It took two overtimes for the Lady Tiger basketball team to beat Northwest Missouri State on Saturday afternoon with a final score of 79-69.
After Northwest Missouri opened the game with a quick 16-8 lead, Fort Hays State answered with a 13-2 run that was sparked by a three pointer by senior Tera Ingalsbe, giving the Tigers a 21-18 lead with around five minutes left in the first half. Ariel Easton would hit a three pointer, tying the game at 21. Over the next two minutes, neither team would score, until freshman Nikola Kacperska hit a three pointer to give FHSU the lead with 1:43 left in the first. Northwest Missouri ended the half with a 4-1 run to tie the game up at 25-25 going into halftime.
For the first part of the second period, both teams traded baskets until Northwest Missouri went on an 11-0 run, giving the Bearcats a 49-42 lead. FHSU moved back into the game with a pair of six and five point runs and with around three minutes left in the half, junior Kate Lehman gave FHSU the 55-53 lead off of a layup and a free throw. The Bearcats answered back with a pair of layups by Ariel Easton and Tember Schechinger, moving the Bearcats ahead by two with two minutes left in the game. Senior Katelyn Edwards tied the game up with 30 seconds left, moving the game to overtime.
For most of the first overtime period, both teams traded baskets. After Schechinger hit a lay up to give NWMSU a one point lead with 16 seconds left in the game, NWMSU’s Shelby Mustain fouled sophomore Beth Bohuslavsky, sending her to the free throw line for a pair of shots. After missing the first attempt, she hit the second shot, tying the game up at 65 and moving it into another overtime.
In the second overtime period, Kacperska hit a three pointer to give FHSU a three point lead. NWMSU answered with an empty possession, and Chelsea Mason drove down the floor and hit a shot to give FHSU a five point advantage. Mustain would end up turning the ball over on the next bearcat possession and Mason used to the turnover to hit a three pointer to give the Lady Tigers a 73-65 advantage with 3:45 left in the second overtime period. FHSU held the bearcats to just four points in the second overtime period, ending the game with a final score of 79-69.
Despite the win, NWMSU held the Tigers to a mere 39.7 percent field goal advantage, but the Tiger defense also held NWMSU to a 38.4 shooting percentage.
Lehman led the Lady Tigers with her sixth straight double-double, finishing with 21 points and 17 rebounds. Mason led the team in scoring with 23 points throughout the contest.
The Lady Tigers are off until January 4th where they will open up a two game road trip against Missouri Southern. Tip is set for 1 o’clock pm in Joplin.