The 15th-ranked Fort Hays State men's basketball team led 72-69 with 32 seconds remaining in regulation, but could not close out Central Missouri in Warrensburg on Thursday night (Dec. 5). Craig Nicholson hit the second of two free-throws with three seconds remaining to force overtime, but UCM prevailed on its home floor 93-85 handing FHSU its first loss of the season.
The Tigers fought an uphill battle all game long just to take the lead late in regulation. FHSU trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half before cutting the UCM lead back to three at halftime. FHSU finally caught UCM with 11:42 to play on a Craig Nicholson 3-point play to take the lead 49-48, but the lead would trade hands eight times before a Carson Konrade 3-point field goal put FHSU up 70-67 with 1:30 to go.
A pair of Craig Nicholson free-throws pushed the FHSU lead back to three with 32 seconds to go after a UCM layup on an offensive rebound. UCM came down and scored quickly on a layup to cut the Tiger lead back to one with 22 seconds to go. With 17 seconds remaining, Nicholson stepped to the line a perfect 9-of-9 at the charity stripe in the game and uncharacteristically missed both attempts. UCM went down, got fouled, and Daylen Robinson hit a pair of free-throws to put the Mules up by one with seven seconds remaining. Nicholson quickly drove the ball down the floor and was fouled with three seconds remaining. He unfortunately missed his third consecutive attempt at the stripe on the front end of the two-shot foul before hitting the second that would force overtime.
Carson Konrade, who went on to score a career-high 30 points in the game, put the Tigers on top briefly by one with 4:16 to go in overtime before UCM went on a 6-0 run to take a five point lead. The Mules would not give the lead back from that point, going 4-of-4 from the field and 12-of-13 at the free-throw line in overtime. UCM moved to 6-1 over FHSU in MIAA play in Warrensburg since FHSU joined the conference in 2006-07. Konrade scored 10 of Fort Hays State's 12 points in overtime and finished 11-of-14 from the field in the game, including a 6-of-8 effort beyond the 3-point line. He was a perfect 2-of-2 at the free-throw line.
Fort Hays State missed just four free-throw attempts in the game hitting 84 percent (21-of-25), unfortunately three of the misses came at the most crucial point of regulation. The Tigers continue to shoot over 80 percent as a team at the line this year through eight games.
The biggest key in the loss was the Tigers' inability to get the job done on the defensive end. FHSU fought foul trouble throughout the evening as UCM finished with 45 free-throw attempts in the game, hitting 33. Central Missouri cashed in 16 second chance points on 15 offensive rebounds (all in regulation) and the Mules killed the Tigers on the glass overall, 48-24. FHSU only pulled down 15 defensive rebounds in the game, which was key to Central Missouri's success in keeping control of the game for the majority of the evening.
The Tigers received double-double efforts from Dwayne Brunson and Nicholson aside from Konrade's big night of 30 points. Brunson finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out on the first possession of overtime. Nicholson, who was held scoreless in the first half, finished with 16 points and 11 assists.
FHSU was held to its lowest shooting percentage of the season thus far at 39.1 percent overall. Central Missouri finished at 51.8 percent overall, doing the majority of its damage inside the arc, finishing with just two 3-point field goals compared to 10 for FHSU. UCM had six players reach double figures in scoring, led by Daylen Robinson with 20, Dillon Deck with 19, and Kyle Wolf with 17.
Fort Hays State looks to rebound from its first setback of the season on Saturday (Dec. 7) at Missouri Western in St. Joseph. Game time is set for 3:30 pm at the MWSU Fieldhouse.
The Fort Hays State University women's basketball team fell, 72-51, to No. 8 Central Missouri on Thursday night in Warrensburg, Mo.
The Tigers (5-1, 0-1 MIAA) struggled from the field throughout the night, hitting just 28.1 percent of field goals (16-of-57) in the game and 20.8 percent in the first half. FHSU was held without a three-pointer for the entire first half, finishing at 18.8 percent (3-of-16) from beyond the arc.
UCM (6-1, 1-0 MIAA) finished just 1-of-8 from three-point range, but made 41.5 percent of its field goals to grab the win.
The two squads played even throughout much of the first half, as the first 12 minutes of action saw two lead changes and five ties. That, however, is where the Jennies' took advantage of the Tigers' struggles. Up 21-20, UCM started an 11-2 run to end the half at 32-22.
Kate Lehman finished the night with her third double-double of the season, netting 16 points while pulling down 11 boards. Katelyn Edwards was close behind in points, finishing the night with 13 tallies to go with five rebounds.
No other Tigers would find double-digits in points, though Tera Ingalsbe and Chelsea Mason finished with six points and Keriann Shaw had three steals.