HAYS - Fort Hays State rallied back from a 14-point first half deficit to take a late four-point lead but Washburn hit three 3-pointers dowh the stretch, the last from Jalen Lewis as time expired and Ichabods escaped with an 80-78 victory in the season opener for both Thursday at Gross Coliseum.
It's the second time in four years the Tigers have lost at home on a buzzer-beating three-pointer on November 19. Gokul Nateson did the same to lift Colorado School of Mines to a three-point win in 2016.
Lewis hit two threes down the stretch, the second after Jared Vitztum rimmed one in with eight seconds to play which put FHSU up 78-77.
Vitztum was held in check most the night before scoring the Tigers final 10 points and led them with 16 points and nine rebounds.
Alvin Thompson scored 14, freshman Quinten Rock 12 and junior college transfer Jordan Pumphrey 12.
The Ichabods used an early 9-0 run to build a 9-2 lead a little over two minutes in. They pushed the lead to 27-13 with just under nine minutes to play.
Thompson's 3-pointer with just under eight minutes to play sparked a comeback which saw the Tigers pull within four at the half.
Pumphrey and Rock each hit a couple of threes along with one from Kaleb Hammeke as the Tigers hit five of six to close out the half.
Baskets by Gilbert Peters and Thompson tied the game at 38. Washburn quickly built the lead up to five but the Tigers battled back to take a 53-52 lead on a couple of Thompson free throws with 12 minutes to play.
Vitztum hit a three then added a cpuple of free throws with 1:22 to play to put the Tigers up 75-71 before the Ichabods final push.
The Tigers are back at home Saturday at 4:00 p.m. against Emporia State who defeated Nebraska-Kearney in their opener Thursday.