By FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION
The second-ranked Fort Hays State women’s basketball team struggled to get things going offensively on Thursday (Jan. 20), falling to Missouri Southern 54-41. The Tigers are now 15-2 overall and 9-2 in MIAA play, while the Lions improve to 11-5 this season and 8-3 in conference action after snapping FHSU’s eight-game winning streak.
The Tigers led for much of the first half, with both teams playing solid defense over the first 20 minutes. The teams combined to go 0-of-13 from behind the arc before halftime while turning the ball over a combined 18 times. The Tigers led by as four early in the second quarter, 18-14, after a traditional 3-point play from Olivia Hollenbeck.
FHSU again led by four later in the second quarter after a bucket from Katie Wagner with 2:54 to go before halftime, but Missouri Southern scored the final four points of the frame to tie things up at 22.
The Lions scored the first five points in the third quarter and never looked back, with MSSU never trailing after halftime. A 3-pointer from Jaden Hobbs and another basket by Wagner allowed the Tigers to tie things up midway through the frame, but Missouri Southern scored the next eight points and held FHSU scoreless for nearly eight minutes to take the lead for good.
The Tigers fought back with a quick 6-0 run in the fourth quarter to close within two, 35-33, thanks to a 3-pointer from Lauren West, but a 12-0 run by the Lions in the middle of the quarter put the game out of reach.
The Tigers were held without a scorer in double figures for the first time in five years (1/19/17 at MWSU), with Wagner leading the way with nine points. Wagner also grabbed a career-best 16 rebounds, the most by a Tiger in more than two years (Belle Barbieri, 16 vs Concordia-St. Paul, 11/9/19). Lacy Stokes paced Missouri Southern with 21 points.
Fort Hays State won the rebound battle, 48-47, while turning the ball over just 11 times compared to 14 by MSSU.
The Tigers will look to bounce back on Saturday (Jan. 22) when FHSU hosts Pittsburg State beginning at 2 p.m.