FHSU women's basketball rings in New Year against Emporia State
The Fort Hays State women's basketball team looks to continue its undefeated season Saturday (Jan. 2) when the Tigers host in-state rival Emporia State. First tip in the women's-only contest is set for 2 p.m. inside Gross Memorial Coliseum.
Initially set to be played on the opening week of the season, the contest between the Tigers and Lady Hornets was rescheduled twice due to COVID-19 protocols.
A win Saturday would give the Tigers a 6-0 start for the sixth season in a row and the 10th time in program history. Head coach Tony Hobson has led the Tigers to eight of their nine 6-0 or better starts to date.
Emporia State leads the all-time series, 51-35, with the Tigers holding a 21-19 advantage in games played in Hays. Fort Hays State has won five consecutive home games against the Lady Hornets, the longest streak in program history. Additionally, the Tigers have won each of the last seven regular season home games against ESU dating back to 2013-14. FHSU is 9-18 against the Lady Hornets under Hobson, including a 7-5 mark at home.
The Tigers hold a slight edge in the series of late, leading 9-8 since the start of the 2013-14 season. No other team has defeated Emporia State more than six times during that span (UCM). Fort Hays State is responsible for 19 percent of ESU's losses since 2013.
Fort Hays State left little doubt in Emporia State's last trip to Hays, handing the Lady Hornets their worst defeat in more than two decades, 87-55 (1/15/20). It was FHSU's largest margin of victory in series history. Six Tigers scored in double figures for the first time in three years and the Tigers hit nearly 60 percent from the floor (32-of-54). The Tigers limited ESU to just 29.7 percent shooting (19-of-64). Allison McFarren hit a trio of 3-pointers and scored a career-high 15 points in the victory.
Jaden Hobbs averaged 12.0 points and 9.0 assists in two games against ESU last season. Whitney Randall has appeared in six games against the Lady Hornets, averaging 6.3 points including a pair of double-digit scoring games.
The Tigers have won each of their last four games by 20 or more points. A 20-plus-point win Saturday would be FHSU's first run of five consecutive conference wins by at least that margin ever under Hobson. The Tigers have not won five consecutive games by 20 or more points against any competition since the start of the 2013-14 season (11/13-30/13).
Hobbs is the reigning MIAA Women's Basketball Athlete of the Week after averaging 16.7 points, 7.0 assists and 4.3 steals over three games Dec. 15-20. She had eight steals against UCO, the most steals for a Tiger in nearly 16 years, and had 11 assists against RSU, the most assists for a Tiger in more than 14 years. She also hit 10-of-15 from behind the arc (66.7 percent).
Emporia State enters Saturday with a 2-1 record, including wins over Northeastern State and Newman and a season-opening loss at Nebraska-Kearney. The Lady Hornets have not played a game in just under one month (Dec. 3). ESU is averaging 10.7 3-pointers per game, tops in the MIAA and fifth-most in Division II. They rank fourth in the conference in scoring at 70.7 points per game while allowing 59.7 points per contest, fifth-best in the league. Sophomore Tre'Zure Jobe leads the league and ranks sixth nationally with an average of 23.3 points per contest.