HAYS -- Fort Hays State Men's Basketball looks to get on the winning track Saturday when it meets Rogers State for the first time in history at 4 pm in Claremore, Oklahoma.
The Tigers are looking to snap a three-game losing skid and claim their first win in MIAA play. FHSU enters at 6-7 overall, 0-5 in the MIAA, while RSU is 11-4 overall and 3-3 in the MIAA.
Fort Hays State still searches for its first conference win of the season after a 76-70 loss at Northeastern State on Thursday night. The Tigers have allowed 50 percent or better shooting from the field in three straight games, so strong defense could be a key to the Tigers snapping out of their early-MIAA season funk. The Tigers have allowed 10.4 three-point field goals per game to the opposition in their five MIAA contests so far this season, including 12 per game in their last three MIAA games. FHSU has allowed at least 50 percent shooting from the field in four of their five MIAA games so far, with 43.1 percent as the season low by Emporia State which ended in a three-point loss (closest loss in conference play so far).
Jared Vitztum scored a season-high 18 points on Thursday night at Northeastern State, leading the Tigers with four of the team's 13 three-point field goals in the game. The 13 three-pointers matched a season high by the Tigers, also accomplished against Sterling, but it was not enough as NSU hit 12. NSU outscored FHSU by just one point on field goals overall, but by five at the free-throw line. Also reaching double figures in scoring were Aaron Nicholson (15, Jake Hutchings (14, and Devin Davis (10). Nicholson and Hutchings each buried three shots from beyond the arc.
The Tigers have four players averaging double figures in scoring, led by Vitztum at 12.5 per game. He is also the team leader in rebounds at 7.2 per game. Nyjee Wright leads in assists at 2.5 per game.
Rogers State also has four players averaging double figures in scoring, led by Marques Sumner at 13.1 points per game. The Hillcats, like the Tigers, are one of the better free-throw shooting teams in the nation. Rogers State has a success rate of 80.6 percent to rank sixth in the nation, while FHSU shoots 78.8 percent at the line to rank 17th.