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Tigers swept at Pitt

By The Hays Daily News

PITTSBURG -- For the fourth straight trip to John Lance Arena, the Fort Hays State University women's basketball team came up short.

Pittsburg State University All-American Lizzy Jeronimus hit a runner in the lane over Fort Hays sophomore Kate Lehman to break a 48-48 tie and the Gorillas went on for a 51-48 win in MIAA play Saturday.

With the loss, Fort Hays, ranked No. 21 in NCAA Division II, dropped to 11-4 overall and 3-4 in conference play. No. 24 Pittsburg State moved to 12-4, 6-2 in the MIAA. It was the Tigers' fourth loss in the past five games.

Later, the Tiger men lost 72-69 in the nightcap after giving themselves a chance at a tie late. A missed layup by senior Lance Russell proved costly in the closing seconds.

The loss dropped the Tiger men to 10-6 overall and 4-4 in MIAA play. Pitt State moved to 12-4 and 5-3 in the MIAA.

In the women's contest, leading scorers Lehman and junior Katelyn Edwards combined for just six points for the Tigers, while senior Melissa Nelson led the way offensively. Nelson scored 10 points, while Kaiameka Brown and Taylor Chandler scored nine and eight, respectively.

Fort Hays hit just one shot in its first 14 tries and was down 13-3 before closing the first half on a 21-4 run to claim the lead by halftime.

The Gorillas tied the game with 3:03 to play after a pair of lead changes. Jeronimus, the MIAA's leading scorer at 19 points per game, only finished with 13, but scored the final three points. She hit the go-ahead with 20 seconds left, then hit 1 of 2 free throws to seal it. Brown missed a desperation 3-pointer as time expired.

In the men's game, the Tigers battled all the way back from nine points down with a little more than three minutes to play.

With 10 seconds remaining in the game and down by two, Fort Hays forced a turnover on a Pitt State inbound play.

Tiger senior Rundell Mauge fell on a loose ball at mid-court and called a timeout, setting the Tigers up with a chance to tie with 8.8 seconds to play.

Russell, who scored 21 points in the game, missed a guarded layup with two seconds left. After the rebound, Pitt State converted on 1 of 2 free throws to seal the victory.

In addition to Russell, Craig Nicholson scored 15 points and Dwayne Brunson added 14.

The Tigers did have a 13-point lead in the first half, but Pitt State went on a 15-2 run to tie the game at 35 by halftime, then the Gorillas opened the second half on an 8-2 run to take a lead. The game saw five lead changes.