Though it wasn’t the scoring race of last year’s contest, FHSU pushed its winning streak to three games with a 75-47 victory over Newman on Tuesday, Nov. 25 in Wichita, Kan. The Tigers were led by four players in double-digits and several big runs throughout the night.
FHSU (4-1) has won its last three games by a 43.3 point margin and has shot over 45 percent from the field in that span. On Tuesday, the Tigers hit 27-of-58 from the field (46.6 percent) and 17-of-18 from the charity stripe (94.4 percent).
FHSU missed its first four field goals, but grabbed three offensive boards in that stretch before picking things up on Jill Faxon‘s three-pointer at 17:22 that gave FHSU an 8-4 lead. From there, Kate Lehman ran off six unanswered by herself as part of a larger 12-2 run (including nine unanswered) for the Tigers, moving them to a 17-6 advantage with 13:53 to play in the first half.
FHSU went cold for a short stretch after that, failing to score until the 9:41 mark when Nikola Kacperska hit an off-balance jumper. That field goal started a 12-3 run for FHSU that moved FHSU to a 29-13 lead. Paige Lunsford had four points during the run, which included a burst of eight unanswered to close the rally.
Newman answered by going on a 9-3 run of its own, going 3-of-3 from the field during that span and cutting the lead to 10 (32-22). Over the final three minutes of the half, FHSU scored six unanswered and sent the game to break, 38-22.
Lehman had a monster half for the Tigers in the opening period, scoring 14 points to go with seven rebounds, four assists and four blocks in the first 20 minutes.
Opening the half, Lunsford ran off three points to reach a career-high on the night (nine points) and pushed the lead to 19 (41-22) at 19:14. Combined with the end of the first half, that was a 9-0 surge for FHSU.
Over the next eight minutes, however, Newman responded with another run (13-4) and cut the deficit to 47-35. After a jumper from Faxon stopped the run, NU cut the lead to eight (47-39) with another four unanswered. Mason’s three-pointer, however, pushed the lead back to double-digits (50-39) at 11:12 and started a 9-0 run for FHSU. After a layup by NU’s Brianna Caldwell, the Tigers pushed ahead with another five unanswered, taking a 62-41 lead.
Fort Hays State ended the game on a 9-0 run over the final 4:45, taking its biggest lead of the night on a free throw from Taylor Menke with 18 seconds to play for the final points of the game (75-47).
Lehman finished the contest with her second consecutive double-double (and 42nd of her career), scoring 21 points to go with 15 rebounds (a season-high), six blocks and four assists. With the performance, Lehman now has 20-plus points in four of her five games this season and climbed to No. 6 all-time on the NCAA’s career blocks list – passing Auke Steponaviciute, who played at Abilene Christian from 1994-97. She now has 393 blocks for her career.
Lunsford reached a career-high with her first double-digit scoring performance in a Tiger uniform, finishing with 13 points, six rebounds and four assists. Two other Tigers, Jill Faxon (12 points) and Chelsea Mason (10 points) reached double-digits as well. Faxon added six rebounds, tied with Lunsford for third on the team, behind Keriann Shaw, who added seven rebounds with five points.
Scoreless for the first 32:23 of the game, Beth Bohuslavsky hit a layup at 7:06 to break into the scoring column, scoring nine before the game’s end while adding three assists.
Fort Hays State returns to the court on Saturday, Nov. 29 against Tabor College for its final game of the season’s opening month. Game time from Gross Memorial Coliseum is 2 p.m.