Women’s basketball beats Rogers State

CLAREMORE, Okla. – The 22nd-ranked Fort Hays State women’s basketball team took care of business on Saturday afternoon (Dec. 2) on the road against the Rogers State Hillcats, winning 58-44. The Tigers (6-0, 2-0 MIAA) never trailed in their 14-point victory over RSU (4-3, 0-2 MIAA). Fort Hays State played stifling defense all afternoon recording a season-high 13 steals.

The Tiger offense got going right away from behind the 3-point arc with back-to-back threes from Emma Ruddle and Katie Wagner. FHSU prevented the Hillcats from scoring through the first 3:35 of the contest. The Tigers built a solid 13-2 lead near the end of the first quarter and never looked back.

The team notched their most points in the second period of play with 17 points. Wagner struck for seven points in the frame and led all scorers on Saturday with 16 points. At one point late in the second quarter Rogers State got going offensively with a quick 8-0 run to pull back within five, but the Tigers would answer to close the quarter. FHSU rattled off nine unanswered points in the last 2:44 of the first half, highlighted by two made layups from Wagner plus a successful free throw to complete a three-point play. The Tigers led 33-19 at the halftime break.

The Hillcats limited Fort Hays State’s offense in the second half but were not able to cut into their lead. The second half scoring finished in a draw between both teams at 25-25. Alayzha Knapp led the RSU attack with 11 points and eight rebounds. Rogers State earned their way to the free-throw line 18 times but only finished at a 50 percent mark, shooting 9-of-18, while the Tigers were steadier at 9-of-13.

Defense served to be the key to the victory for Fort Hays State on Saturday as the team was able to wreak havoc with 13 steals. Wagner and Brooke Loeve combined for eight takeaways and the Tigers capitalized with 20 points off Hillcat turnovers.

Wagner hauled in 13 boards along with her 16 points and five steals, earning herself her team-leading third double-double of the season. Seven other Tiger players finished with five or more points to complete an all-around team road win. Six different Tigers also drilled a 3-pointer, Ruddle finished with two threes.

Sydney Golladay notched her fourth-straight game scoring more than five points with seven to go along with four assists and three rebounds. Ruddle ended the contest with eight points, while Olivia Hollenbeck and Clary Donica both added six points.

The helped the Tigers stay perfect against Rogers State in the all-time series, moving their record to 8-0 against the Hillcats.

Fort Hays State now shifts their focus to the Bearcats of Northwest Missouri State. The Tigers will host NWMSU on Thursday, December 7 at 5:30 p.m. for what will be their first home game of the 2023-24 season.