#23/RV Fort Hays State (17-5, 12-4 MIAA)
vs. Central Oklahoma (17-7, 9-7 MIAA)
Saturday, February 10, 2024 • 3:00 p.m.
Hays, Kan. • Gross Memorial Coliseum
Game Sponsor: Vyve Broadband
National Anthem: Hays High Plains Chorus/Tumbleweed Chorus
Promotions: Student-athlete academic recognition (men's halftime), FHSU 20-year donor recognition
Halftime Entertainment: Styles Dance Performance (women's game)
Fort Hays State men's basketball hosts a dangerous Central Oklahoma squad on Saturday (Feb. 10) in Hays. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. at Gross Memorial Coliseum, following the women's contest. The No. 23 ranked Tigers enter at 17-5 overall, 12-4 in the MIAA, while the Bronchos are 17-7 overall, 9-7 in the MIAA.
The Tigers are coming off a 66-45 win over Newman University on Thursday evening to remain alone in second place in the MIAA standings. The Bronchos picked up a 19-point win at Nebraska-Kearney on Thursday night and have won two straight games entering Saturday. UCO has a 4-4 record in true road contests this season and went a perfect 6-0 in neutral site games earlier in the season to hold a 10-4 record away from their home building this season.
Fort Hays State won the first meeting between the teams this season back on New Year's Eve in Edmond. The Bronchos were 12-1 overall at the time and ranked No. 5 in the NABC Top 25 Poll. FHSU won the game 67-60 to hand UCO its second loss of the season. The Bronchos ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation early in the season.
The Tigers lead the all-time series with the Bronchos 22-13. The win earlier this season snapped a five-game losing streak to UCO overall. The Bronchos have won the last two meetings with the Tigers in Hays, winning by five in 2022-23 and by 17 in 2021-22. FHSU's last win in Hays was during the 2020-21 season by two points. Prior to UCO winning the last two meetings in Hays, FHSU had won 12 straight against UCO in Hays from the 1958-59 season to the 2020-21 season.
This matchup pits the third-best scoring offense in the MIAA against the nation's best scoring defense. The Bronchos average 76.8 points per game, but the Tigers lead the nation in scoring defense surrendering just 57.2 points per game. FHSU held UCO under 70 points in each of the last four meetings between the teams. They allowed 60 against Bronchos in Edmond earlier this year.
Kaleb Hammeke became the fourth player in FHSU Men's Basketball history to reach 1,400 points and 400 assists in a career. He passed the 400-assist mark on Thursday night in the win over Newman. He now has 1,465 points and 404 assists in his career. He is averaging 14.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game this season.
Elijah Nnanabu scored in double figures in each of the last six games and averages 12.5 points per game. He led FHSU with 23 points in the win over Newman on Thursday night. He is one of five Tigers with at least 100 rebounds this season, a group that also includes Hammeke, Shaun RIley, Bjarni Jonsson and Trajon Davis.
Jaden Wells of UCO leads the MIAA in scoring at 19.5 points per game. He has scored over 20 points in each of the last five games. Danquez Dawsey also averages double figures for the Bronchos at 13.4 points per game and ranks second in the MIAA in assists at 5.4 per game.