FHSU women have streak going

By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

For most of the season, freshman guards Beth Bohuslavsky and Taylor Chandler often scored in very specific ways for the Fort Hays State University women's basketball team.

Bohuslavsky took open shots and scored on fast-break opportunities, but rarely reached the foul line. Chandler, the team leader in steals, normally scored off layups from turnovers.

However, since the Jan. 24 Lindenwood (Mo.) University road game, a contest in which senior Melissa Nelson suffered a knee injury with about two minutes left, Bohuslavsky and Chandler have changed their offensive games -- and helped the Tigers replace Nelson's scoring.

"One person isn't going to do it," Bohuslavsky said. "Credit Taylor, she stepped up. I stepped up. A lot of people stepped up."

"Both of those kids have really stepped up and are playing well right now," coach Tony Hobson added in his weekly news conference Monday.

Before Lindenwood, Chandler was 4 of 26 on shots classified as jumpers and 3-pointers, according to official play-by-play data. She was 21 of 39 on layups. At the beginning of the season, Chandler, a great on-the-ball defender, mainly was in the game for defense. She had some trouble with turnovers. Recently, Hobson said Chandler has "done a way better job" of taking care of the ball.

That's helped her receive more playing time.

"Just like Beth, she is playing without fear of making a mistake," Hobson said. "There is nothing worse in basketball than being out there, afraid to do something."

In the last four games, Chandler is 5 of 10 on jumpers/3-pointers, including a key 3 late in Saturday's home win against Missouri Southern State University.

"Taylor has improved her shooting just because I think she is more comfortable," Hobson said. "Shooters always shoot the ball better if they are out on the floor longer and get into a flow, unless fatigue comes into play. It hasn't for her."

In those four games, Chandler is 1 of 5 on layups.

In the last two contests, Chandler also has attempted four free throws; she had zero in the previous seven contests.

"It's always been there," Chandler said of the 3-pointers and jumpers. "... (With injuries), we had to step up in different areas."

On Wednesday, Fort Hays, receiving votes nationally at 14-5 overall, 6-5 MIAA, will host Northwest Missouri State University (11-8, 5-6 MIAA). The Bearcats have a first-year coach in Mark Kellogg, who took over after longtime coach Gene Steinmeyer retired after last season. Game time is 5:30 p.m. at Gross Memorial Coliseum.

The 5-foot-6 Bohuslavsky was able to get to the free throw line often at Seward (Neb.) High School. However, before the last two contests, Bohuslavsky had been 12 of 16 from the foul line for the season.

She has started each of the last two games, the first of her collegiate career, because senior Kaiameka Brown has been slowed by an injury. In those contests, Bohuslavsky was 0 of 7 from the field, but 9 of 14 from the free throw line.

Depending on Northwest's size and Brown's health, Hobson could start Brown and Bohuslavsky together for the first time this year Wednesday.

"You are hoping that somebody will step up and discover some things about themselves and maybe get some things done that they haven't had an opportunity to do," Hobson said. "I think both of those players have. Beth has a knack of being in the lane and drawing fouls - and when I say drawing fouls, there is an art to that. Some people can drive to the basket forever and they don't ever seem to get calls."