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Faxon coming off strong game for Tiger women

By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Freshman Jill Faxon entered Wednesday's game at Washburn University with low confidence. She hadn't played well in several contests. Last Saturday, she played a season-low two minutes against Pittsburg State University. In the last six contests, Faxon had 18 points and eight rebounds.

Tiger coach Tony Hobson believed the Washburn game could help Faxon.

"You've just got to take a chance," Hobson said. "I thought tonight was a good time to give her some minutes against a zone. If she threw it away four times in a row, I was going to leave her in there for awhile, because we need her."

Faxon played a near-flawless performance and enjoyed her best game as a Tiger with 15 points and five rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench in a 74-65 Tiger loss.

"She has been a little bit down on herself," junior center Kate Lehman said. "She has had a couple of good practices the last couple of weeks, and I think we have gotten her back to where she needs to be. We are going to need her down the stretch."

Faxon went 4 of 5 from the field and 6 of 6 from the foul line in what Hobson labeled an "excellent" performance.

"She responded," Hobson said. "She had a great first half, a couple offensive rebounds and hit a couple big shots the second half. I really liked what I saw from her. I hope we can keep her playing that well, because we can really use somebody like that."

Fort Hays dropped to 16-7, 9-7 MIAA and lost its season-high third straight contest. The Tigers, No. 10 in the first Central Region rankings released before Wednesday's game, are likely out of the picture for a top-four seed and first-round bye to the conference tournament.

An at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament is slim, though the Tigers can still win the conference tournament to qualify.

On Saturday, FHSU plays host to University of Nebraska-Kearney (8-15, 4-12 MIAA) in a 2 p.m. start at Gross Memorial Coliseum. The Tigers won 85-67 on Feb. 5 in Kearney. FHSU closes the regular season with three straight at home.

"We just need to bear down and concentrate on these last three home games and move on from there," Hobson said.