poured in both of her attempts from behind the arc, with Emma Ruddle joining the party with a triple of her own.

Wagner led the team with her fifth double-double of the season, totaling 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting and adding 10 rebounds. Her 23 points are the most in a game by a Tiger this season. Hollenbeck added 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting alongside two assists, three steals and three blocks. Golladay tallied a season-high 11 points, one off her career-best, while also contributing three assists and one block.

Brooke Loewe dished out eight assists in the victory, the most in a game by a Tiger this year, while poking away three steals on the defensive end. Tess Talo Tomokino and Bri Wietelman paced the RiverHawks with 12 points each while Courtney Thompson grabbed a team-best seven rebounds.

Fort Hays State dominated on the glass, outrebounding the RiverHawks by 12, 36-24. The Tigers scored 22 points off NSU’s 17 turnovers and outscored the RiverHawks by 10 in the paint, 34-24.

The Tigers will continue conference play Saturday (Dec. 3) against Rogers State beginning at 2 p.m. inside Gross Memorial Coliseum.

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