HAYS, Kan. – The Missouri Southern Lions (5-10, 1-8 MIAA) could not sustain their hot start from beyond the arc as they fell 80-63 to the Fort Hays Tigers (14-2, 6-2 MIAA) Monday night at Gross Memorial Coliseum.
The Lions fast start included shooting 54.5 percent (6-for-11) from three point range and led the Fort Hays State Tigers by as many as 11 before FHSU would go on an 15-0 run to grab a four point lead at 33-29 with 1:42 remaining in the first half before junior Erin Rice would hit a lay-up to cut the lead to two and senior Larrita Gipson connected on another less than 20 seconds later to tie the game. Fort Hays State's Crista Bechard would hit a lay-up to give the Tigers a two point lead before Gipson would hit her first three pointer of the season to give the Lions a one point lead with :52 seconds remaining.
Juniors Kelby Fritz and Tatianna Washington would lead the Lions in scoring with nine and eight points, respectively. Sophomore Shatara Stone led the way on the boards for Southern pulling down four; with Rice, Washington, and freshman Haley Weathers each coming up with three.
Coming out of the locker room the Lions got the game tied after five points from Weathers with 18:08 left to play. FHSU took the lead for good at the 17:44 mark on a lay-up Katelyn Edwards as Southern would get into foul trouble. Stone and Washington both fouled out while Rice, Weathers, and Gipson each had four.
While Southern went perfect from the free throw line, for the first time this season the Lions were out shot at the charity stripe by 17. FHSU shot 30-for-42 from the free throw line while the Lions went 13-for-13. Southern was called for 29 fouls while the Tigers committed just 11.
For the game Southern landed four with double digits in scoring, led by Fritz with 16. Rice, Washington, and Weathers added 10 each. The Lions were out rebounded by 13, 43-30, in the game and went from 54.5 percent from beyond the arc to 44.4 percent (8-of-18). Southern would only hit two threes out of seven attempts in the second half of play.
The Lions Women will take a week off before returning to action at home against Northwest Missouri State at 5:30 on Wednesday, January 18.