Tiger women fall to Jennies

By The Hays Daily News

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Fort Hays State University women's basketball team lost, 71-69, to University of Central Missouri in the MIAA conference tournament semifinals Saturday at Municipal Auditorium. It's the third straight year FHSU fell to the Jennies in the postseason tournament -- and second straight in the final seconds.

MIAA Player of the Year Keuna Flax (game-high 24 points) hit a game-winning layup with five seconds left for the win.

Fort Hays, the tournament's No. 5 seed, was ranked No. 9 in the Central Region. Top eight make the NCAA Division II field announced tonight, and the Tigers (21-8) could get left out. Fort Hays has won 20, 22 and 21 games the last three years -- the first time in school history FHSU has had three straight 20-win seasons -- but might not have a single NCAA berth in that span.

UCM was seeded No. 1 in the tournament at 25-3. Junior center Kate Lehman, who eventually fouled out, finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while sophomore guard Chelsea Mason tallied 16 points. Senior Katelyn Edwards, in maybe her final collegiate contest, had 15 points and eight rebounds. Edward tied the game at 69 with a foul shot with 35 seconds left.

Fort Hays trailed early, but battled back to a 30-28 halftime deficit.

The Jennies had an 11-0 burst early in the second half before FHSU came back to take a 64-60 lead after it trailed by 14 with a little more than eight minutes to play. The Tigers had a 22-4 Tiger run to take the lead.