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Tiger men picked second in MIAA -10/23/2014, 10:48 AM

HHS looks to rebound -10/23/2014, 10:21 AM

Area prep football district standings, Oct. 23 -10/23/2014, 10:21 AM

Williams will be looking for 3s -10/23/2014, 10:20 AM

KVA prep volleyball rankings, Oct. 22 -10/23/2014, 10:19 AM

Royals win 7-2, send tied series to San Francisco -10/23/2014, 10:19 AM

Area prep volleyball sub-state brackets -10/23/2014, 10:19 AM

FHSU women's basketball picked fourth in MIAA, ESU first -10/22/2014, 2:28 PM

HHS soccer shut out by Garden City -10/22/2014, 10:11 AM

Tiger women sixth at Park Classic -10/22/2014, 10:11 AM

Tigers start prep for Bearcats -10/22/2014, 2:22 PM

Blocks Britz's specialty for KSU -10/22/2014, 10:10 AM

Royals must fight against history -10/22/2014, 10:10 AM

K.C. roughed up in Game 1 -10/22/2014, 10:10 AM

Castorino named MIAA Men's Soccer Athlete of the Week -10/21/2014, 3:23 PM

Babyak, Thompson earn MIAA weekly honors -10/21/2014, 3:05 PM

Hays High girls claim 4A title -- TMP sixth -10/21/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP soccer falls at Garden City -10/21/2014, 10:22 AM

Manning, Broncos pound 49ers -10/20/2014, 10:26 AM

Charles the Chiefs' all-time leader -10/20/2014, 10:17 AM

'Boys move to 6-1 -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

K.C. kicks past Chargers -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

Jump back to 1985 -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

Keselowski keeps title hopes alive with win at Talladega -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

FHSU women earn shutout, set record -10/20/2014, 10:16 AM

KSU sits atop Big 12 -10/19/2014, 6:42 AM

Early mistakes sink Jayhawks -10/19/2014, 6:41 AM

Tigers nab 'W' at Emporia -10/19/2014, 8:21 PM

Knights secure district, playoff spot -10/19/2014, 6:34 AM

TMP claims MCL tourney title -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Monarchs take team to Class 4A state -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Area prep football roundup, Oct. 17 -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Indian volleyball second at WAC -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

HHS has high expectations for 4A golf finale -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Buhler hands Hays High first loss in blowout -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

FHSU men win eighth straight -10/18/2014, 8:21 PM

FHSU Tiger Open XC results -10/18/2014, 8:21 PM

Tiger women record third consecutive shutout -10/18/2014, 8:20 PM

Tiger volleyball wins third straight match -10/18/2014, 8:20 PM

Indians' Forinash goes 0-2 at 4A state -10/18/2014, 8:20 PM

TMP falls in district opener to Beloit -10/17/2014, 11:46 AM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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SPOTLIGHT
FHSU men top UCO in MIAA action

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FHSU men top UCO in MIAA action

Published on -1/31/2013, 10:13 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

University of Central Oklahoma senior forward Spencer Smith had the ball down low with 12.5 minutes left in Wednesday's contest. Smith went up for a shot and Fort Hays State University junior Dwayne Brunson blocked the ball.

Freshman point Craig Nicholson grabbed the defensive rebound, turned and immediately started the fast break. He passed to senior guard Ben Congiusta on the wing, who quickly found senior Lance Russell for an open jumper.

The play gave FHSU an 11-point lead and forced a Broncho timeout.

The lead was the highest of the game for the Tigers, who had to withstand a late run. However, helped by big offensive nights from Nicholson, Russell and Brunson and just enough defense, FHSU earned a 78-71 victory at Gross Memorial Coliseum.

Fort Hays never trailed in the final 24 minutes, but the Bronchos always kept it close, including a two-point margin with 71 seconds left.

"You just need to maintain your lead," coach Mark Johnson said. "You don't quite to seem to hit the panic button, and the other team maybe doesn't gain as much. The way they play, they are going to make runs. I felt that run was coming."

The Tigers moved to 12-6 overall, 6-4 MIAA, while UCO dropped to 7-11, 5-5 MIAA. Fort Hays moved to 1-0 on a four-game homestand that stretches through two weeks.

"Good win, had to have it," Johnson said. "This is an important homestand. Really felt like you can't have success on your homestand if you don't win the first one, so this was really, really big for us."

UCO, known for its athleticism, offense and high foul count, shot 40 percent from the field and hit 11 treys.

"They are a tough matchup," Johnson said. "They make it hard on you, they spread you out."

Three players scored in double figures, including 24 points from Smith and 13 from junior Josh Gibbs, who Johnson said at times is possibly the league's best offensive player. The Bronchos committed 24 fouls, six more than Fort Hays, and collected a first half technical. Central Oklahoma used both a full-court press and zone, grabbed 13 offensive rebounds and held a plus-six edge on the glass.

"Coach told us earlier in the week that this is one of those games where we have got to keep our composure," Russell said.

Helped by the rebounding, Central Oklahoma led early, but Fort Hays led 37-35 at halftime. FHSU went on an 15-6 run in the first eight minutes of the second half before UCO started to come back.

Still, Russell scored 22 points, one off his career high. Nicholson tallied 15 points and a career-high 12 assists, seventh best for a single game in Tiger history.

"We kind of go as Craig goes," Johnson said. "He has to play well. I know that is a lot of pressure on a freshman."

Brunson tacked on 18 points. Junior Marty Wendel didn't score, but provided 25 minutes of quality defense off the bench, and junior Carson Konrade hit two treys in the second half. He helped contain Gibbs to 4 of 11 shooting.

"I thought going into the game, Marty was the only guy, you look at a body type, a height type, an athletic type, can match up the best," Johnson said of the 6-6, 210-pound Wendel. "It seemed like our other guys were too small or not quite as mobile enough. Marty did a great job defensively."

Each time UCO closed the gap late, Fort Hays managed to stay in control. At 64-60, Nicholson drove right behind a Brunson screen, collected a foul and hit a free throw. At 65-63, Konrade made a pass that ricocheted off a UCO player's leg. Fort Hays maintained possession and Russell eventually hit a 3.

"Against the zone, you've got to really move the ball to catch them off set, so you can attack and make the right play and get an open look," Russell said.

At 68-66, Russell finished off with a 3-point play to push the lead to five points.

At 71-69, senior Jamell Cormier drove down the middle against Russell, but lost the ball and committed a turnover.

"I tried to give him a step," Russell said. "He tried to take me, and then I cut him off at the end. It bounced off his leg. Our ball."

Then Nicholson made six free throws down the stretch to help earn the win. FHSU will host Missouri Southern State University on Saturday.

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