Fort Hays State held a 16-point halftime lead on Tuesday night (Nov. 19) in Hays, but held off a second-half charge from Newman to win 96-87, moving to 4-0 overall on the year.
Leading 54-38 at the half, the Tigers extended their lead to 20 points with a 4-0 burst to start the second half, but Newman chipped away and trimmed the lead down to six with 20-8 run over about six minutes to trail by just six with 11:54 to play. FHSU kept holding off Newman the rest of the way as the lead was cut back to seven with 5:32 to play. That's all the closer the Jets could get even though they kept applying pressure and not allowing the Tigers to put the game away.
FHSU used blazing hot shooting in the first half to build a big halftime lead. FHSU scored 35 points in the first 10 minutes of the game on just over 81 percent shooting from the field, but that cooled back to 60.6 by halftime. The Tigers were 72.7 percent (8-of-11) beyond the 3-point line in the opening half, but the 3-point shooting cooled in the second half as the Tigers were just 3-of-11 after the break.
FHSU finished the game 53 percent from the field and 50 percent beyond the 3-point line (11-of-22). FHSU was solid at the free-throw line as a team, burying 83.3 percent of its attempts (15-of-18). Newman shot 45.1 percent from the field and 45.8 percent beyond the 3-point line. They were also efficient at the charity stripe at 80 percent.
FHSU had four players reach double figures in scoring, led by Dwayne Brunson with his third straight double-double - 22 points and 14 rebounds. Tomislav Gabric notched his second double-double of the young season with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Carson Konrade hit four 3-point field goals and went 7-of-11 from the field overall and 2-of-3 at the free-throw line for 20 points.
Craig Nicholson also had a big night with his second double-double of the season in points and assists, scoring 11 and adding a career-high 15 assists. The 15 assists tied for fourth-most in a game in FHSU history.
Newman had a balanced scoring attack with five players in double figures. Trae Beck led the Jets with 18 points, hitting five 3-pointers, while Jeremy Espinoza and Landers Riddle each had 14 points. Perryonte Smith had a double-double for the Jets with 12 points and 10 assists.
Fort Hays State hosts Oklahoma-Panhandle State on Saturday (Nov. 23) at 4 pm.
Fort Hays State University women's basketball continued its early season success with a 78-38 victory over Bethel College on Tuesday evening inside Gross Memorial Coliseum.
FHSU (3-0) remains unbeaten on the year despite shooting below 40 percent for the first time this season. FHSU hit just 28 of its 71 field goal attempts but picked up 16 steals on the evening to limit BC's (2-2) offensive opportunities.
All-in-all, FHSU had 31 points off of 32 Thresher turnovers as the away team shot just 28.8 percent from the field on the night.
Katelyn Edwards tallied a double-double for the second straight contest in points and rebounds, finishing with 16 and 12, respectively. The senior from Crete, Neb., added three assists and seven steals, nearing a triple-double in 24 minutes.
Taylor Chandler and Tera Ingalsbe each had 13 points on the night, with Chandler nabbing three steals in 17 minutes. Ingalsbe hit on 4-of-8 from the field (1-of-3 from long range) and pulled down six boards in 16 minutes of action.
Kate Lehman narrowly missed a double-double, finishing with 10 rebounds, nine points and six blocks.
Down 0-2 in the opening period, FHSU would take off on a 6-0 run, but couldn't pull away until the 11:29 mark in the first. Up 11-10 at that point, two free throws from Lehman started a spurt of 13 unanswered, growing the lead to 14 (24-10) at 8:31 in the first.
Up 31-17, Chandler's third jumper of the half sparked another Tiger run that lasted the final 3:10 of the half. Fort Hays State grew the lead to 46-17 during that span, running off 15 unanswered.
A 15-6 run over the opening 7:18 of the second half saw FHSU push the lead to 38 (61-23), the teams started back and forth play that saw the lead range between 38 and 34 for the next four minutes. The largest lead of the night for FHSU came in the final minute (78-34), but BC would close with two quick layups in the final 35 seconds to shrink the deficit back to 40.
The Tigers continues their home stand at Gross Memorial Coliseum on Tuesday, Nov. 26 in a 7 p.m. matchup against Newman.