FHSU women’s basketball suffers first loss against Nebraska-Kearney


The top-ranked Tigers faced a ranked opponent for the first time this season in their MIAA home opener against #17 Nebraska-Keaney. The game resulted in Fort Hays’s first loss of the season, 56-51.

The Tigers came into the game with a clean 7-0 record, while the Lopers sat at 7-1. The energetic atmosphere in Gross Memorial Coliseum, filled with an audience of over 2,700, was a testament to how anticipated the matchup was. 

The game was back and forth through the first two quarters, with Fort Hays holding on to a five-point lead at halftime after Jaden Hobbs sank a three at the buzzer. The Tigers were able to extend their lead by as many as 12 points in the third quarter, outscoring the Lopers 22-18. But, UNK was able to hang on, and eventually tied the score 49-49 at the start of the fourth quarter. Nebraska-Kearney scored 23 points to the Tigers nine in the final quarter to complete the comeback.

“We just had a really bad three-minute stretch there early in the fourth quarter where we took a couple bad shots, and every time we left them open they scored,” Head Coach Tony Hobson said. “When you have two evenly matched teams, the team that makes the shots is going to win.”

In the fourth quarter, Nebraska-Kearney shot 72.7 and 75% from the field and three-point range, respectively, while Fort Hays shot just 30.8 and 20%. Top scorers for the Tigers were Katie Wagner with 10, Olivia Hollenbeck with 11, and Hobbs with 12. Hobbs also added six assists and four steals.

“We needed to get stops and execute on the offensive end, and we weren’t always successful in those areas so I think that’s something we have to improve on,” Hobbs said. 

“Every team in our league is good and they can beat anybody on any given night,” she added. “That’s something that we need to reiterate and keep going over.”

Hobson seemed hopeful about the next matchup between the teams, which is set for January 29 in Kearney.

“Overall it was two good teams playing early in the season, and we’ll get another shot at them.”

The Tigers will return to their home court on December 17 to take on the 7-3 Bronchos of Central Oklahoma, at 5:30.

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