Top Ranked Tigers Use Gritty Effort for 59-50 Win at Central Missouri

FHSU Sports Information Department

WARRENSBURG, Mo. – Hustle was a big key to Fort Hays State’s 59-50 win at Central Missouri on Thursday night (Dec. 17). Despite shooting only 31.5 percent from the field, the Tigers used 23 offensive rebounds and 17 second-chance points to snap a three-game losing skid in Warrensburg.

Fort Hays State jumped out to an eight point lead, 21-13, by the end of the first quarter and extended the lead to 14 by halftime, 35-21. FHSU forced UCM into seven first quarter turnovers, looking well on their way to forcing another team into 20 or more turnovers in a game, but UCM settled down and committed just one turnover in the second quarter. UCM finished with 14 for the game, a new season low for an FHSU opponent.

Tough defense and rebounding turned into a key to victory for FHSU without the usual turnover frenzy over the final three quarters. FHSU outrebounded UCM 52-43, but seven of UCM’s rebounds were team rebounds. As far as individual rebounds were concerned, FHSU won that battle 51-36.

FHSU extended its lead to 21 points on a Nikola Kacperska 3-point field goal with 2:55 to play in the third quarter, but UCM ended the quarter on a 12-0 run to cut the Tiger lead back to nine. The Tigers stopped the run with a 7-0 run of their own to open the fourth quarter, pushing the lead back to 16 before the final margin settled at nine.

Paige Lunsford and Chelsea Mason led the Tigers in scoring with 11 points each. Lunsford went 4-of-6 from the field, while Mason was 4-of-22. Three of Mason’s four field goals were 3-pointers, as she went 3-of-12 beyond the arc. Elle Stein added a season-high 10 points, while also securing eight rebounds. Jill Faxon and Kacperska each had nine rebounds, while Faxon had eight points and Kacperska added six. Beth Bohuslavsky and Taylor Chandler tied with a team-high three assists.

Central Missouri had four players finish with 10 points, which included Shelby Winkelmann, Ashley Jones, Danielle Randle, and Ashley Duffy. Randle had a double-double with 10 rebounds. FHSU held UCM to just 33.9 percent shooting overall and a 23.1 percent effort beyond the 3-point line.

FHSU returns to action on Saturday (Dec. 19) at Southwest Baptist. Tipoff is set for 1:30 pm in Bolivar, Mo.

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