Kacey Kennett scored a career-high 24 points and 13 of the 14 Tigers who took the floor entered the scoring column as the No. 10-ranked Fort Hays State women cruised to a 106-45 victory over Missouri Valley College on Saturday at Gross Memorial Coliseum.
Fort Hays overwhelmed its NAIA foe from the start, leading 22-6 after the first quarter, 53-21 at halftime and 89-31 at the end of the third.
“I liked our start and I liked our kids' approach to it. We didn’t take them lightly,” Fort Hays State coach Tony Hobson said. “We talked about it before that it’s kind of like you’re playing golf. You’re not really playing the people that you’re playing with, you’re playing against the course. I thought we just tended to our business and worked on what we needed to work on.”
Kennett, a junior guard, went 8 of 12 from the field and went 5 of 6 from 3-point range as she eclipsed her previous career high of 20.
“Kacey got us off to a great start,” Hobson said. “She plays 19 minutes; if she plays her usual 32, 34 minutes, she probably would have 30, 35. The rest of them really looked for her.”
Junior guard Lanie Page put up 17 points, while junior forward Belle Barbieri matched her career high with 14 points and freshman guard Hailey Walker added a career-best 12 points.
The Tigers moved to 6-0 as they gear up for the start of MIAA play against Nebraska-Kearney at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at home.
Every player on the FHSU roster logged at least eight minutes, with the reserves taking advantage of extended playing time.
“You can see that we’ve got some good athletes that aren’t getting to play very much," Hobson said. "The only reason they aren’t is that they’ve got kids that are a couple years older and are good players in front of them. If they just stay the course and keep working on their game, their time will come.”
Missouri Valley had more than twice as many turnovers (27) as made field goals (13). Shanelle Tolley led the Vikings with eight.
FHSU went 34 of 71 from the field and 11 of 27 from 3-point range.
The Tigers will now turn their focus to the UNK Lopers, who will enter Tuesday's conference opener 5-2.
“We need to be ready to play,” Hobson said. “They’ll be pumped and ready for us. When you have a national ranking everybody’s after you, so they’ll be ready.”