Tigers Gear Up for Quarterfinal Battle with Emporia State

FHSU Sports Information Department

HAYS, Kan. – The Fort Hays State women’s basketball team will face off with in-state rival Emporia State in the quarterfinals of the MIAA Tournament Friday (March 3) in Kansas City, Mo. First tip inside Municipal Auditorium is set for noon.

The Tigers, the No. 6 seed in the tournament, will be playing third-seeded Emporia State for the third time this season. Each team won on their home floor, with FHSU knocking off then top-ranked ESU 54-51 in Hays (Dec. 10) before the Lady Hornets got revenge at home, 59-48 (Feb. 1). Emporia State was held below 60 points just four times in 28 games during the regular season, with two coming against the Tigers.

Fort Hays State has played the Lady Hornets twice in the MIAA postseason before this contest, with ESU coming away with the victory in both meetings. The Lady Hornets defeated FHSU in the quarterfinals in 2010, 72-66, before capturing the MIAA Championship against the Tigers in 2015, 49-46.

Emporia State leads the all-time series with the Tigers, 47-31, winning three of the five neutral site contests. The last eight games in the series have all been decided by 11 points or fewer, with each team winning four times Fort Hays State is 5-14 against the Lady Hornets under head coach Tony Hobson. Hobson has coached against ESU more than any other school during his tenure in Hays.

The Tigers have allowed opponents just 57.4 points per game, best in the MIAA and ranking 22nd in Division II. Emporia State is right behind FHSU, allowing 58.2 points per contest.

Tuesday’s first round victory over Missouri Southern gave Fort Hays State 98 wins over the last four seasons, equaling the best four-year stretch in team history (2012-13 through 2015-16). The Tigers would set a new team record with a win Friday.

Nikola Kacperska has led the team in points over the last eight games, averaging 11.4 per game over that span with five double-digit efforts. Tatyana Legette is nearly averaging a double-double over the same stretch, chipping in 10.3 points and 9.0 rebounds per game over the last four weeks. Jill Faxon’s 11.1 points each night leads the team this season after eclipsing 10 points 17 times on the year. Madison Mittie has hit some big shots over the last two weeks, averaging 11.8 points per contest behind nine three-pointers in the last four games.

The Hornets are led by MIAA Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Kelly Moten, who averages 18.6 points, 4.6 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.2 blocks per game. Three other Lady Hornets average in double figures, including Addie Lackey (13.4), Kyrstie Miller (10.1) and Kathryn Flott (10.0). Flott is the only player in the MIAA to average a double-double, grabbing 10.2 rebounds per game this season.

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