PITTSBURG, Kan. - The Fort Hays State women's basketball team used its best shooting effort ever in an MIAA game to hold off Pittsburg State Saturday afternoon 85-73 at John Lance Arena. The Tigers hit 62.1-percent from the floor (36-of-58), their best shooting percentage ever in an MIAA contest and the third-best shooting game under coach Tony H0bson.
The Tigers (9-2, 9-2 MIAA) also hit 64.3 percent from behind the 3-point line (9-of-14), the third-best effort from deep during the MIAA era and the second-best percentage under Hobson. FHSU matched its season-high in scoring with 85 points while totaling a season-best 50 points in the first half.
Jaden Hobbs matched her season high with 26 points and added 12 assists for her second double-double of the season, finishing one assist shy of the program record. Whitney Randall added 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting while drilling 3-of-6 from behind the arc, giving the Tigers multiple 20-plus point scorers for the first time in nearly two years.
Pittsburg State (8-5, 8-5 MIAA) led twice early on and tied the game at 12-12 before the Tigers finished the quarter on an 18-7 run to take a 30-19 lead.
The Tigers hit 13 of 18 shots in the opening quarter (72.2-percent) including 4-of-5 effort from behind the arc. Randall scored 10 points in the quarter and Hobbs dished out six assists.
Fort Hays State went 9-of-15 from the floor in the second quarter (60-percent) but were outscored by two and led 50-41 at halftime. They then scored the first seven points of the third quarter to go up 16. Cydney Bergmann added the next four points before Randall and Hobbs scored on back-to-back possessions, capping a 15-5 FHSU run that gave the Tigers their largest lead of the game midway through the third quarter at 65-46.
The Gorillas closed within eight by the midway point of the fourth quarter before Katie Wagner pushed the lead back to double figures with a layup. Randall hit another 3-pointer at the 2:18 mark that proved to be the dagger, stretching the FHSU lead to 83-70. The senior hit two free throws in the final minute to push her scoring total over 20 for the fifth time in her career.
Hobbs hit a career-best 11 field goals (11-of-18) while burying 4-of-6 from behind the arc. It's her sixth game this season with at least four made 3-pointers. In addition to her 21 points, Randall added a career-high five assists and five rebounds.
Wagner scored 16 points on 8-of-13 shooting, one point off her season-high, while grabbing a team-best nine rebounds. Bergmann chipped in eight points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Madison MIttie was 3-for-3 from the floor and 2-for-2 from deep, totaling eight points. Olivia Hollenbeck added six points, five rebounds and one block.
The Tigers will now set their sights on the fourth-ranked and league-leading Nebraska-Kearney Lopers. The rival Tigers and Lopers will face off twice next week, in Kearney on Tuesday beginning at 5:30 p.m. and in Hays next Saturday beginning at 2 p.m.