Bearcats’ rally comes up short against Fort Hays State

NWMSUThe Northwest Missouri State men’s basketball team were unable to overcome a cold shooting night in the first half as they fell 64-60 to Fort Hays State Wednesday night in MIAA action.

Looking to snap a two-game losing streak, the Bearcats fell to 15-8 on the season and 8-6 in the MIAA. Fort Hays State holds its top spot in the league at 15-6 overall and 10-4 in league play as the win clinched the Tigers a berth in next month’s MIAA Tournament.

A feverish second half comeback saw the Bearcats erase what was a 16 point deficit at one time and a 35-21 Fort Hays State lead at the intermission.

After shooting a disappointing 30 percent from the field in the first half, Northwest turned the tables to shoot 48 percent in the second half. The Bearcats used a 13-4 run late in the second half to take their first lead of the night with 2:15 left in the game.

A deep three-pointer from Alex Sullivan put Northwest ahead 53-51, however the Tigers would answer on their next possession with a three-pointer of their own to regain the lead. Sullivan hit three, three-pointers and finished with nine points.

Both teams would trade baskets, when DeAngelo Hailey drove to the basket drawing a FHSU foul. Hailey hit one of two free-throws to tie the game at 56-56 with just 46 seconds left in the game.

Northwest was forced to foul as the Tigers finished a perfect 8-for-8 in the final minute from the free-throw line to seal the win. On the night FHSU missed just one free-throw going 13-of-14 from the line while the Bearcats shot 76 percent going 16-of-21.

Dillon Starzl returned to the court after missing last week due to injury leading the Bearcats with 16 points.

Fort Hays State was led Lance Russell, who scored a game-high 22 points. Teammate Craig Nicholson finished with 21 points as the duo combined for six of the Tigers’ seven three-pointers.

The Bearcats will look to snap their three-game losing streak in a rematch of last Saturday’s loss at Washburn. The Ichabods clinched a playoff berth with an overtime win at Missouri Western Wednesday night as Northwest now sits in sixth place.

Tipoff between the Bearcats and Ichabods is set for 3:30 p.m. from Bearcat Arena.

— NWMSU Sports Information —