HAYS – The No. 11 Lady Hornets picked up their first win in Hays since the 2015 NCAA Regional Final with a 62-61 victory over Fort Hays State on Saturday afternoon to hand the Tigers their first loss of the season.
Fort Hays State jumped out to a 14-2 lead just over four minutes into the game and led 17-5 with 3:18 left in the first quarter. Emporia State then went on a 12-0 run that spanned the quarter to tie the game at 17-17 with 8:37 left in the half. Four different Lady Hornets scored during the run. The Tigers responded with a 9-2 run of their own to take a 26-19 lead with 5:50 left in the period and force Emporia State to call their second time out of the game.
A Whitney Randall layup with 3:20 left in the half put the Tigers up 30-26. It would be the last score of the period for FHSU as the Lady Hornets closed the half on a 7-0 run to take a 33-30 lead into the lockerrooms.
Ehlaina Hartman hit a three-pointer and a fast break layup off a steal by Daley Handy and an assist from Tre’Zure Jobe for a 5-0 mini-run that gave the Lady Hornets a 41-34 lead with 6:22 left in the third quarter. A Kali Martin free throw with 2:45 remaining in the period gave Emporia State their biggest lead to that point at 45-36. The Tigers ended the quarter on an 8-2 run to close the score to 48-44 headed into the fourth quarter.
Katie Wagner scored off an offensive rebound with 8:42 left in the game to extend the run to 10-2 and pull the Tigers within two points. Jobe hit back to back three-pointers for the Lady Hornets to cap a 10-3 run as Emporia State matched their biggest lead of the day at 60-51 with 4:38 left in the game.
The Lady Hornets would turn the ball over four times and miss three shots over the next four minutes as the Tigers went on a 10-0 run to take their first lead of the second half on a Jaden Hobbs jumper with 1:16 left. After back to back turnovers by both teams, Karsen Schultz grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back in with 21.4 seconds left to give Emporia State a 62-61 lead. Fort Hays State worked the ball around and Hobbs took a three pointer from the corner that Schultz blocked out of bounds with 1.5 seconds left. Randall’s jumper from the free throw line off the inbounds play rimmed out and the Lady Hornets came away with the 62-61 victory.
Tre’Zure Jobe led Emporia State with 22 points including four made three-pointers and five assists. She was joined in double figures by Kali Martin with 12 points while Daley Handy added seven points and seven assists.
This was the 950th win in Lady Hornet history and they are now 950-409 (.700) in their 47th season of competition. They are one of just four teams in NCAA Division II history with at least 950 wins in less than 50 years of competition.
The ESU win snapped a nine-game winning streak by the home team in the series and was Emporia State’s first win in Gross Coliseum since a 66-61 victory in the NCAA Central Regional Championship game on March 16, 2015.
The Lady Hornets, who improved to 3-1 on the season, will be back in action on Monday night as they travel to Rogers State. Tip-off from Claremore, Okla. is set for 5:30 p.m. on January 4.