The Fort Hays State University men won, but the women lost on the road Saturday at Pittsburg State.
Craig Nicholson buried 4-of-4 free-throw attempts in the final 28 seconds to help hold off Pittsburg State in Pittsburg on Saturday (Jan. 25) afternoon by a score of 78-75. His pair with six seconds remaining pushed the lead back to three and PSU missed a last second 3-point attempt, giving FHSU it's eighth-consecutive win.
Nicholson was clutch down the stretch for FHSU, scoring the team's final seven points of the game in the final 2:29. Nicholson finished with 15 points and went a perfect 8-of-8 at the free-throw line in the game. That helped counter Fort Hays State's second-worst effort at the free-throw line as a team in a game this year, shooting just 62.5 percent at the stripe for the game (16-of-25) after entering the game as the second-best free-throw shooting team in the nation. The Tigers, however, missed just one attempt after halftime (7-of-8). Nicholson's 3-point field goal with 2:29 remaining broke a 71-71 tie and the Tigers held on to the lead from that point.
Carson Konrade had the hot hand for the Tigers in the second half. He scored all of his team-high 17 points after halftime on five 3-point field goals and a layup. He was 6-of-10 overall from the field. James Fleming also had the three-ball dropping with four in the game, finishing with 15 points. He had the hot hand early, leading the Tigers at halftime with nine points.
Jake Stoppel finished with his first double-double at Fort Hays State with 10 points and a career-high 11 rebounds.
The Tigers looked to be in control of the game early, leading by 16 (30-14) at the 7:30 mark of the first half. PSU closed the first half on a 16-8 run to make it 38-30 in favor of FHSU at the break. PSU constantly chipped away in the second half, taking its first lead since early in the game at 66-65 with 5:48 remaining. The teams traded blows, FHSU with a quick 5-0 run to go up four only to be answered by a 5-0 run by PSU to make it 71-70 Gorillas with 4:01 to play. After a James Fleming free-throw tied the game, Nicholson broke the tie on his three-pointer with just under two and a half to play.
Devon Branch led the Gorillas with 20 points, followed by Jake Bullard with 15 and Sam Pugh with 14.
No. 24 Fort Hays State fell, 74-60, to Pittsburg State on Saturday afternoon in Pittsburg, Kan.
The Tigers drop to 13-4 (6-4 MIAA) while PSU improves to 13-6 (6-3 MIAA).
FHSU's Kate Lehman led the team with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Katelyn Edwards notched 13 points and six rebounds. Edwards is now just one board shy of No. 600 in her career. Chelsea Mason and Beth Bohuslavsky each had eight.
Nikola Kacperska's four steals were a team-high, as Edwards and Keriann Shaw each dished out three assists.
FHSU led 10-8 near the first media timeout of the game, but PSU tied the game at 14, and took the lead soon after. Down five, 16-21, with 8:34 remaining in the half, a free throw and two quick layups from Lehman pulled the Tigers within one (22-21). A Shaw free throw tied the game, 22-22. Still, PSU regained control and stretched its lead to as many as seven (39-32) late in the first frame. Two free throws from Lehman with 18 seconds remaining sent the squads to half with PSU leading, 39-34.
FHSU started the final half on a tear, rattling off five unanswered as part of a 7-2 run that tied the game, 41-all, with 16:04 remaining. With the teams all square at 45 under the 14 minute mark, PSU started a 14-2 run that lasted nearly six minutes that FHSU couldn't recover from. Down 64-54 at the 4:02 mark, FHSU hit just three field goals the remainder of the game.