ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Fort Hays State erased a 10-point halftime deficit at Missouri Western on Monday night and pulled out a 62-58 win. Moses Dayee buried a 3-pointer with 20 seconds remaining to put the Tigers up four, then Kendrick Morse sealed the win for the Tigers with a pair of free throws with 13 seconds remaining. FHSU moved to 14-5 overall and 8-5 in the MIAA with the win.
|TOP 25 SCORES|
|No. 17 Shaw 92, Fayetteville State 84 (2OT)|
|No. 19 Bowie State 58, Virginia State 48|
|No. 23 Fort Hays State 62, Missouri Western 58|
For the second game in a row, the Tigers had a rough offensive first half. They shot 25 percent (8-of-32) from the field and 15.4 percent (2-of-13) behind the 3-point line before the break, compared to 47.6 percent overall by the Griffons. Karron McKenzie was the only Tiger starter to score in the first half with eight points as 13 points came from the bench.
Fort Hays State forced 12 first-half turnovers out of the Griffons to stay in the game and trail 31-21 at the half. The 21 first-half points matched the same amount scored in the opening half at Northwest Missouri State on Saturday.
The offensive woes went away quickly at the start of the second half as 3-point field goals started to fall for the Tigers. FHSU buried five of its first seven attempts beyond the arc after the break. Three of those came within a 19-7 run between the 16:37 and 8:22 marks by the Tigers that erased a nine-point deficit and gave them a three-point lead of 46-43. A layup by Markus Yarbrough with 9:58 remaining gave FHSU its first lead of the game.
The game was tight the rest of the way as there were four lead changes and three ties up to the 4:05 mark. Moses Dayee, as he did a few times last year in tight games, rose to the occasion and buried one of his four 3-pointers with 2:07 remaining to give FHSU a five-point cushion.
Free-throw shooting became critical down the stretch and the Tigers left the Griffons in the game when both Kendrick Morse and Karron McKenzie missed the front end of a pair of 1-and-1 situations at the line. After the McKenzie miss, James Harris of Missouri Western hit a 3-pointer with 45 seconds left to cut the FHSU lead back to one.
The Tigers had to score on their next possession to keep the Griffons from having the last possession possibly to win the game. With ice water in his veins, Dayee buried another 3-pointer with 20 seconds remaining that drove a dagger in the Griffons’ comeback plans.
Missouri Western quickly went down the floor and got a two-point basket with 13 seconds remaining, but Morse got redemption at the free-throw line and buried a pair of free-throws to put the game away for the Tigers. He finished the game 6-of-7 at the line.
Dayee led the Tigers scoring effort with 14 points, all in the second half. He was 4-of-11 beyond the 3-point line in the game. Lance Russell and Morse provided huge sparks off the bench, each with 13 points. Russell was 5-of-7 from the field with two 3-point field goals. He had a fast-break dunk that capped the 19-7 run by the Tigers to go up three points with a little more than eight minutes to go.
FHSU finished 56 percent (14-of-25) from the field in the second half, a complete turn around from the first half. The Tigers forced 19 turnovers out of the Griffons overall and hit 10 3-point field goals (8 in the second half), which allowed them to overcome a poor shooting night overall of 38.6 percent.
Lavonte Douglas led Missouri Western (7-13, 2-12 MIAA) in scoring with 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field. Reed Mells and James Harris each had 13.