The Fort Hays State University women's basketball team scored early and often in its 94-55 season opening victory over Northwestern Oklahoma State on Wednesday evening.
FHSU (1-0) hit 45.2 percent of its field goals while limiting NWOSU (0-3) to 34.9 percent. The Tigers' strong defense was highlighted by the team committing just 15 personal fouls – limiting the Aggies' free throw opportunities. Fort Hays State hit on 18 of its 22 chances at the free throw line.
Newcomer Chelsea Mason led all scorers with 32 points; hitting 60 percent of her field goals (and 5-of-9 from long range) and grabbing six rebounds in the winning effort.
Senior Kate Edwards was the second of three Tigers to score in double digits, notching 13 for the game with four assists and a team-leading eight rebounds.
Freshmen Nikola Kacperska (four points, six assists) and Jill Faxon (10 points) put together strong performances in their Tiger debuts, playing 16 minutes apiece in the win.
Veteran guard Beth Bohuslavsky led the team with five steals on the night to go with seven points.
In the front court, Kate Lehman swatted five shots and pulled down six boards to go with her nine points. Tera Ingalsbe had nine points and five rebounds.
Bohuslavsky would start the scoring for the Tigers, hitting a layup just 18 seconds into the game, giving FHSU a lead for good. After starting on a 6-0 run, FHSU allowed a five-point burst by NWOSU before a media timeout at 15:44.
Mason's first points of the contest came soon after, hitting a free throw to spark a 8-0 Tiger run that gave them a 14-5 lead.
At the half, Fort Hays State held a nine-point advantage, 44-33.
FHSU would open the second frame on a 14-2 run over the first 7:43, including spurts of six and eight unanswered to stretch its lead to 19 (58-35).
Up 64-41, the Tigers erupted for 17 unanswered, ending the run on back-to-back three-pointers from Mason.
After a Kacperska jumper gave the Tigers a 91-48 lead at 3:48 in the second frame, the teams closed out the final minutes scoreless.
With the win, Fort Hays State has now won 10 straight season openers, and is undefeated in six season openers under the direction of head coach Tony Hobson.
The Tigers are back in action Saturday, Nov. 16 for their home opener against Oklahoma-Panhandle State. Game time is slated for Noon inside Gross Memorial Coliseum.