HAYS - For the second time in three days the Fort Hays State men's basketball team came up on the short end of a two-point game. After losing to rival Washburn on a last second shot Thursday, the Tigers (0-2) lost 68-66 to Emporia State Saturday at Gross Coliseum when Kaleb Hammeke's long heave from just inside the mid-court stripe bounced off the backboard.
The game was tight throughout with 12 ties and 14 lead changes and neither team leading by more than four.
Jared Vitztum hit two free throws to put the Tigers up 58-54 with just over five minutes to play but the Hornets (2-0) got a key offensive rebound following a missed free throw with 434 seconds left then eventaully hit a pair of foul shots with 23 seconds to play and held off the Tigers the rest of the way.
Vitztum led all scoring with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Alvin Thompson added 11 pionts.
The Hornets were led by guards Austin Downing and Jumah'Ri Turner. Downing hit a couple of free throws with 11 seconds left to push the Hornet lead to three and scored 19. Turner added 18 points and Mason Thiessen added 11.
The Tigers are now off for two weeks before traveling to Kearney to play the Lopers on December 5.