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Ingalsbe makes good on opportunities for Tigers

By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Fort Hays State University junior forward Tera Ingalsbe plays behind junior forward Katelyn Edwards and sophomore center Kate Lehman, two of the MIAA's top players. However, Ingalsbe has played at an efficient rate when she's received opportunities.

Ingalsbe, a 6-foot-1 transfer from Cloud County Community College, averages 7.8 points per game in 14.8 minutes a contest for the Tigers, 8-0, 2-0 MIAA, and ranked No. 11 in NCAA Division II.

Ingalsbe shoots 61.1 percent from the field, is a perfect 16 of 16 from the foul line and has hit both of her 3-point attempts. Ingalsbe leads the MIAA in free throw percentage and would stand sixth in field goal percentage if she had enough attempts.

Ingalsbe, though, has been great to accept her role and minutes. Lehman and Edwards are having All-American-worthy seasons.

Lehman leads the team with 18.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 36 blocks, while Edwards adds 12.8 points, 7.4 rebounds and 19 steals. Fort Hays travels to Oklahoma Panhandle State University (2-6) for non-conference action Saturday.

"It doesn't affect her as far as her outlook or her attitude at all and that's the sign of just a good team player," coach Tony Hobson said in his weekly news conference Monday. "She more than understands what's going on and what we need her to do. She is a loud cheerleader when she is over on the bench. Tera is just exactly right now what we need coming off the bench."

The inside presence of Lehman, Edwards and Ingalsbe has helped Fort Hays shoot 45.2 as a team, despite sinking just 28.1 of its 3-point attempts. FHSU has averaged 17.4 3-point attempts this year. Last year, Fort Hays averaged 18.1 3-point attempts and shot 31.9 percent from the field.

"The balance we have found is out of necessity because we can't shoot it, so you better take fewer shots," Hobson said. "It's not that we can't shoot it, it's that we have been inconsistent."

Keyser and Sorenson?

Seniors Traci Keyser and Kelsie Sorenson have logged at least two years as starters and are each in their fourth season with the Tigers. Last winter, Keyser played 21.3 minutes a night and averaged 9.7 points and 4.2 rebounds a game. On FHSU's top-10 list for multiple career statistics, Keyser shot 31.5 percent from 3-point range, That was below her sophomore year totals of 11.2 points and 39.5 percent from 3-point range.

Sorenson averaged 21 minutes a game and tallied 4.1 points and 3.3 rebounds last season.

Both players have seen their production drop slightly this year. Keyser is at 7.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 32.3 3-point shooting in 19 minutes. Hobson has been pleased with Keyser's rebounding, improved defense throughout her career, and always giving great effort.

"I think Traci can play better than she is right now," Hobson said. "Traci is a very analytical person and I think sometimes she thinks too much and you can kind of see her sometimes hesitate on the floor. She is trying to decide, should I go here or there? Should I help or should I switch? Should I take the shot? She needs to just let it go, just play more with just instinct. ... I think as she gets into the season, I think she will be fine."

Sorenson has battled various illnesses since the end of last season and is fully in form yet. She has averaged 6.9 minutes a contest with 2.4 points and 1.4 rebounds.

(Kelsie said) "I haven't been sick my whole life until I came here. She is thinking that's western Kansas now," Hobson deadpanned. "I look for her to play a much bigger role than she has. It's just a matter of when she gets in there and gets comfortable."