Tiger men fall to Gorillas in Pittsburg
PITTSBURG — Facing a large halftime deficit, Fort Hays State put together a strong second-half effort but ultimately fell 79-68 at Pittsburg State on Saturday (Jan. 23). Jordan Pumphrey led the Tigers, now 4-8 on the season, with 19 points off the bench. Pittsburg State moved to 6-7 on the year.
The Tigers had a rough first half, shooting just 34.8 percent from the field, including just 1-of-10 beyond the 3-point line. They turned the ball over 14 times, giving Pittsburg State the ability to build a large lead. The Gorillas took advantage, shooting a smoking hot 69 percent from the field, including a 6-of-8 effort beyond the 3-point line. Pitt State scored 22 points off Tiger turnovers and took a 53-21 lead into the half.
The Tigers did not go down without showing fight, trimming the lead all the way back to 10 before the final margin settled at 11. The Tigers made a big dent in the lead within the first 11 minutes, getting the deficit down to 15. However, a few turnovers snapped their momentum from potentially tightening things up even more before the final media timeout near the 5-minute mark. FHSU outscored PSU by 21 in the second half, 47-26. FHSU shot 48.6 percent from the field in the second half and turned the ball over only six times. They held the Gorillas to just 37 percent from the field and forced 12 turnovers in the second frame.
Pumphrey was 7-of-11 from the field and 4-of-4 at the free-throw line for his highest scoring effort of the season so far. Quinten Rock was the only Tiger starter to score in double figures with 16 points, while also providing a team-best five assists.
Quentin Hardict Jr. led the Gorillas with 15 points, followed by Bobby Arthur-Williams Jr. with 14. R.J. Forney added 12 for PSU off the bench.
Next on the schedule for the Tigers is a meeting at home with Nebraska-Kearney on Saturday, January 30. The Tigers will be looking to even the regular-season series after falling in Kearney earlier this year.