The FHSU men's basketball team, ranked No. 9 in the latest NCAA Division II rankings, escaped Kirksville, Mo., with a 63-58 win over Truman on Monday afternoon (Jan. 2). Up by one with just under four minutes remaining, Moses Dayee and Kendrick Morse dialed up a pair 3-point field goals that gave the Tigers enough separation to eventually pull out the road victory.
According to head coach Mark Johnson, FHSU executed its defensive game plan well, but offensive struggles are what allowed Truman to stay in the game. FHSU held Truman to just 20 percent shooting in the first half (5-of-25), but unfortunately were unable to muster much offense as well, shooting just 31 percent (9-of-29). As a result, the Tigers led by just four at halftime, 23-19. FHSU hit just 2-of-12 shots (16.7 percent) beyond the 3-point line in the first half.
FHSU did better in the second half offensively, shooting 48.1 percent from the field, while keeping Truman under 40 percent once again. FHSU finished the game at 39.3 percent overall, its second-lowest percentage of the season, but held Truman to 31.1 percent overall.
In a game where every possession was valuable, the Tigers looked to seize control of the offensive struggle with a 7-0 run to take an 11-point lead at the 11:15 mark of the second half, but Truman followed that with a 12-2 run to pull back within one point at the 7:19 mark.
After trading a pair of baskets, both teams went scoreless from the 6:48 mark to the 3:58 mark until Dayee snapped that drought with a 3-point field goal to put FHSU up four. Morse followed on the next possession with another triple to push the FHSU lead back to seven. That would be enough to lift the Tigers to victory, who did not allow the Bulldogs any closer than four points the rest of the way.
Morse and Tyrone Phillips tied for a team-high 14 points, followed byKarron McKenzie with 12 and Dayee with 11. Matt Simmons turned in a nice performance with a team-high 11 rebounds, while adding seven points. Morse also finished with a team-high four assists.
Seth Jackson was the top performer for Truman with 23 points. He was just 6-of-19 from the field, but finished 11-of-14 at the free-throw line. He made and attempted over half of the free-throws by Truman in the game. He also finished with a team-high nine rebounds. EJ Hicks added 16 points for the Bulldogs.
The Fort Hays State women's basketball team used an 11-0 run in the second half to erase a four point deficit and match their win total from last season with a 69-63 win over Truman on Monday afternoon in Kirksville, Mo. The win snapped a three-game skid against Truman and improves FHSU to 12-1 (4-1 MIAA) on the year.
Truman jumped on top 3-0 early after a three pointer from Allie Norton just six seconds into the game but Fort Hays State would quickly answer and take their first lead of the game on a Traci Keyser bucket put FHSU up 6-5 with 17:03 to play. Truman came back to tie the game three times before the Lady Tigers went on an 8-0 run that included a Keriann Shaw basket and three pointers from Melissa Nelson and Kelsie Sorenson. The Bulldogs came right back with eight consecutive points of their own and tied the game at 20-20 with 7:30 to play in the half. The runs continued after Fort Hays State scored the next six points and took a 26-20 lead after Kate Lehman put in a layup with just under five minutes left. FHSU took their largest lead of the half at 31-22 after a Janel Durler free throw, but Truman scored eight of the last nine points of the half and cut the FHSU lead to two at 32-30 going into the break.
Rachel Remick tied the game at 32-32 on Truman's first possession of the second half, but FHSU responded with a 10-4 run to take a 42-36 lead with 15:43 to play. The Lady Tigers then faced a charge from the Bulldogs, who went on a 10-0 run to take a 46-42 lead with 12:11 remaining. FHSU would again show their resilience, getting and-one opportunities on the next two possessions from Katelyn Edwards and Kaiameka Brown to tie the score at 47-47. Brown's basket was the start of an 11-0 run that broke the game open and put the Lady Tigers up 56-47. Fort Hays State held off Truman down the stretch, never allowing the Bulldogs to get any closer than within five the rest of the way. FHSU hit 9-of-14 free throw attempts in the final four minutes to seal the victory by a final score of 69-63.
Bechard led the way for FHSU with a season-high 20 points to go along with five rebounds and three assists. She was 7-for-10 shooting from the field and 3-for-4 from long range and also recorded her fourth blocked shot of the season. Lehman had her best game as a Tiger with career-highs of 15 points and nine rebounds to go along with four blocked shots. Keyser was held to just seven points but came through big on the glass with a career-high 11 rebounds while Edwards had another strong outing with 13 points and seven rebounds.
Truman got 14 points from Breanna Daniels and 10 from Allie Norton, but the Bulldogs were outrebounded 41-31 by FHSU. Megan Sharpe came off the bench for Truman to score six points and grab a team-high six rebounds and also block two shots. The loss drops Truman to 8-3 on the year and 3-3 in MIAA play.