Tigers drain 15 3-pointers and hold off Ichabods

Fort Hays State University picked up a crucial win on over Washburn on Wednesday evening by a score of 87-79 in Hays. The Tigers nailed a season-high 15 three-point field goals and shot 80 percent at the free-throw line, ending the game on a 16-5 run to pick up the homecourt win over their in-state rival.James Fleming and Royce Williams combined for 11 of Fort Hays State’s 15 three-point field goals. The senior duo combined for 37 points on senior night, Fleming one off his career high with 22 and Williams with 15. Fleming also dished out a career-high seven assists. Jared Tadlock also had an efficient shooting night, going 2-of-2 beyond the 3-point line and 3-of-4 overall and finished with 10 points. Dom Samac also turned in a solid offensive effort for FHSU with 14 points.

In a game that saw 21 lead changes and 14 ties, the Tigers persevered at the end. FHSU led by as many as nine with 2:12 to go in the first half, but Washburn closed the half on an 8-2 run to only give FHSU a three-point lead of 40-37 at halftime.

Washburn came back to take the lead with 15:57 to go in the game, but the lead traded hands nine times over the next five minutes. FHSU used a 9-4 run to go up five with 8:29 to play, but Washburn nailed back-to-back three-point field goals to take the lead once again. Washburn led by four with 4:30 to go, but FHSU continued to fight back, tying the game on a Williams three-pointer with 3:41 to go. From there, FHSU outscored WU 13-5 to finish off an eight-point win.

Up one with 1:19 to play, Williams hit a dagger three-point field goal to push FHSU up by four, then moments later FHSU had a fast-break situation that ended with an alley-oop dunk for Jeremy Wilson from Fleming, pushing the lead to six with just over a minute to play.

Fort Hays State and Washburn combined for 27 three-point field goals in the game, 15 for FHSU and 12 for WU. The Tigers finished 53.1 percent overall from the field, but a scorching hot 62.5 percent beyond the 3-point line (15-of-24). FHSU shot well from the free-throw line, hitting 20-of-25 attempts. FHSU outrebounded WU by five, 33-28, led by Jake Stoppel with a team-high 11.

The Ichabods finished 43.3 percent from the field and 41.4 percent from beyond the three-point line. WU shot 75 percent at the free-throw line. Kyle Wiggins led the Ichabods with 17 points, while Alex North added 13 and Jeremy Lickteig had 12. Andy Wilson also reached double figures with 10.

The Tigers close out the regular season with three consecutive road games (Nebraska-Kearney, Central Oklahoma, and Northeastern State). The Tigers moved into a three-way tie for sixth place in the MIAA with Central Oklahoma and Missouri Southern, all at 9-7. They are only a half-game back of fifth, held by Nebraska-Kearney, and one and a half games back of fourth, occupied by Lindenwood.

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