BOLIVAR, Mo. — The Fort Hays State University men’s basketball team dropped its second straight MIAA road contest on Saturday, falling in overtime at Southwest Baptist (Mo.) University 73-68. The Tigers had to hit a 3-point shot late to force the extra period, but a 7-0 run by the Bearcats to open overtime was too much to overcome.
Both teams struggled mightily shooting the ball, especially from beyond the 3-point line, and played to just a 53-53 tie to end regulation. The Tigers were just 17.6 percent beyond the 3-point line (3-of-17) and the Bearcats were worse at 11.8 percent (2-of-17) heading into the extra period. Southwest Baptist (9-5, 3-2 MIAA) led the MIAA in 3-point field goal percentage entering the game, shooting better than 45 percent beyond the arc, but FHSU did not capitalize on an uncharacteristic long-range shooting performance by the home team.
Fort Hays State (10-5, 3-3 MIAA) took a 26-23 lead into halftime, utilizing an 11-0 run that produced a six-point lead at the 8:08 mark of the first half. FHSU led the rest of the way into the break. Brady Werth led the Tigers in scoring in the first half with eight points, while Trey O'Neil had seven.
The Tigers remained in control of the lead until the 16:21 mark of the second half. From that point, neither team led by more than four before time in regulation expired. Hadley Gillum had to hit a 3-point field goal with 9.8 seconds remaining to get the game tied. SBU came to the other end, turned the ball over, and O'Neil had a last-second heave from just over half court fall off the mark. By the end of regulation, FHSU was shooting just 34.4 percent from the field and SBU was at 36.7 percent.
The lid that seemed to stay over the basket all throughout regulation came off in overtime for the Bearcats as they went a perfect 5-of-5 from the field, including two 3-pointers, and 8-of-8 at the free-throw line in the extra period. SBU started overtime on a 7-0 run and it was too much for the Tigers to overcome. FHSU went just 4-of-10 from the field was outscored 20-15 in the extra five minutes. The Tigers are now a snakebit 0-3 in overtime games this year and all have been away from home.
Gillum finished with a team-best 17 points and nine rebounds. Grant Holmes was one of the few players on the court to have a good day shooting the ball, going 5-of-6 from the field and 4-of-4 at the free-throw line for 15 points. O'Neil had 13 points and Werth finished with 10. FHSU shot 35.2 percent overall for the game.
Logan Hovey led SBU in scoring with 16 points, followed by Marlon Alcindor with 12. Damian Prgomet had a double-double of 10 points, 10 rebounds, and Cartier Dean added 10 points. The hot shooting in overtime brought the Bearcats' final field goal percentage to 42.6 for the game. Both teams finished just over 21 percent from beyond the 3-point line, FHSU 5-of-23 and SBU 4-of-19.
The Tigers have yet to score at least 70 points in an MIAA road game this year, though they entered Saturday averaging more than 82 points per game. FHSU will have a full week of rest before playing Nebraska-Kearney in Hays on Saturday. The next three games for FHSU are at home.