Fort Hays State upsets Pittsburgh State
Tigers extend streak, clinch first 20-win season since 2005-06
HAYS, Kan. -- Fort Hays State picked up their 20th win of the season and fifth consecutive win on Wednesday, knocking off No. 11 Pittsburg State 72-61. It was the second win by the Lady Tigers against a ranked team this season and improves their record to 20-7 (12-7 MIAA). The win gives the Lady Tigers their first 20-win season since the 2005-06 season, the year before FHSU joined the MIAA.
After Fort Hays State scored the opening point of the game on a Kate Lehman free throw, Pittsburg State took their only lead of the game at 2-1 after Brooke Conley hit a jumper. FHSU quickly got baskets from Lehman and Traci Keyser, taking an 11-5 lead with just over five minutes played. Pitt State went on a 13-7 run to tie the game at 18-18 with 7:27 to play in the half. The Lady Tigers responded with an 11-4 run to take a 29-22 lead, their largest of the half, after a pair of free throws from Kimber Weiser. Pitt State made one final run in the half, using an Alexa Bordwick three with five seconds left to cut the halftime deficit to 31-29.
Lehman and Crista Bechard opened up the second half with buckets to put FHSU up 35-29. After another Bordewick three cut made it 35-32, FHSU used a 12-4 run, capped off with a Weiser three pointer to take a 47-36 lead with 14:43 to play. Pitt State could not get closer than five the rest of the way as foul trouble became a problem for both teams. Gorilla post player Larissa Richards picked up her fourth foul with 6:23 to play in a 55-48 game, and after Lehman hit one out of two free throws, she was called for her fourth foul and hate to sit down.
Strong defense and free throw shooting down the stretch helped the Lady Tigers seal the game. Fort Hays State hit all 12 free throws they attempted in the final 3:19 of the game, including a pair by Keyser after Pitt State's Lizzy Jeronimus picked up her fifth foul of the game on a technical foul. Those free throws from Keyser gave Fort Hays State their biggest lead of the game at 72-58. Pitt State's Amanda Orloske hit a three with six seconds to play, making the final margin 72-61.
Pittsburg State's loss drops them to 23-4 (17-3 MIAA) on the year and takes them out of first place in the conference standings. The Gorillas were led by 11 points from Drew Roberts and 10 from Richards. Richards also had eight rebounds for the Gorillas, who shot 37.1 percent (23-of-62) from the field and 35.7 percent (5-of-14) from long range.
Fort Hays State had four players score in double figures, led by 16 from Lehman and 13 from Bechard. Katelyn Edwards had 12 points and 10 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season. Kaiameka Brown finished with 10 points while Weiser added nine, with seven of them coming during a crucial stretch in the second half. Fort Hays State outrebounded the Gorillas 45-36 and shot 39.0% (23-of-59) but were held to a season-low two 3-point field goals made.