Fort Hays State (14-7, 9-6 MIAA) at
Newman (6-14, 2-12 MIAA)
Thursday, February 2 - 7:30 p.m.
Wichita, Kan. - Fugate Gymnasium
Radio: KJLS (103.3)
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Fort Hays State Men's Basketball begins the February portion of its schedule on Thursday night (Feb. 2) at Newman University. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m., which follows the women's contest. The Tigers enter at 14-7 overall, 9-6 in the MIAA, while the Jets are 6-14 overall, 2-12 in the MIAA.
Fort Hays State is looking for a fourth-straight regular season sweep of Newman. The Tigers have won all seven MIAA contests between the teams after Newman joined the MIAA in 2019-20. The last win for Newman occurred in the final non-conference game between the teams prior to Newman joining the conference, a 76-75 result in Wichita during the 2018-19 season. FHSU has won 12 of the last 13 games with Newman going back to the 2013-14 season. FHSU holds a strong 44-10 advantage in the all-time series with Newman.
The Tigers won the first meeting between the teams this season by a score of 83-61 in Hays. The Tigers built a 19-point lead by halftime in that contest and cruised to a 22-point win. FHSU had six players score in double figures, led by Traejon Davis with a career-high 16. Thomas Zevgaras led Newman with 18 points.
The Tigers are coming off a 57-52 loss to then No. 7 ranked Northwest Missouri State in Hays this past Saturday. The game was tight throughout, tied at halftime before the Bearcats held off the Tigers in the second half even though they never led by more than seven. The Jets are riding a four-game losing skid into this contest, which started with a home loss to Northwest Missouri State before losing three straight on the road to Central Oklahoma, Missouri Southern, and Pittsburg State.
Kaleb Hammeke leads the Tigers at 16.5 points and 3.8 assists per game. Elijah Nnanabu is just two points shy of averaging double figures in scoring, currently at 9.9 per game for the season. Gabe Pieschl leads the Tigers in rebounding at 6.0 per game. Davis leads the Tigers in field goal percentage overall (57.8), Bjarni Jonsson leads in 3-point field goal percentage (50.0), and Gilbert Peters leads in free-throw percentage (86.2).
The Tigers own the second-best scoring defense and eighth-best field goal percentage defense in NCAA Division II. The Tigers are allowing 57.6 points per game and are holding the opposition to 39.3 percent shooting overall for the season. FHSU has the eighth-best free-throw shooting percentage in NCAA Division II, hitting at a 78.5 percent clip as a team.
Stevie Strong leads Newman in scoring at 17.2 points per contest, while Latik Murphy adds 13.6 per game and Stevie Smith is averaging 12.1 per game.