Fort Hays State (2-0) vs.
Central Christian (4-3)
Tuesday, November 23, 2021 • 7:30 p.m.
Gross Memorial Coliseum • Hays, Kan.
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Fort Hays State Men's Basketball hosts Central Christian (Kan.) College on Tuesday night (Nov. 23) at 7:30 pm inside Gross Memorial Coliseum. The contest will follow the women's game against Sterling College, which tips at 5:30 pm. The Tigers enter the game at 2-0 overall after wins over Arkansas Tech and Southwestern Oklahoma State back on November 13-14.
Fort Hays State looks for its 20th straight win over Central Christian, a series it leads 19-0 overall. All 19 meetings have been in Hays, the last resulting in a 71-46 win for FHSU during the 2018-19 season. Central Christian enters this contest at 4-3 overall on the season, but will claim the game as an exhibition though it counts for Fort Hays State's regular season record.
The Tigers had just over a week of rest now due to Colorado School of Mines not being able to come play against FHSU in Hays back on Thursday (Nov. 18) due to COVID-19 concerns within the Oredigger program. They have two home games this week starting with the contest against Central Christian on Tuesday night. The Tigers will also face Manhattan Christian on Sunday afternoon before prepping for their first conference games of the season.
Jared Vitztum leads the Tigers at 15 points and 13 rebounds per game. He had a monster double-double of 19 points and 17 rebounds in the last outing for the Tigers against SWOSU on November 14. The Tigers won that contest by 16 points and outrebounded the Bulldogs by 20. Vitztum leads NCAA Division II in defensive rebounds per game (10.5) and ranks third in rebounds per game overall. Last year, Vitztum led NCAA Division II in double-doubles during the regular season with 12 and has one through the first two games this season.
By holding their first two opponents of the season under 60 points, the Tigers rank eighth nationally in scoring defense in the young season. They are allowing just 56.5 points per contest so far.
With the pair of wins in Hays to open the season, head coach Mark Johnson is now 200 games over .500 at Gross Memorial Coliseum during his coaching tenure. The Tigers are 252-52 in their home building under his leadership.
Five Tigers are averaging double figures in scoring, which includes Vitztum. Nyjee Wright is back to healthy form this year and is averaging 12 points per game so far. Transfer Geoff Hamperian is chipping in 11 points per game off the bench, while shooting 60 percent beyond the 3-point line. Kaleb Hammeke and Bjarni Jonsson are both averaging 10 points per game. Jonsson had career highs in points (17) and rebounds (12) in the season opener against Arkansas Tech.