PITTSBURG, Kan. – Fort Hays State ran into a red-hot shooting Pittsburg State team on Thursday night (Feb. 11) as it lost a high scoring affair 101-92. The Tigers shot very well, but it still was not enough to snap their road losing streak which grew to six games. FHSU is now 15-8 overall and 9-8 in the MIAA while PSU moved to 13-11 overall and 8-10 in the MIAA.
With the MIAA being so balanced top to bottom this year, road wins have been hard to come by, especially for the Tigers where they are now 0-6 since the start of January. The Gorillas shot 57.4 percent overall, which included an 11-of-25 effort beyond the 3-point line, and hit at an 80 percent clip at the free-throw line by hitting 36-of-45 attempts. FHSU shot 77.3 percent from the line but had 23 fewer attempts than PSU where it went 17-of-22. The 19-point difference in free-throws was a huge advantage for the Gorillas as the Tigers actually hit six more field goals in the game and shot a very good 52.4 percent from the field. Rebounding was also an area the Gorillas dominated, pulling down 38 compared to just 20 for FHSU.
Fort Hays State outscored Pittsburg State 60-55 in the second half, but it was not enough after trailing by 14 at halftime. Ball security was good as well with the Tigers committing only eight turnovers, compared to 14 by the Gorillas.
The Tigers chipped away slowly in the second half and cut the Gorilla lead down to five twice at the 7:18 and 5:53 marks but the Gorillas answered with a three-point field goal on the latter and FHSU never got closer than six the rest of the way. Pittsburg State scored its final 15 points of the game on free-throws inside the 3:00 mark.
Craig Nicholson reached another milestone in his career with a double-double performance of 22 points and 11 assists. With his 10th assist of the game, he reached 600 for his career. Both the 22 points and 11 assists were season highs for Nicholson, recording the 11th double-double of his career along with the 20th 20-plus point game of his career.
Jake Stoppel finished with 18 points, Rob Davis chipped in 16, and Hadley Gillum reached a new career high of 12 points. Dom Samac had a team-high eight rebounds while scoring eight points.
Trey Starks scored a career-high 28 points for the Gorillas on 9-of-11 shooting from the field, which included four 3-pointers, and a 6-of-9 effort at the charity stripe. Josiah Gustafson added 22 points. Four other Gorillas also reached double figures.
The Tigers return to action at Missouri Southern on Saturday (Feb. 13). Tip-off is set for 3 pm.