Second Half Struggles Doom Tigers in 75-63 Loss to Emporia State

FHSU Sports Information Department

HAYS, Kan. – Fort Hays State dropped its second straight game at home on Saturday (Dec. 5) with a 75-63 loss to Emporia State. The Tigers moved to 5-2 overall and 0-2 in the MIAA while the Hornets improved to 4-3 overall and 2-0 in the MIAA.

The Tigers had a 33-28 lead at halftime but struggled mightily in the second half as the Hornets ran away with the game. ESU led by 16 three times in the second half before the final margin settled at 12. A 9-0 burst early in the second half put ESU on top by six and it never looked back. A 13-2 burst by the Hornets from the 12:22 mark to the 9:03 mark pushed the lead to 14 and it never dropped inside 10 the rest of the way.

FHSU shot well in the first half, 52.6 percent from the field and 92.3 percent at the free-throw line. FHSU had an early lead of 14 points at 25-11, but the Hornets went on a 17-8 run to close the half and produce the slim five-point margin at halftime.

After the break, FHSU shot just 33.3 percent from the field and 62.5 percent at the free-throw line. A team that relies on good 3-point shooting, the Tigers had only three 3-point field goals in the game and finished at 25 percent beyond the arc.

Dom Samac, Rob Davis, and Kenny Enoch all tied with at team-high 11 points for FHSU. Kyler Kinnamon added 10. Drew Kite led the team in rebounds with 10, while Kinnamon had seven assists and five steals.

Josh Pedersen blew his career high in scoring out of the water, finishing with 23 points on 8-of-10 shooting and a 3-of-3 effort beyond the 3-point line. Terrence Moore had 15 points and Charles McKinney added 12. Micah Swank provided a team-high five assists for ESU. The Hornets shot 51.5 percent in the second half after just 37 percent in the first half.

Turnovers were a big key for the Hornets, forcing 22 out of the Tigers. ESU outscored FHSU off turnovers 26-8.

Fort Hays State looks to bounce back in a non-conference game against York College on Monday night (Dec. 7) at 7 pm.

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