Tigers Hang on for Win at Newman


WICHITA, Kan. – Fort Hays State had a 13-point lead early in the second half but saw it vanish and had to hold off Newman late for a 73-65 win. The Tigers improved to 3-2 on the season, while the Jets dropped to 1-4.

Rob Davis scored 20 or more points for the fourth straight game with a team-high 24. His long 3-point shot from beyond the top of the key with 27 seconds remaining pushed the Tigers to a six-point lead to keep Newman from having a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds. He was 9-of-15 from the field, 3-of-5 beyond the 3-point line, and 3-of-3 at the free-throw line.

Neither team could find more than a five-point lead in the first 14 minutes of the game, but the Tigers gained a nine-point lead (39-30) capped by a Davis 3-pointer with a 14-3 run from the 6:48 to 1:05 marks of the opening half. The lead settled at seven, 39-32, by halftime.

Another Davis 3-pointer and a Hadley Gillum jumper ballooned an eight-point Tiger lead to 13 at the 16:44 mark of the second half, but a rash of turnovers allowed Newman right back into the game. The Jets went on a 9-0 run to trim the lead to four with 12:43 to go and eventually tied the game at the 9:56 mark with consecutive 3-point field goals from Daniel Nwosu.

The Tigers looked to be pulling away once more with an 8-0 run to break free of a 57-57 tie. Trey O’Neil triggered the run by hitting a deep 3-pointer from the right wing, Davis added a layup and then he found Brady Werth for a top-of-the-key 3-pointer. A Gillum jumper pushed the lead to nine with 3:12 remaining, but the Jets had one more run in them. Newman went on a 7-0 burst to get the lead back down to just two with 1:48 remaining.

Gillum hit one of two free-throw attempts to get the Tiger lead back to three going into the final minute. Newman missed shots on consecutive trips and that allowed Davis to put the game away with his long 3-point field goal inside 30 seconds to play. Kyler Kinnamon capped the win with a pair of free-throws.

Gillum produced a double-double for the Tigers with 13 points and 13 rebounds. He added four blocked shots. JaQuan Smith nearly had a double-double as well with nine points and nine rebounds despite fighting foul trouble. He added two blocked shots. O’Neil hit three 3-point field goals and chipped in 13 points.

Nwosu led Newman with 22 points, hitting five of the team’s 11 3-point field goals. Taylor Schieber added 12 for the Jets.

FHSU shot 48.3 percent from the field overall, but struggled from the free-throw line at 58.8 percent (10-of-17). The Tigers held Newman to just 34 percent from the field with just nine field goals in each half. Eleven of the 18 field goals for Newman were 3-pointers. The Jets went 18-of-24 at the charity stripe.

Fort Hays State returns home to take on Sterling College on Saturday (Nov. 26) at 7 pm, which follows the women’s game against Sterling at 5 pm.

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