Feb 09, 2020 7:47 PM

Four in a row – Tigers defeat Bronchos 81-73 in Hays

Posted Feb 09, 2020 7:47 PM
FHSU's Jared Vitztum. Photo by Allie Schweizer courtesy <a href="http://fhsuathletics.com">fhsuathletics.com</a>
FHSU's Jared Vitztum. Photo by Allie Schweizer courtesy fhsuathletics.com

HAYS -- Fort Hays State Men's Basketball continued its upward climb in the MIAA standings on Saturday with an 81-73 win over Central Oklahoma at Gross Memorial Coliseum.

It was the fourth straight win for the Tigers, now 11-11 overall and 4-9 in the MIAA, while completing the perfect four-game home stand. FHSU jumped all the way up into a tie for 10th in the MIAA standings with the win.

Neither team led by more than six points in the first half with the lead changing hands five times along with 10 ties. By halftime, FHSU was on the positive side of the tight game with a 41-38 lead.

A 13-4 run by the Tigers over the first five minutes of the second half pushed their lead to 12. UCO then went on a 7-0 burst to trim the lead back to five. To continue the see-saw pattern, FHSU an 11-2 burst immediately following to grow the lead to 14 with 10:36 to play. Eventually the lead reached 16 three times, the latest at the 4:10 mark, before UCO slowly began to chip away with full-court pressure.

Central Oklahoma went on an 11-1 run between the 4:10 and 1:37 marks on the clock, making the margin an uncomfortable six points late. However, UCO would not hit a shot the rest of the way as the Tigers tacked on two points in the final 1:15 of the game and held on for the eight-point win.

Jared Vitztum had a career-high 22 points on a near-perfect shooting night for the Tigers. He was perfect from the field, 6-of-6 overall and 4-of-4 beyond the 3-point line, but missed just one free throw going 6-of-7. He also had a team-high eight rebounds. Alvin Thompson led the Tigers off the bench with 16 points, going a perfect 3-of-3 beyond the 3-point line. Aaron Nicholson added 14 points and a career-high seven assists, while Nyjee Wright had 13 points. The Tigers shot a blistering 59.5 percent overall, including 57.1 percent beyond the 3-point line.

Justin Nimmer led the UCO scoring effort with 20 points, while Dashon Bell was right behind with 18. Camryn Givens added 10.

Fort Hays State goes on the road next week to battle Central Missouri (Thur.) and Lincoln (Sat.) in a pair of crucial contests for positioning in the standings. Central Missouri is tied with the Tigers at 4-9 in the MIAA, while Lincoln is one game in front at 5-8.

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Feb 09, 2020 7:47 PM
Early hole proves to be difference in CCCC women's hoops loss

CONCORDIA – A slow start would lead to a 17-9 hole after one quarter of action for the Cloud County Community College women's basketball team as the T-Birds would outscore visiting Coffeyville 40-38 in the final 30 minutes of action but fall by a final score of 55-49 inside of Arley Bryant Gymnasium in Concordia on Saturday .

The loss drops Cloud County to 9-17 overall and 4-12 in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference while the Red Ravens improved to 11-5 in conference play and now hold a 21-5 overall record.

The T-Birds would manage to score the first points of the ball game on a Jacy Dalinghaus jumper, but then proceed to see Coffeyville score the next eight points to go up 8-2 midway through the first quarter. A Dalinghaus basket and free throw would cut the deficit in half and get Cloud County back in the scoring column as the T-Birds would close within two on their next offensive possession. Coffeyville would have a response however, ending the quarter on an 8-2 run as the deficit would grow back out to eight after the opening 10 minutes of action.

A 5-2 start to the second quarter by the Red Ravens would give Coffeyville their first double-digit lead of the game as Cloud County would be forced to take a timeout trailing 22-11 with 6:35 left in the first half. The T-Birds would then get three straight points from the charity stripe to get the deficit back down to single-digits before seeing the two teams trade buckets to have the deficit bounce back and forth between nine and 11 points. Cloud County would then be sparked by baskets from Jasmina Jones and Maeson Dewey to end the half as four of the final six points of the second quarter would be scored by the T-Birds to trail 31-22 at halftime.

Using a Haven Hamilton layup and Dalinghaus free throw to start the third quarter, Cloud County would get back within six at 31-25 in the opening minutes of the second half. Coffeyville would come back with back-to-back layups to go back up 10 as Cloud County would go on a four-minute scoring drought before getting the score back within seven on a pair of Isabella Vazquez free throws with just over a minute remaining in the third. The final 90 seconds however would see the Red Ravens get a free throw and made jumper on their final offensive possession as the score would hold at 43-33 with 10 minutes remaining.

Four quick points by Cloud County to open the fourth quarter would get the T-Birds within six at 43-37, but momentum would be quickly killed off by another scoring drought that would allow Coffeyville to go back up 10 at 47-37. Dalinghaus and Hamilton would then combine to score the next five points for Cloud County as the T-Birds would close within five on a pair of Kelsie Kelly free throws to cap off a 7-2 run. Needing to create a spark in the final 1:43 of the game, Cloud County would see Coffeyville score six of the next eight points to grow their lead back to nine at 55-46 as time would run out on a potential comeback by the T-Birds.

An off shooting night would see the T-Birds go 16-of-73 (21.9 percent) from the field and connect on just one-of-18 (5.6 percent) of their shots from three while Coffeyville would go 23-of-56 (41.1 percent) from the floor and two-for-13 (15.4 percent) from beyond the arc. Cloud County would outrebound the Red Ravens 53-42 and get a 13-4 advantage in second-chance points but be hurt by a 36-26 deficit in points in the paint.

Nearly half of CCCC's scoring would come from Dalinghaus (13) and Hamilton (11) as the duo would also combine to grab 18 rebounds and add two blocks. LaKya Leslie would score nine points off the bench and grab six rebounds while also recording two assists.

What's next?

Cloud County will have their first opportunity of the season to sweep a conference foe in a season series as the T-Birds will host Cowley College at 6 p.m. on Monday.