Fort Hays State moved to 5-4 overall on the season with an 86-59 win over Bethel College on Tuesday evening (Dec. 17) in Hays. The Tigers outscored the Threshers by 15 in the first half and 12 in the second half on their way to the 27-point victory.
Bethel held an early 2-0 lead for nearly two minutes, but FHSU went on a 15-2 run to take control early. The Tiger lead remained in double figures the remainder of the first half, reaching as large as 18 points twice before the break.
Bethel trimmed the lead down to 10 with 13:13 remaining in the game, but is as close as it would get. A 12-0 run by the Tigers to follow pushed the lead out to 22 with eight minutes remaining. The 27-point final margin was the largest of the game, reached twice by the Tigers.
Jake Hutchings led the Tigers with 22 points on a 10-of-14 effort from the field, which included two 3-point field goals. Jared Vitztum had a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds. Vitztum was a perfect 5-of-5 from the field, which also included two 3-point field goals. He added four points at the free-throw line. Nyjee Wright also reached double figures with 11 points and dished out a team-high six assists.
Poe Bryant and Jordan Neely tied for high-point honors on the Thresher side, each with 12. All 12 of Neely's points were on four 3-point field goals. Garrett White added 11 for Bethel. Bethel shot 40 percent from the field.
FHSU shot a blistering 59.2 percent (29-of-49) from the field, which is a new season high for the team. The Tigers were 58.8 percent beyond the 3-point line (10-of-17) and 78.3 percent (18-of-23) at the free-throw line.
The Tigers host Avila University on Friday (Dec. 20) at 7 pm before entering a two-week break for the holidays.