Hays, Kan. - Despite a late rally from Missouri Southern, the Lions women's basketball team was unable to overcome a ten-point second-half defecit to Fort Hays State falling 62-55 to the Tigers this afternoon at Gross Memorial Coliseum.
The Lions (10-9, 4-7 MIAA) were led by 13 points from Nicole Hartzog, who went 5-of-10 from the field, and 12 points from Dominique Mosley. Sharese Jones also contributed seven points and a game and career-high 11 rebounds. The Tigers (14-5, 6-5) were led by 14 points each from Katelyn Edwards and Kate Lehman, who added four blocks as well.
With the Lions jumping out to a 5-4 lead over the Tigers thanks to a Samantha Soyez three-pointer and a jumper from Shonte Clay, the Tigers would take a 12-11 lead before ripping off an 11-4 run to take a 23-15 lead with four minutes to play in the first half. The Lions would respond with a 7-0 run of their own, including a three-pointer from the right corner by Tee Singleton to close the gap to within one (23-22) before the Tigers would score the final three points of the half to take a four-point lead into the halftime break.
The Lions would continue to fight in the second half as Fort Hays State would build a ten-point lead at 46-36 with 8:31 remaining before the Lions would battle back to close the gap to three (48-45) thanks to a layup and free throw from Hartzog. With the Tigers building another ten-point lead (59-49) with three minutes remaining, the Lions would respond with six straight points, including four straight from Hartzog, to close the gap to within four (59-55), giving themselves a chance in the final minutes. Unfortunately that would be as close as the Lions would get on the afternoon as the Tigers would hit three final free throws to win by seven.
The Lions would have another tough afternoon shooting as they went 19-of-55 (.345) from the field on the day. Fort Hays State would shoot 20-of-48 (.417) from the field, including 11-of-24 in the first half. Outrebounding their opponent for the first time in six games, the Lions held a 40-28 advantage on the boards, including 18 offensive, but were only able to convert that into 16 second-chance points.
The Lions return to action at home on Thursday evening when they take on the Southwest Baptist Bearcats (9-10, 4-7) at 5:30 p.m. at Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.