JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Fort Hays State University men’s basketball team fell victim to a hot 3-point shooting Lincoln team Thursday. Lincoln drained 13 from long range and pulled away late to defeat FHSU 77-56. Lincoln improved to 10-10 overall, 4-7 in the MIAA, while FHSU fell to 12-7 overall, 5-5 in the MIAA.
Lincoln jumped out to an 8-2 lead before FHSU stormed back in the early going to get the game tied at 11. FHSU took its first lead of the game on a Calvin Harrington layup to make it 15-14. A quick 8-2 burst by the Tigers netted their largest lead of the game of six points, 23-17, with 9:26 to go before the half. At the second media break of the first half, FHSU held a 25-20 lead, but it all went Lincoln’s way from there on out. A 14-0 run by Lincoln, which included three 3-pointers and one old fashioned 3-point play, put the Tigers in a nine-point hole. Lincoln took a 40-33 lead into halftime, hitting eight 3-point field goals in the first half. Both teams shot 51.7 percent from the field before the break.
Hadley Gillum, who led the Tigers with 19 points, scored the first basket of the second half to cut the lead down to five, but Lincoln went on a 7-0 run immediately following to push its lead out to 12. FHSU continued to chip away and trimmed the lead down to six, 56-50, with 10:05 to play. But the Tigers could not keep the momentum rolling as Trey O’Neil and Gillum each missed open 3-point looks on consecutive trips.
Gillum’s final bucket, a fade away jumper from the left wing, at the 8:05 mark cut the lead to four, but that was as close as FHSU would get. FHSU struggled the rest of the way from the field. That allowed Lincoln to run away with the game, going on a 21-4 run to close out the contest.
The Tigers could not slow down Terrance Smith, who finished with 30 points and nine rebounds. He was 9-of-13 from the field, including three 3-point makes, and a 9-of-11 effort at the free-throw line. Amariontez Ivory added 21 points for the Blue Tigers, hitting 5-of-9 three-point attempts. Lincoln was stronger on the glass, outrebounding FHSU 33-25.
While Lincoln drained an abundance of 3-pointers, FHSU struggled beyond the 3-point arc, just 4-of-24 (16.7 percent). FHSU went 1-of-11 from long range after halftime when it needed the 3-point shot the most in an attempt to get back in the game. The Tigers shot only four free throws in the game, hitting two, while Lincoln was awarded 19 attempts and hit 16. FHSU actually hit one more field goal in the game than Lincoln (25-24), but nine more 3-pointers and a 14-point spread for Lincoln at the free-throw line was the ultimate difference.
Gillum was the only Tiger in double figures scoring and pulled down a team-high six rebounds. Kyler Kinnamon had nine points and KeShawn Wilson added eight.
The Tigers will try to end their winless drought at Hyland Arena against Lindenwood at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in St. Charles, Mo. Lindenwood will enter at 13-7, 5-6 in the MIAA, after a loss to Nebraska-Kearney on Thursday night. FHSU is 0-3 against Lindenwood at Hyland Arena all-time and is 1-5 on the road this season.