CLAREMORE, Okla. – Fort Hays State led by seven with 16 minutes to go in the game, but cold shooting and a rash of turnovers from that point on helped Rogers State come from behind on its home floor Saturday (Jan. 11). The Hillcats outscored the Tigers 29-12 over the final 16 minutes to move to 12-4 overall and 4-3 in the MIAA. FHSU moved to 6-8 overall, 0-6 in the MIAA.
The Tigers scorched the nets early, shooting 66.7 percent from the field in the first half. However, Rogers State was able to hang around by countering with a 50 percent shooting effort in the opening half. FHSU led 34-30 at the break, led by Aaron Nicholson with 13 points at that point.
FHSU started the second half on an 8-5 run to build a 46-39 lead, looking poised to possibly pick up its first conference win of the season. But, the Tigers were unable to maintain their early success and the final 16 minutes shifted violently in favor of the Hillcats. In the final 16 minutes, FHSU shot just 4-of-17 from the field (23.5 percent) and turned the ball over 10 times.
Rogers State closed the game strong, hitting 11 of its final 19 shots of the game, which included five 3-point field goals. For the fourth straight game, a Tiger opponent hit at least 10 3-point field goals. Rogers State buried 11 shots beyond the arc. Also for the fourth straight game, a Tiger opponent shot at least 50 percent from the field. The Hillcats finished at exactly 50 percent, 27-of-54 overall.
Turnovers fueled success of the Hillcats as they forced 19 out of the Tigers and committed just eight. RSU outscored FHSU 28-8 in points off turnovers.
Nicholson finished as the high-point man for FHSU with 15. Devin Davis also reached double figures with 11. Jared Vitztum and Nyjee Wright each had eight, while Vitztum pulled down a team-high nine rebounds.
Marques Sumner led the Hillcats with 18 points, followed by Brewster Peacock with 15. Tavian Davis handed out a team-high seven assists for RSU.
The Tigers return home for a pair of games against in-state rivals Emporia State and Washburn. The Hornets come to Hays on Wednesday night (Jan. 15) before the Ichabods head to the coliseum on Saturday afternoon.