KEARNEY, Neb. - The 11th-ranked Fort Hays State women's basketball team posted its best shooting percentage of the season in Saturday's 80-52 win over Colorado-Colorado Springs, knocking down nearly 50 percent from the floor (30-of-61, 49.2 percent). A near double-double from Belle Barbieri helped the Tigers move to 4-0 on the year, while UCCS is now 0-3 so far this season.
Barbieri got things going early on, scoring eight points on 3-of-4 shooting and a pair of free throws in the opening quarter. The junior gave the Tigers the lead for good with a layup two minutes into the contest before stretching the lead to 9-4 after six consecutive points. She finished with a career-high 14 points and nine rebounds, one shy of her first career double-double.
After trailing by as many as seven, the Mountain Lions closed within three late in the first quarter before Tatyana Legette and Whitney Randall dropped in layups in the final minute, putting FHSU in front 19-12 after 10 minutes of action.
Fort Hays State went on to score 10 straight points to open the second quarter thanks in part to triples from Madison Mittie and Carly Heim. Kacey Kennett was a perfect 3-for-3 from the floor in the second quarter, including a 3-pointer of her own. The Tiger lead remained in double figures for the rest of the evening, stretching as high as 33 by the fourth quarter.
The Tigers got more and more accurate from the floor as the day went on, hitting 44.4 percent from the floor in the second quarter after knocking down 43.8 percent in the opening 10 minutes. That total ballooned to 53.8 percent in the third quarter before reaching as high as 57.1 percent in the final period.
The Tigers were sharp on defense once again, forcing 22 Mountain Lion turnovers and creating 29 points off turnovers. FHSU committed just nine turnovers of its own, the fourth time in as many games FHSU has committed 10 or fewer turnovers this season.
Barbieri was one of three Tigers to score in double figures, joined by Legette (13 points) and Kennett (11 points). All 14 Tigers saw the floor in the victory, with 12 different players making a field goal. Mittie made a team-best three steals while Lanie Page swatted a pair of blocks. No UCCS players scored in double figures.
The Tigers will return to action inside the Health & Sports Center in Kearney, Neb. Sunday (Nov. 25) at 2 p.m. when they take on Chadron State.