FHSU Sports Information
10:45 PM CST, February 25, 2012
The Fort Hays State men's basketball team used a strong second half to pull away from Emporia State for a 73-48 win on Saturday night in Hays. The Tigers finished the regular season at 18-8 overall, 12-8 in the MIAA, and alone in 5th place in the MIAA after a Southwest Baptist loss at Missouri Western on Saturday.
FHSU started out sluggish in the first half, scoring just two points in the first eight and a half minutes. Emporia State opened the game on an 11-2 run. The Tigers clawed their way back in the game from that point, going on a 15-2 run of their own to take a 17-13 lead on a Sean Dreiling 3-point field goal. FHSU maintained the lead from that point and led 29-23 at halftime. Dreiling sparked the Tigers with 10 of his 12 points in the first half.
ESU cut the lead down to three at the 17:49 mark of the second half, but a quick 9-0 burst by FHSU capped by a Lance Russell 3-point field goal pushed the lead to 12 at the 13:10 mark. The Tigers led by double figures the rest of the way with the lead eventually growing as large as 27.
Matt Simmons led the solid senior effort on senior night with a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds. He was 8-of-10 from the field. Dreiling was the only other Tiger to score in double figures. Seniors Moses Dayee, Karron McKenzie ansd KC Rodenburg combined for 22 points as starters. McKenzie dished out six assists.
The Tigers go to Kansas City as the defending MIAA Tournament champion and get a rematch of the championship game last year in the first round. They are slated to play No. 4 seed Missouri Southern, which is currently ranked No. 10 in the nation, in the first round at 2:15 pm on Friday (Mar. 2). Missouri Southern fell to fourth in the conference, falling out of a four-way tie for first place in the conference standings on Saturday with a loss at Northwest Missouri State. Northwest Missouri shared the regular season title with Washburn and Central Missouri.
The Fort Hays State women's basketball team had their five-game winning streak snapped by No. 22 Emporia State by a score of 73-64 on Saturday night. The Lady Tigers, who have now dropped 13 consecutive games to the Lady Hornets, finish the regular season with a record of 20-8 (12-8 MIAA) and in sole possession of fifth place in the MIAA standings.
Playing in her final home game, senior Crista Bechaed had the Lady Tigers' first seven points of the game and put Fort Hays State up 7-4 early on. The entire first half was played within 10 points, with FHSU taking their largest lead at 23-18 on a Katelyn Edwards basket with 6:21 to play in the half. Emporia State quickly scored 10 consecutive points and took a 28-23 lead with 4:14 to play. Kimber Weiser hit a three pointer and Kaimeka Brown added a jumper to pull the game tied at 28-28 going to the break.
Fort Hays State took a couple of early leads in the second half, but about midway through the half the Lady Hornets began to take control. Emporia State used a 6-0 run to turn a one-point deficit into a 45-40 lead with 10:20 to play in the game that they would not relinquish. FHSU made several charges down the stretch, but could never get any closer than three points. After pulling to within three at 61-58 on a Traci Keyser free throw with 2:30 to play, Emporia State closed the game on an 12-6 run and got the 73-64 victory. Emporia State hit 9-of-10 free throws in that stretch, but the dagger came on a three-pointer from Rachel Hanf with 1:20 to play that made the ESU lead 66-58.
Edwards and Kate Lehman both scored 14 points to lead Fort Hays State, while Bechard added 13. The other two FHSU seniors, Janel Durhler and Kimber Weiser also played well, with Durler pulling down a team-high seven rebounds and Weiser scoring nine points on 2-of-4 shooting from long range. The Lady Tigers shot just 35.6% (21-of-59) from the field and they were 4-of-11 (36.4%) from long distance.
Emporia State got 25 points from Heather Robben and 15 from Jocelyn Cummings as they improved their record to 19-7 (14-6 MIAA). No other player had more than seven points for Emporia State, who hit 43.6% (24-of-55) of their shots from the field and were very efficient in nailing 7-of-9 (77.8%) three pointers. The Lady Hornets also outrebounded FHSU 40-35 and hit 18-of-21 (85.7%) of their free throws.
Fort Hays State finishes the regular season in fifth place of the conference standings with a conference record of 12-8. They will play on Thursday at the MIAA Tournament in Kansas City, Mo., with a chance to play themselves into the NCAA South Central Regional tournament.
The Lady Tigers will meet No. 4 seed Central Missouri on Thursday, March 1 at 2:15 pm in the first round of the tournament.
The full bracket for the tournament can be found HERE.
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