MARSHALL, Minn. – Fort Hays State fell to 0-2 to start the 2018-19 season with a 96-85 loss at No. 20/22 ranked Southwest Minnesota State on Saturday (Nov. 10). Trailing by 20 at halftime, the Tigers stormed within three points in the second half before ultimately falling by 11. The Mustangs moved to 1-1 overall on the season with the win.
The Mustangs shot the ball extremely well in their home gym, finishing at an eye-popping 66 percent from the field (31-of-47) and 73.1 percent (19-of-26) beyond the 3-point line. Fort Hays State also shot the ball very well, finishing over 50 percent from the field (54.7 percent) and beyond the 3-point line (56.3 percent).
After falling down by 56-36 at halftime and then by 25 points early in the second half, Fort Hays State went on a 22-0 run to and closed the margin to just three with 13:34 remaining in the game. However, Michael Lee of SMSU hit a 3-pointer to break the run, one of seven on the afternoon for him. From that point, the Mustangs held off the Tigers the rest of the way. FHSU climbed within four with 5:24 remaining, but a 3-point field goal and an old-fashioned 3-point play pushed SMSU back in front by 10. The Mustangs went on to an 11-point victory.
Marcus Cooper led the scoring effort for FHSU with 26 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field. He was 3-of-4 beyond the 3-point line and 5-of-5 at the free-throw line. Devin Davis had 16 points and Aaron Nicholson added 13. Jared Vitztum had a team-high six rebounds and Kyler Kinnamon led in assists with five.
The aforementioned Michael Lee had a team-high 25 points for SMSU, shooting 7-of-8 from beyond the 3-point line. He was a perfect 4-of-4 at the free-throw line. Ryan Bruggeman and Nick Dufault each had 18 points, while Taylor Schafer added 12. Bruggeman dished out 14 assists for the Mustangs.
Fort Hays State returns home to face Colorado School of Mines in its home opener on Saturday, November 17.