Tiger Men Continue to Struggle after slow start against Lindenwood

STORY BY CHRISTIAN PHILLIPS
PHOTOS BY ALLIE SCHWEIZER

Fort Hays State continues to struggle down the stretch of the season, suffering yet another loss — this time to the Lindenwood Lions, 73-67.

Foul trouble riddled the Tigers early as five out of the six players who tallied two fouls in the first half were starters. At one point the Tigers had eight fouls compared to Lindenwood’s one.

With 13:15 left in the first, Fort Hays State’s Mark Johnson called a timeout once the Lions jumped out to a 17-9 lead.

Devin Davis entered the game for the Tigers off the bench and scored eight points, giving some life to the Tiger scoring troubles.

An 11-2 run by Fort Hays brought the game back into single digits, but it was followed by a Lindenwood 5-0 run.

The Lions also led the half with points off turnovers with 13 points compared to just four from FHSU. The Lions entered the locker room up 37-31.  

Second Half:

Fort Hays State’s problems offensively and defensively continued in the second half along with lopsided calls on the court.

“Even to get back into the game was a struggle and a fight,” said coach Johnson for the Tigers. “We did a poor job in the first half and I thought they out-toughed us.”

FHSU finished the game with 27 fouls to Lindenwood’s 13.

The Lions shot 18-30 from the charity stripe at 60% and the Tigers shot 8-10 for at 80%. Twelve points left off the scoreboard kept the game close, but the Tigers could never break through the barrier.

The Tigers fought back within a few points of Lindenwood throughout the second half, but the Tigers could never regain the lead. Fort Hays States only lead came in the first half, which was a 3-1 score.

“I think the first half is what got us beat, you’re on your home floor and you gotta be ready from the get-go,” said Johnson. “I feel like we let them get off to a positive start, and we put yourself in a dog fight in the second half.”  

Kyler Kinnamon, a starter for the Tigers, struggled throughout the entirety of the game. Kinnamon missed back-to-back three-pointers late in the fourth that kept the Lions in control with a four-point lead. Kinnamon finished with 3 points, 1-7 from the field, 1-4 FT, and 5 turnovers.

On the other hand, Devin Davis continued his impact off the bench as he ends the game with a career-high, 18 points.

“You gotta have guys like Devin. The way they play defensively, you can run your offense, you have to go make plays,” Johnson said. “ I would say he’s our best guy to just go make plays and put his head down.”

Both teams struggled from three-point range, collectively finishing 8-41. The Tigers bench outscored Lindenwood 27-16, but Lindenwood outscored FHSU 18-5 off of turnovers.

“We guarded a lot better in the second,” said Johnson

With the loss, the Tigers drop yet another conference game, which makes them 2-4 in their last six, and 8-6 overall in the MIAA.

“It was disappointing, we were playing for a lot and we just didn’t get it done,” said Johnson.

The Fort Hays States men’s team will be back in action on this upcoming Saturday against Lincoln at 4 P.M.

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