Second-half run lifts No. 9 Tigers to 10th straight win
CLAREMORE, Okla. - The No. 9 Fort Hays State women's basketball team used a strong second half to pull away from Rogers State Thursday (Feb. 11), winning 71-56. The win is Fort Hays State's 10th-consecutive victory, the 13th double-digit winning streak in program history.
The Tigers (15-2, 15-2 MIAA) led by as many as six in the first half before RSU battled back to tie things up at halftime, 32-32. Fort Hays State hit 43.8 percent from the floor in the first quarter before converting on just 30.8 percent in the second quarter alongside five turnovers.
Rogers State (5-12, 5-12 MIAA) broke the tie early in the third quarter on a jumper from Vanessa Gajdosova before the Tigers made their move. Facing their largest deficit of the game, Fort Hays State used a 16-2 run to go from down two to up 12 in less than four minutes.
Olivia Hollenbeck opened the run with a stick-back layup, tying the score at 36. Madison Mittie gave the Tigers the lead for good with a 3-pointer on the next possession. Hollenbeck added another second-chance layup before Jaden Hobbs poured one in from behind the arc, stretching the lead to six, 44-38.
Hobbs drilled a pull-up jumper on the next possession before Sydney Golladay put the Tigers in front by 10 with a bucket, prompting a Hillcat timeout. Hollenbeck capped off an 11-0 run with another bucket, giving the Tigers a 50-38 edge.
Gajdosova scored the next five points to pull RSU within seven, but a 3-pointer from Golladay in the final minute helped the Tigers carry a 54-43 lead into the final quarter.
Randall opened the fourth quarter with three consecutive baskets, scoring the first seven points of the frame for FHSU. Cydney Bergmann converted a 3-point play on the next possession before Randall added a free throw at the 5:02 mark, giving the Tigers an 18-point lead, 65-47, their largest lead of the game.
Bergmann added a layup later in the half off a pass from Katie Wagner before Wagner scored the final four points for the Tigers.
Randall led the Tigers with 17 points, while Bergmann matched her career-high with 15 points alongside seven rebounds. Hollenbeck scored 11 points and grabbed a career-best 10 rebounds, recording her first collegiate double-double. The freshmen added three assists, two steals and two blocks.
Wagner scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds while dishing out two assists. Hobbs and Golladay both tallied five points and three assists.
Fort Hays State finished the game shooting 45.6 percent from the floor (26-of-57) while limiting the Hillcats to a 35.1 percent effort (20-of-57). The Tigers outrebounded RSU by eight, 40-32.
Gajdosova paced the Hillcats with 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting while grabbing 10 boards.
Fort Hays State remains in a tie for first place in the MIAA with Central Missouri and Nebraska-Kearney with five games remaining in the regular season. The Tigers will look to stay on top of the league Saturday (Feb. 13) when they take on Northeastern State in Tahlequah, Okla. beginning at 1:30 p.m.