FHSU Sports Information Department
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Fort Hays State women’s basketball team fell to eighth-ranked Emporia State in the quarterfinals of the 2017 MIAA Tournament Friday afternoon (March 3) inside Municipal Auditorium, 78-62. The Tigers finish the year 22-8 overall, their sixth straight 20-win season.
Both teams struggled from the floor, with the Lady Hornets shooting 38.3 percent on the day and the Tigers knocking down 30.5 percent of their shots. A key difference in the game came on the boards, with ESU grabbing 49 rebounds to just 31 for the Tigers. The Lady Hornets churned out 24 second-chance points on 16 offensive boards.
The Tigers stormed back from an early deficit, tying the score seven minutes in on a jumper from Jill Faxon. Nikola Kacperska found an open Madison Mittie at the top of the key on the next Tiger possession, allowing the freshman to drill a three-pointer and give FHSU its first lead of the day, 12-9. The Lady Hornets bounced back to regain the lead with less than a minute to play before the first quarter break, but a jumper from Carly Heim put the Tigers in front 16-15 with 29 seconds left. ESU poured in a three-pointer on the last shot of the half to take a two-point lead after 10 minutes.
Although they made just one more field goal than FHSU, the Lady Hornets started pulling away in the second quarter thanks to a 9-for-10 effort from the charity stripe. The Tigers knocked down just three shots in the quarter, with five of the nine points coming from Kacperska. A late three-pointer from the senior guard pulled the Tigers within 11 points, 36-25, at halftime.
Fort Hays State tried to mount a comeback out of the locker room, but the top team in the Central Region had an answer at every turn. Emporia State shot better than 60 percent in the quarter (8-of-13), padding the lead to a game-high 19 points late in the frame. A pair of free throws from Faxon cut the margin to 17 points with 10 minutes to play.
Heim scored five-straight points midway through the final period to put the Tigers within 13 points, but Hornets answered with a three-pointer. Kacey Kennett hit two layups in the final minute of play, bringing the final score to 78-62.
Kacperska and Heim each scored 10 points to lead the way, with Faxon, Taylor Chandler and Tatyana Legette all adding eight points. Legette grabbed a team-high seven boards, while Emma Stroyan blocked a game-high three shots. Kathryn Flott went off for 19 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Lady Hornets.